**it.**

**Abstract**

It has been suggested that consciousness plays an important role in quantum mechanics as it is necessary for the collapse of wave function during the measurement. Furthermore, this idea has spawned a symmetrical proposal: a possibility that quantum mechanics explains the emergence of consciousness in the brain. Here we formulated several predictions that follow from this hypothetical relationship and that can be empirically tested. Some of the experimental results that are already available suggest falsification of the first hypothesis. Thus, the suggested link between human consciousness and collapse of wave function does not seem viable. We discuss the constraints implied by the existing evidence on the role that the human observer may play for quantum mechanics and the role that quantum mechanics may play in the observer’s consciousnes.

**Introduction**

The nature of human consciousness and its relation to the physical reality is arguably the most puzzling issue regarding the fundamental questions about ourselves and the interaction with the world that we live

in. An interesting proposal has been put forward of a link between the seemingly distant quantum mechanics and consciousness, leading to a direct, yet bizarre bridge between the mental and the physical. It all started

with the measurement problem in quantum mechanics, which can be formulated as follows: According to quantum mechanics, the states of any physical system can be described fully by a wave function (state vector) that characterizes various system’s variables such as its position, momentum, energy or spin. Schrodinger’s famous equation describes how these variables evolve over time

(Schrodinger,1926). According to most interpretations for the formalism of quantum mechanics (with the exception of the hidden variable theory, e.g., Bohm,1952), the system described by the wave function does not have specific values (e.g., does not have a specific position), but is in a superposition state defined as the weighted sum of all states that the system may possibly assume following a measurement (known also as a set of eigenstates). This superposition can be verified experimentally, for example through interference phenomena (Zeilinger,1999a). However, for each single measurement, that is, whenever a macroscopic measuring deviceis used to detect the state of a particular system, the result always indicates a single eigenstate, e.g., a single photon always has a specific location in space. Importantly, the probabilities for observing the specific states, i.e. their distributions, are predicted most accurately by the wave functions, which describe the system as a superposition of multiple states prior to the measurement. This led physicists to conclude that a quantum system can evolve in two, very different, forms: one is continuous, deterministic and reversible, described by a wave function and occurs prior to the measurement. The other form is discontinuous but stochastic, as, during the measurement, the system “jumps” suddenly from a superposition state into a single randomly chosen eigenstate.

According to some interpretations of quantum mechanics, this jump is an irreversible event that occurs during the measurement process, and is usually referred to as the collapse of wave function or reduction of state vector. The measurement problem in quantum mechanics refers to understanding the nature of this “collapse”, both at the explanatory level, such as: “Which other, more fundamental processes cause the collapse?”, and the ontological level, such as: “Is the collapse physically real or it is just an artifact of the theoretical system?”. This measurement problem is a major topic of discussion in quantum physics and has been a source... more http://arxiv.org/pdf/1009.2404v2.pdf