Alexander Saveliev: The difference between living and inanimate is established objectively

Alexander Saveliev: The difference between living and inanimate is established objectively

Alexander Viktorovich Savelyev (date of birth 03/06/1958). Specialization: biomechanics and medical equipment (52 patents for inventions and useful models, three certificates for computer programs registration), neurocybernetics, neurobiology, measuring equipment, anthropology, Health Science, nervous system simulation (36 patents for inventions, four certificates for computer programs registration), methods and devices for enhancing the brain capabilities; geophysics; prospecting works and equipment; aircraft and their control systems; transport equipment; engines; building structures.

  • In 1980, he graduated with honours from the Ufa Aviation Institute (now Ufa State Technical University, USTU) with a degree in Industrial Electronics and an “Avionics Engineer” military specialty. Now the diploma thesis results as the IGA-1 device, which is sold in more than 20 countries.
  • In 2016 he defended his thesis (Ph.D.) in the philosophy of science and technology on the “Philosophical and methodological foundations of neurocomputing” subject at the Faculty of Philosophy of Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov.
  • Member of the Editorial Board since 2010, Deputy Editor-in-chief of the “Neurocomputers: development, application” journal since 2012.
  • Scientific coordinator of the “Neurophilosophy” ongoing seminar, Faculty of Philosophy, Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov since 2014.
  • Scientific Secretary of the “Knowledge Management” ongoing seminar, Faculty of Public Administration, Moscow State University after M.V. Lomonosov since 2016.
  • The organizing committee member of the “Neuroscience for medicine and psychology” international interdisciplinary congress since 2014.
  • From 1977 to 1984 worked in a part-time position of the Dean of the Small Faculty of USTU.
  • In 1980, he was appointed to the Department of Technical Cybernetics, USTU.
  • From 1985 to 1987 he served in the Soviet army as an avionics technician in the combat guard helicopter regiment of the airborne brigade.
  • From 08/15/1986 to 09/15/1986 participated in the disaster consequences liquidation at the Chernobyl NPP.
  • The total number of patents and inventor’s certificates—98.

What is the essence of your discovery of a new physical phenomenon—the bio-galvanic frequency effect (BGF-effect)?

It is officially believed that L.G. Galvani discovered bioelectricity in 1791 during a known experiment with a frog in contact with two metals (copper, iron) having opposite electrochemical potentials. When they were closed, muscle contraction occurred, since the frog served in this experiment as an electrolyte, and an electric current flowing through the conductors affected the muscle.

There is a well-known dispute between L. Galvani and A. Volta about the “animal” nature, as Galvani claimed, and the inorganic nature of such electricity (Volta). The result of this dispute was the “voltaic pile”—an electrochemical current source (1800), which seemed to close the question of the electricity nature for almost 200 years, directing the developing knowledge process from living nature to the inanimate one. However, in the 1980s, this question arose at a whole new level, generalizing and expanding its understanding. The Galvani and Volta dispute result essence was that Volta proved the qualitative independence of the electricity generated by dissimilar metals in contact with the electrolyte from the nature of the electrolyte, which resulted in the “voltaic pile” creation and the chemical current sources (CCS) industry, accordingly. Moreover, the Galvani “animal electricity” was equated with the inanimate and forgotten safely for 200 years.

Nevertheless, electrophysiology; that is, the passive registration of the micro potentials generated by the living substance by inert electrodes, has been successfully developed, exists separately regardless of the electrochemical current sources line, and is still used in the form of ECG, EEG, galvanic skin reflex, EMG, electrocorticogram, electrooculogram, registration of evoked potentials, etc.

Such a native electrophysiology main disadvantages are the low and ultra-low levels of signals amplitudes generated by the living substance, which makes traditional electrophysiology extremely dependent on interference, which requires quite sophisticated precision amplification equipment. Also, at such small amplitudes, the cross-influence of various modality signals on each other is important, especially considering the mutual partial overlap of their frequency ranges.

