Is the final frontier of human consciousness an electrical field?

Top image: Human consciousness is one of the wonders of life and also a mystery that has not been fully understood yet. An English neuroscientist claims he has solved the problem. But no so fast!

Human consciousness is created by the brain's “energy field,” which comes from the electric signals of the organ's neurons, claims an English scientist of neuroscience. The earliest use of the word “consciousness” dates back to the 1500s. And Western philosophers since the time of Descartes and Locke have tried to understand the nature of human consciousness: to understand if it had divine origins, whether or not it is made of matter, and how it relates to language and the greater experience of living.

In most religious, philosophical and mythological traditions, human consciousness is the human soul , the incorporeal essence of the person that is often described by scientists as the “ psyche,” representing the mental activities of people including feelings, memories and perceptions. For thousands of years the soul has been associated with divinity, causing many to believe the soul continues to evolve long after the body dies.

Is Free Will Nothing More Than An Electrical Signal?

More recently, the study of human consciousness has become an interdisciplinary scientific research discipline that incorporates cognitive sciences such as psychology, linguistics, anthropology, neuropsychology and neuroscience. The primary focus of modern studies into consciousness is understanding how biological and psychological system processes result in what we experience as consciousness.

Now, an English scientist has proposed an innovate, yet currently theoretical, approach to the big unanswered questions about human consciousness. This scientist shows how the electromagnetic signals from neurons in the body form “electrical fields around organs” that he believes is “key to understanding the complexities of consciousness.” And, in conclusion, this electrical field around our organs is what generates our entire perceptional range including all notions of “free will.”

A picture of a brain synapse and neuron and the electromagnetic signals exchanged, which is somehow the source of human consciousness.A picture of a brain synapse and neuron and the electromagnetic signals exchanged, which is somehow the source of human consciousness.

Has The Mystery Of Human Consciousness Really Been Solved?

Dr Johnjoe McFadden is a professor of neuroscience at the University of Surrey and his new paper detailing his “theory” on how consciousness is built has been published in the journal Neuroscience of Consciousness . Claiming to have “solved the long-standing mystery of what creates human consciousness,” according to Dr McFadden, “consciousness, is a uniquely human trait that results from the electromagnetic field produced by the brain's neurons.” This, according to the professor, answers why humans are aware of their own existence whereas other animals are not. If he’s right, Dr McFadden has essentially removed all non-material functions of human consciousness, effectively destroying “the soul.”

Professor Johnjoe McFadden claims the electromagnetic field produced by the brain’s neurons is what produces our experience of human consciousness. The scientist has demonstrated how matter becomes “aware and manages to think,” providing a possible solution to a mystery that has eluded all of the philosophers, theologians, and mystics that have ever lived. And in his own bold world the professor lays out his belief that “the mystery of consciousness has now been solved.”

According to Professor McFadden, the brain's self-generated electromagnetic field and charged neurons generate what we perceive as “free will.”According to Professor McFadden, the brain's self-generated electromagnetic field and charged neurons generate what we perceive as “free will.”

Claiming To Have Solved This Eternal Problem Isn’t Fact Yet!

Jumping the gun, a little, most media outlets are reporting that the entirety of the mysteries of consciousness have now been solved. For example, a Daily Mail article states, “Professor Johnjoe McFadden has 'solved' the mystery of consciousness.” However, while the professor claims the accumulated experience of nerve signals flowing from the brain's self-generated electromagnetic field and charged neurons generates what we perceive as “free will and our voluntary actions,” this is all currently completely hypothetical and unproven by empirical scientific experimentation.

There is no question that Professor McFadden is metaphorically hacking a new path through an unexplored overgrown jungle, the final frontier of human science. His only clues come from data sets describing the bodies electrical field, which are currently only monitored by brain-scanning techniques such as the electroencephalogram (EEG). Nonetheless, Professor McFadden has seen a different application for these technologies and believes our electrical systems are the answer to what he describes as “one of the most enduring riddles in science.”

The Electronic Future Of Human Consciousness

In conclusion, the professor suggests in his new paper that electricity lies at “the very core of what constitutes consciousness.” And he proposes that the result of this electro-system is what drives free will and all of our voluntary actions. He says this energy field is created by the very messages which constitute a person, “a byproduct of every thought, movement and process.”

If the Professor McFadden’s theory is proven to be correct, his work could play a role in the control of future robots and ultimately in the creation of electronic artificial intelligences. Human consciousness as we understand it may be wrong or it may simply be as the professor claims. Time will tell . . .


By Ashley Cowie / Historian and Documentarian

Ashley is a Scottish historian, author and documentary filmmaker presenting original perspectives on historical problems, in accessible and exciting ways. His books, articles and television shows explore lost cultures and kingdoms, ancient crafts and artefacts, symbols and architecture, myths and legends telling thought-provoking stories which together offer insights into our shared social history.In his 20's Ashley was based in Caithness on the north east coast of Scotland and walked thousands of miles across ancient Neolithic landscapes collecting flint artefacts, which led to the discovery of significant Neolithic settlements. Having delivered a series of highly acclaimed lectures on the international Science Festival Circuit about his discoveries, he has since written four bestselling non-fiction books. Elected as a member of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, incorporated by Royal Charter in 1783, Ashley has been involved in a wide range of historical and scientific research projects which are detailed on this website – 2009 Ashley became resident Historian on STV’s The Hour Show and has since featured as an expert Historian on several documentaries. Ashley’s own documentaries have been watched by an estimated 200 million people and currently air in over 40 countries. NBC’s Universal’s hit-adventure show ‘Legend Quest’ follows Ashley’s global hunt for lost artefacts and is watched by over 5 million viewers in Australia, Asia and Europe every week. In North America, PBS’s ‘Great Estates’ was in Amazon’s top-ten “most downloaded documentaries 2016” and has been watched by an estimated 150 million people.

(Source:; October 24, 2020;
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