Home > Conscious > 8.0. Introduction to the Binding Problem and Geon


While playing tennis, you may see "a white ball moves rapidly along a direction." This conscious experience consists of four items: the ball's shape, color, moving direction and moving speed. How can they be perceived simultaneously? Or, how can the conscious mind combine different characteristics into a single unified perception? This "binding problem" is at the core of consciousness. Any working theory on consciousness must be able to solve the binding problem.

A conscious perception must contain information, and the information must have a carrier. Hence, the conscious mind should include the carriers of the information about various items. We are familiar with all kinds of information carried by electromagnetic (EM) waves, such as the sound and images transmitted from television stations or satellites. However, the EM waves are not appropriate for binding information, because their attractive interaction is extremely small.

The gravitational (GR) waves are well-suited for binding information carried by other GR waves, as their mutual attractive force is more than 80 orders of magnitude stronger than the EM-EM attraction (Faraoni and Dumse, 1998, Eq. 6.1). Similar to EM waves which are generated by the acceleration of electric charges, the GR wave will be generated whenever a mass is accelerated. An ion contains both charges and mass. Therefore, GR waves can be generated by neuronal firing which is associated with the motion of ions passing through ion channels.

In physics, a "geon" is an entity consisting of only GR and/or EM waves which are held together in a confined region by their mutual attraction. It was first investigated in 1955 by John Wheeler, who coined the name for "gravitational-electromagnetic entity". A gravitational geon is the geon that comprises only GR waves. It appears that the synchronized neuronal firing at the α band has the capacity to create a gravitational geon, which is essentially a bound state of GR waves. The creation of a bound state can be facilitated by the formation of standing waves and constructive interference.

As discussed in Section 4.5, information about an item is encoded in the θ-γ nested oscillations. Once a geon is created by α synchronization, it may further bind the GR waves carrying item information, resulting in the sensory perception of these items. Since constructive interference is required for optimal binding, this unveils the secret of frequency doubling.