We found a fundamental difference between the Galvani electricity, generated with the living organisms’ participation, from the non-living Volta electricity, generated by chemical current sources. The informational essence of this difference, which reflects the living organism electrochemical processes in “live” electricity, was experimentally discovered and theoretically justified. Thus, the distinction between living and non-living was established objectively for the first time. Based on the phenomenon discovered by us, a series of methods and devices for remote non-contact registration of living organisms’ electrophysiological processes and parameters were developed, for which 24 patents for inventions were obtained.

We discovered the fundamentally new bio-galvanic-frequency effect which showed the existence of an alternating galvanic current containing an information component about the bio object state. As a result of applying the open BGF effect, we managed to create several methods and equipment that have the following advantages:

  • Significantly higher reliability of obtaining information during continuous monitoring of physiological signals of a person, since they allow the possibility of uninterrupted continuous monitoring of physiological signals, because it becomes possible to organize confident stable reception, with great resistance to fluctuations in the signal transmitted by the radio transmitter, due to the lack of wired communication between the electrodes and receiving and recording devices, and also through the use of biosignals of increased amplitude (up to 1 V), especially when applying electrodes on energy-intensive acupuncture points.
  • Extended functional capabilities due to the monitoring of physiological signals in significantly wider ranges of environmental conditions with increased disturbing psychophysiological influences, which significantly expands the method applicability and makes possible to use it, including in critical situations during the human operator activities, often arising, for example, in the technical means control (aircraft, spacecraft, etc.), in sports when various stress loads influence sportsmen, etc.
  • Significantly higher noise immunity due to the use of high-level electrical signals (at least hundreds of millivolts), the absence of forced modulation, time-sharing, encoding-decoding, etc., due to the use of one information channel with one sensor and the transmission of the entire complex physiological signals because it creates conditions for the natural modulation of the carrier by the body itself, and also because this modulation is the frequency modulation in the ranges of the long, medium, and the initial section of short waves, where frequency modulation is usually not applied and, therefore, there is no interference of similar spectral composition.
  • Significantly greater simplicity and improved operational capabilities, since complex equipment for multi-channel monitoring of several physiological signals simultaneously is not required, and also no power sources for the radio transmitter are required, which allows monitoring for an almost unlimited time.
  • The method’s high electrical safety, since it does not require any supply of electricity to a person’s body or the equipment located on it.
  • Minimum weight and size indicators, since the monitor system located on a person, can be produced using hybrid film technology, as well as spraying technology.
  • The equipment has exceptional simplicity and a high degree of manufacturability; simplicity and ease of maintenance, which leads to a significantly lower production and operation cost compared to all similar devices.

What are the main results of the artificial axon conceptual neuro modeling?

Ivan Mikhailovich Sechenov proclaimed the use of precise natural-scientific methods in biology first in 1863, which was then adopted worldwide explicitly and implicitly as a development program for the foreseeable future, up to the present moment. With the progress of information technology and modern dominance in overall life, the penetration of informatics, its products, and results in biological sciences has become almost inevitable. In addition to their own purely computational problems, which, with the use of biological algorithms in them, are quite illusory to this day, you can use computer science tools to simulate certain aspects of physical phenomena that underlie biological processes. In this sense, this fact is a continuation and a modern embodiment of the I.M. Sechenov program in biology and neurobiology in particular. At the same time, the physically correct concept underlying can give completely new deductively obtained effects and phenomena.

It is known that the spike axon propagation equations were repeatedly refined and modified (up to the present time), practically without going beyond the one-dimensional model limits. It appears that it is due to the high complexity of both the analytical and computational-mathematical description of the axon excitation real configuration, considering the ion currents volumetric flow even without the influence of neurofilaments. It is taking this into account that can give completely new ideas not only about the axon propagation nature, which would seem completely studied but also about its new most important functions, which cannot even be imagined in existing known models, both mathematical and informational, as well as biological.

Using differential and imitation neuro modeling of axon cross-sections, it was found that, propagating along the axon length, the magnetic field regions undergo rotation in the cross-section, that is, a magnetic field “vortex” is formed following the spike propagation.

