The QZE is related to the established observer effect of quantum physics: The behavior and position of any atom-sized entity, such as an atom, an electron, or an ion, appears to change when that entity is observed.
In a 2005 paper published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (U.K.), physicist Henry Stapp and one of the authors of this article, Jeffrey Schwartz, linked the QZE with what happens when close attention is paid to a mental experience.
In the quantum computer metaphor of mind, the conscious mind can apply attention to a particular object and hold that object in mind using QZE
. William James says the primary function of freewill is that of a selecting agent; as thoughts arise in consciousness one either applies attention, QZE
, or lets the thought disappear .
A key question is: What rates of probing actions are needed in order to account, via this QZE
mechanism, for the correlations found in neuroscience between intended actions and brain activity?
Stapp hypothesizes that conscious choices operate via the quantum Zeno effect (QZE
), whereby a sufficiently rapid sequence of state vector reductions can hold a quantum system in place, effectively stopping its evolution.