Neuroscience Researcher Todd Murphy Says: Consciousness is the Subjective Experience of the Brain's Magnetic Fields


SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A new theory on the source of consciousness has been published. It proposes that consciousness is an intrinsic feature of magnetic fields. Feedback between consciousness and perception is an essential feature of all experience. The human brain contains 5 million organically-formed magnetite crystals per gram. Each of these has a north and south pole, serving as in/out information channels, the basis for awareness. The brain's magnetic fields are extremely complex, and capable of supporting vast feedback mechanisms. They broadcast their information throughout the brain at a fraction of the speed of light, unifying conscious experience.

The brain experiences its own activity through its magnetism, and subjective experiences are actually the brain's magnetic field, resonating with the brain's electrical activity.

Consciousness is how magnetic each pole of a magnetic field experiences the other. Both the earth, with its geomagnetic field, and ordinary magnets, with just two poles, are conscious, but in such a rudimentary way that no one could imagine what they might experience.

Invoking the basic laws for electricity and magnetism ("Maxwell's Equations"), Prof. Todd Murphy points out that electrical currents (including the ones that run through brain cells), create magnetism, which influence the brain's magnetic fields. Its conscious magnetic field(s) "pick up," or resonate with, the brain's electrical activity, receiving its information and making organisms conscious of both mind and body. The brain may choose what to be aware of according to the information in its ongoing electrical signals and magnetic fields, possibly through specific signals that appear in response to potentially important events, especially threats and opportunities.

Prof. Todd Murphy, associated with Laurentian University's Neuroscience Program since 1998, also proposes that simple magnetic fields, from fewer magnets, support simple consciousness, such as in invertebrates with rudimentary senses (like an eye that only detects light or darkness). More complex consciousness, like that of humans or other primates, would require more developed nervous systems, and much larger numbers of magnetite crystals. Their greater nuances of thought and emotion give humans more to be aware of.

It will be a challenge to prove absolutely, because science can't prove that anything is conscious. The only way to know consciousness exists is through subjective experiences, which aren't admissible as scientific evidence. However, Murphy proposes several tests that would tend to support his theory.

Murphy's paper, "Solving the "Hard Problem": Consciousness as an Intrinsic Property of Magnetic Fields" appears in the Journal of Consciousness Exploration and Research. He's also published several journal articles, and three books in neuroscience.

Todd Murphy can be contacted at: or (415) 368-3667
His author page can be seen here:

Kirschivink, Joseph L., (et al.). "Magnetite biomineralization in the Human Brain", Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 1992, 89 7683-7687

Murphy, Todd "Solving the "Hard Problem": Consciousness as an Intrinsic Property of Magnetic Fields" Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research, 2019, 10(8) p. 800-813   Link:


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