We proposed a hypothesis about the myelin sheaths electromyogenesis and justified a possible mechanism for this. We investigated possible biological substrates of this effect and proposed several neuro models that reflect the nature of the spike electromagnetic field interaction with oligodendroglia and Schwann cells. Based on this, a physical model of the artificial nerve was developed, the direct and conceptual application of which can be important in understanding the neuropathologies development and treatment, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

The study results of new previously unknown causes and fundamental neurophysiological patterns of the human nervous tissue myelinization dynamics and morphogenetic rearrangements of the myelin sheaths consisting of aligning the axon myelin sheath configuration along the magnetic field lines of the spike passing along the axon are obtained. This may explain the previously unexplained spiral specificity of the axon myelin sheaths structure, considering the high degree of redundancy in the number of myelin layers to ensure only its isolation function, considered usually the only one for today.

The results obtained are of great importance for the diagnosis, prevention, treatment of the nervous system degenerative diseases and increase rehabilitation effectiveness after diseases, injuries, etc., as well as for the new drugs, physiotherapeutic techniques, and medical equipment development.

What interesting facts from the history of robotics would you pick out?

A discussion wave is beginning now on the so-called humanitarian robotics, that is, household robots—from vacuum cleaners to sexual. For example, the medical and rehabilitation trend involves the creation of artificial sensory prostheses, driven by their arbitrary human movements using bioelectric controls, surgical manipulators, and various devices such as skeletons to restore the body locomotor functions. The military trend usually presumes the development of robotic exoskeleton devices designed to enhance human physical capabilities. It also includes demining robots and all drones. The Soviet Buran spacecraft was and remains the unattainable superlative summit of world robotics.

The first robot can be considered the world’s first walking “stop-walker” of P.L. Chebyshev, converting rotational motion into walking, which was successful at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1878.

Schoolboy Vadim Matskevich created an android robot in the Novocherkassk Palace of Pioneers in the USSR in 1936. The robot was popular at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1938. According to the exhibition results, Matskevich was admitted to the Moscow Power Engineering Institute without entrance exams. Subsequently, he became a test engineer at the Air Force Research Institute, professor, designed several robots and created the “Sirena” aviation radar warning system, which, according to historians, when used in the Korean War, prevented the Third World War.

The cyborg robot (Collie project) was created for the first time in the world in the USSR in the 1960s. It is a hybrid autonomous device controlled by the live dog head equipped with a life support system.

You have proposed a new generation of cardio dynamics diagnostic methods and means. How did you create the first animated cyber heart?

The cyber heart is a completely new concept, which allows relatively simply to determine the functional disorders’ localization in specific individual cases, that is, to solve the electro cardio dynamics inverse problem along with the direct one.

The “animated” cyber heart model is a hierarchical database of biological object real parameters, obtained on the expert estimates basis, containing an unchanged part, a part built entirely according to individual data, and its dynamics laws. At each moment, like a neural ensemble, a database small part only is activated from the neural network, corresponding to the myocardium segment and the surrounding tissues segment, which are located directly below the measuring electrode, and therefore it was possible to obtain an acceptable program logic time in the heartbeat cycle. Such a solution is one of the promising ways to solve the problem of a catastrophic increase in dimension, the number of parameters when simulating the myocardium as a whole at the organ level, which the researcher inevitably encounters when using expert estimates of the real organ data of a particular patient.

What is good and evil in terms of biophysics?

Good and evil is a literary and artistic poetic metaphor of a person’s specific biophysical characteristics as a result of their interaction with the world, nature, including society. Thanks to this, the greatest pressing problem that has constantly occupied humanity for at least two millennia, which consists of determining and, most importantly, recognizing good and evil and reflected in the whole culture and its creations, receives a completely new clearer idea.

The world concerning humans is alien and aggressive, no matter how “green” and other nature “lovers” protect them. That is why a human is the only creature on Earth who walks in clothes and creates his or her artificial world in which he or she is more comfortable. However, it is not possible to isolate completely from the outside world, as well as transform it completely. In this regard, biological anthropic adaptation mechanisms are included and used, the degree and qualitative nature of which differ in varied geographical conditions.

