Gauge Fields in the Central Nervous System

The Physics of the Mind and Brain Disorders pp 193-212 | Cite as
 
Gauge Fields in the Central Nervous System
Authors
Authors and affiliations
Arturo TozziEmail authorBiswa SenguptaJames F. PetersKarl J. Friston
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Chapter
First Online: 02 December 2017
Part of the Springer Series in Cognitive and Neural Systems book series (SSCNS, volume 11)
Abstract
Recent advances in neuroscience highlight the complexity of the central nervous system (CNS) and call for general, multidisciplinary theoretical approaches. The aim of this chapter is to assess highly organized biological systems, in particular the CNS, via the physical and mathematical procedures of gauge theory – and to provide quantitative methods for experimental assessment. We first describe the nature of a gauge theory in physics, in a language addressed to an interdisciplinary audience. Then we examine the possibility that brain activity is driven by one or more continuous forces, called gauge fields, originating inside or outside the CNS. In particular, we go through the idea of symmetries, which is the cornerstone of gauge theories, and illustrate examples of possible gauge fields in the CNS. A deeper knowledge of gauge theories may lead to novel approaches to (self) organized biological systems, improve our understanding of brain activity and disease, and pave the way to innovative therapeutic interventions.

The Physics of the Mind and Brain Disorders pp 193-212 | Cite as

Gauge Fields in the Central Nervous System

 

Arturo Tozzi

Biswa Sengupta

James F. Peters

Karl J. Friston

 

First Online: 02 December 2017

Part of the Springer Series in Cognitive and Neural Systems book series (SSCNS, volume 11)

Abstract

Recent advances in neuroscience highlight the complexity of the central nervous system (CNS) and call for general, multidisciplinary theoretical approaches. The aim of this chapter is to assess highly organized biological systems, in particular the CNS, via the physical and mathematical procedures of gauge theory – and to provide quantitative methods for experimental assessment. We first describe the nature of a gauge theory in physics, in a language addressed to an interdisciplinary audience. Then we examine the possibility that brain activity is driven by one or more continuous forces, called gauge fields, originating inside or outside the CNS. In particular, we go through the idea of symmetries, which is the cornerstone of gauge theories, and illustrate examples of possible gauge fields in the CNS. A deeper knowledge of gauge theories may lead to novel approaches to (self) organized biological systems, improve our understanding of brain activity and disease, and pave the way to innovative therapeutic interventions.

 

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