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A Brief History of QPP


The Quantum Paradigms of Psychopathogy (“QPP") initiative began in June 2008.  At that time Donald Mender, M. D, a psychiatrist affiliated with Yale University, conducted an informal poll of scientific contributors to a series of three Quantum Mind conferences, which had sought to explore the relevance of quantum physics to sentient processes in the normal brain.
Quantum Mind has been an ongoing field of study since the final decades of the last century.  Pioneers like the physicists Hiroomi Umezawa, Kunio Yasue, and Giuseppe Vitiello, mathematicians like Roger Penrose, and biomedical investigators like Stuart Hameroff, Gordon Globus, and Gustav Bernroider have plumbed the depths of subatomic structure and its macroscopic amplifications in search of substrates for quantum computation and other capabilities that may match attributes of the human psyche better than models advocated by conventional cognitive neuroscience.
In June 2008 Dr. Mender asked Quantum Mind veterans whether there exists among researchers any interest in the prospect of applying insights from Quantum Mind to aberrant processes underlying schizophrenia, bipolar illness, and other forms of psychopathology. The idea was to adapt normative concepts introduced by Professors Hameroff, Yasue, Vitiello, and their colleagues toward a grounding of psychiatric disease in counter-intuitive but physically foundational quantum phenomena within the brain.  The answer of those polled by Dr. Mender was a robust “yes.”
Hence, an organizing committee for a QPP initiative was formed later in 2008 under Dr. Mender's leadership.  This body was soon reconstituted as the QPP Scientific Program Committee, chaired by Prof. Globus and including Prof. Bernroider as Co-Chair for the Basic Sciences.  Dr. Mender served as the QPP Scientific Program Committee’s third member and corresponding secretary.  QPP also gathered together a distinguished Advisory Board, whose current membership is listed on this web page’s letterhead.
Members of the QPP Scientific Program Committee, Advisory Board, and general email list soon received a call for research articles aimed at extending the application of quantum neuroscience toward a deeper understanding of psychopathology.  Dr. Sultan Tarlaci, founder and editor-in-chief of NeuroQuantology (www.neuroquantology.com) and a QPP Advisory Board member, offered to publish works selected from these papers in his journal.
Nine fertile texts appeared in the resulting symposium, published on line in the March 2011 issue of the NeuroQuantology Journal.  In his lead target article, Prof. Globus propounded a highly original concept of schizophrenia linked to the “tuning” of quantum vibrations suffusing the brain.  Prof. Nancy Woolf, along with co-authors including Prof. Jack Tuszynski, offered credible links between psychopathology and quantum-computational dysfunction within the skeletal proteins giving shape to brain cells.  Prof. Paavo Pylkkanen related the physical substrates of mental illness to quantum “pilot waves.”  Dr. Mender proposed ways of comprehending the neurophysiology of disordered thinking and emotion in terms of quantum "phase transitional" analogies to the freezing and melting of ordinary matter.  Five commentators on these four target papers each introduced additional fresh quantum perspectives on the biophysical origins of psychopathology.
QPP’s activities following the March 2011 on line symposium developed further.  Dr. Mender and thereafter his successor as QPP Corresponding Secretary, Prof. Mansoor Malik of Howard University, have continued to edit a section dedicated to QPP in subsequent issues of the NeuroQuantology Journal.  That section has brought forth several additional papers.  These include:  Dr. Mender’s synopsis of the March 2011 symposium; two works by Prof. Massimo Pregnolato, Prof. Massimo Cocchi, and their collaborators on links between serotonin and quantum phenomena via membrane biophysics in depression and psychosis;  Dr. Ursula Werneke's consideration of psychotically “impaired” reality-testing in the context of Hugh Everett’s many-worlds ontology; and Dr. Mender’s reframing of psychiatric disease nosology in light of the anthropic principle.
Assumption of the QPP Chair by Prof. Massimo Pregnolato of the University of Pavia afforded contributors yet another forum for internet-based discourse through his Quantumbionet web site (www.quantumbionet.org).  In a landmark achievement, Prof. Massimo Cocchi of the L. U. de S. University in Lugano Switzerland, following his ascent as QPP Treasurer, organized the first live QPP symposium in Fano Italy as part of a March 2012 interdisciplinary conference entitled “A Long Shadow Over the Soul,” which stimulated crucially productive face-to-face synergy.  New scholarly papers opening up fresh perspectives on the potentially key role of quantum neurodynamics in mental illness have been generated in the wake of interchanges in Fano.  Another important outcome of the Fano meeting has been emergence of L. U. de S. University as an institutional home for QPP’s world-wide efforts going forward.   All these developments herald a bright future for the QPP initiative.


Credits: apnetwork.it