With all the adaptation reactions’ diversity at the most general level, they can be reduced to two types. The first type is the fight against adverse environmental conditions. Hence, there is imagination, focus on creation, mastery of nature, its alteration. It is difficult, energy-intensive and requires tremendous effort. There is a second way, much easier—suicide. This solves the adaptability problem also: there is no need to adapt at all and do something to adapt the world to yourself. Simply and easily. And these are not only adaptation types, but appropriate behavioural strategies also, and, in general, global cultural strategies.

If you notice, these two trends permeate the entire existence of humans as a human; around these two key areas the whole culture, civilization is built. The first one was called the abstract concept of good, and the second one is no less abstract concept of evil.

Moreover, the true meaning of these fundamental trends has long been lost. As a result, there is a constant substitution of one concept for another for the mercenary motives of each of these two trends. Thus, there is a constant struggle of two principles in the world—not abstract concepts of good and evil, which are easily replaced by one another and interchanged easily also so that their juggling is often limited only to linguistics.

A real struggle is taking place constantly in the world of specific real forces aimed at the civilization survival and aimed at the civilization suicide—as two alternative ways of adapting to external conditions, including geophysical, and internal states. Under the internal conditions should be understood internal, intracultural processes occurring in society and complicating or facilitating the society’s existence accordingly.

The same can be observed fractally at the separate individual level. If it has become bad, then there are two strategies only—either fight and resist it, or self-elimination (suicide). These are the only two global bio ideologies that exist in human society, as they say, there is no third one.

It’s also global because each of these strategies recruits adherents constantly, each one who does not join one of them will necessarily join the other for the simple reason of the objectiveness of the action of objective factors on bio substance and the response to them as the living matter main attribute.

Besides, the self-elimination tendency should not be understood in a narrow individual sense. In its broader public understanding, it is precisely a specific culture that has grown into the general culture. Moreover, “self-” means the destruction of not only and not so much the individual as the society, human civilization, human race. M.A. Bulgakov, quoting Goethe in the epigraph to “The Master and Margarita”, cited only the first part of the quote. Completely she sounds like that:

“Part of the Power that would always wish Evil, and always works Good. I am the spirit, ever, that denies!”

Therefore, with suicide, murder goes hand in hand, the universal destruction tendency. And therefore, a struggle is constantly taking place between these two adaptation methods in explicit and implicit forms with variable successes, permeating all organization levels of the individual and society and expressed, including in the sometimes occurring “hot” wars.

It turns out that good and evil are the devil’s invention to confuse a person so that he or she forever grasps these two dimensions?

Indeed, how much literature and other cultural manifestations are devoted to attempts to separate good and evil, to recognize them in real life! The ancient Chinese said:

«one who learns to understand what is good and what is evil will ascend above the world».

We also know how good and evil can disguise themselves as one! This was created as the devil usually does—it’s enough to rename simple and understandable things, as they become prohibitively complicated. This was done with initially elementary concepts, from which as a result complex, unclear, and abstract concepts of “good” and “evil” created, and at the same time fertile ground for masking one under the other and eternal attempts to recognize good and evil accordingly, if one is within these categories.

We will try to restore these fundamental simple concepts, which are most directly related to the adaptability of a person to external conditions and his or her internal states.

Such an understanding of good and evil immediately puts everything in its place, facilitates their recognition and makes it difficult to disguise one under the other. This is also explained by the fact that such adaptability nature and orientation (for struggle or self-elimination) is always unambiguous and does not contain intermediate gradations, in contrast to the good and evil abstract concepts that replaced it. Plus or minus, life or death, fight or surrender.

Besides, switching to one trend or another depends on the strength of the external and internal factors adverse effects also.

In the case of hyper-adverse factors, the adaptability threshold may be exceeded, which contributes to the switching of the first strategy to the second. So geophysical factors can influence, for example, too harsh a climate, determined by the area’s latitude. Therefore, second-order trends, that is, those aimed at self-destruction, may prevail there.

On the contrary, a favourable warm climate has a relaxing effect, including on adaptation mechanisms, as a result of which their low level of stimulation suppresses the human anthropic qualities manifestation, namely, creativity, constructive endeavour trend. More simply, there is no need to strain and do something. This, in turn, creates a favourable basis for dissatisfaction with life, including on a subconscious level. And there is the most direct way from here to develop RLS—a symptom of unwillingness to live; that is, deviation into the second trend we are considering.

Russia is the place where geophysical factors variations associated with the terrain and its position features are in the range of the most optimal stimulation of human adaptability mechanisms. On one hand, the geophysical factors adversity does not exceed the adaptability threshold, and adaptation mechanisms are not suppressed. On the other hand, there is no stimulation strength shortage. As a result of this, geophysical factors—climate and dynamics of its change, tectonic activity level, solar radiation, electromagnetic and radiation background, landscape features, ways of building a society, etc. fit into a unique set of parameters that act on adaptation mechanisms in such a way that they stimulate enough, but do not overstimulate. Such optimal stimulation, just the most, contributes to the incitement to life, to struggle, to overcome adverse external natural and internal human factors, which is expressed, first of all, in the desire for creativity.

However, one knows that there is nothing for free. M.V. Lomonosov discovered conservation laws that have not been cancelled yet. The optimal adaptability price may turn out to be quite high, even too high for some peoples, traditionally not very accustomed to strain, for example, in the case of milder living conditions. Besides, getting into the “territory of life” and turning into representatives of the first trend, that is, an aspiration for life trend, not even having a direct relationship to creativity, they begin to meet opposition from the second trend adherents of aspiration for self-destruction. This is far from everyone can withstand, and it’s kind of a cross, retribution for acquiring stimulation of the desire for life.

Resistance to this increases with the genetic fixing of the adaptability nature over many generations. That is, the more individual’s generations lived on the Russian territory, the less likely it is to change his or her adaptation direction, the more persistent is the orientation toward survival. More often migrate those whose ancestors migrated. Moreover, we can say that Russia, due to its landscape features that influence the human adaptive mechanisms in a described manner, acts as an anthropogenesis territory that stimulates the most human qualities.

Anthropogenesis should not be understood in the sense of the human origin as a species (according to C. Darwin, H. Bergson, or H.P. Blavatsky), but in the sense of his or her human properties manifestation and maintenance, what makes a person human. L.N. Gumilyov never managed to explain the reasons for passionarity. For the first time, he ingeniously caught and explored the relationship between the ethnic groups’ behaviour characteristics with landscape conditions and linked the behaviour to climate change. And he discovered the very phenomenon of passionarity also. However, precisely because of the unclearness of its causes and their attribution on the effect of mutations under the cosmic rays’ influence, the theory of passionarity did not receive a formalization in the rigorous scientific theory form or even a hypothesis. Which led to its rejection in the scientific world accordingly, and at the same time the ethnogenesis theory also.

That is why Gumilyov could not differentiate the passionarity types aimed at good and evil. Not because of passionarity itself, but because of the good and evil separation incomprehensibility, this unresolved problem was automatically transferred to passionarity. This all happened due to the loss of the main connecting link in the passionarity theory, as well as in the ethnogenesis theory. Passionarity is only a concentrated quintessence of the stimulation nature of the same adaptation mechanisms. It is not a subordinate phenomenon but is the most pronounced quantitative manifestation of the same qualities only.

Due to genetic, cultural, educational, and other differences, in 6% of individuals (and most likely, nevertheless, in 2-3%), the adaptive mechanisms’ reaction to stimulation can be hypertrophied in either way, from here is the passion. Adaptability, or rather, its focus on the struggle for survival, or self-destruction and the destruction of everything around it—this is the link that Gumilyov did not find and that makes his theory logically complete. Among other things, the reasons for the passionarity separation into positive and negative, completely unexplained by Gumilyov, and his followers so far, immediately become apparent. The passionarity heritability gets justification, which is clear from the above. Going beyond the ethnogenesis theory allows us to talk about anthropogenesis (the human qualities genesis).

Interview: Ivan Stepanyan

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