The cognitive frame in which most neuropsychological research on the neural basis of behavior is conducted contains the assumption that brain mechanisms
fully suffice to explain all psychologically described phenomena. This assumption stems from the idea that the brain ismade up entirely of material particles and fields, and that all causal mechanisms relevant toneuroscience must therefore be formulated solely in terms of properties of these elements. Oneconsequence of this stance is that psychological terms having intrinsic mentalistic and/or experiential content (terms such as "feeling," "knowing" and "effort) have not been included as primary causal factors in neuropsychological research: insofar as properties are not described inmaterial terms they are deemed irrelevant to the causal mechanisms underlying brain function.However, the origin of this demand that experiential realities be excluded from the causal base isa theory of nature that has been known to be fundamentally incorrect for more than three quartersof a century. It is explained here why it is consequently scientifically unwarranted to assume thatmaterial factors alone can in principle explain all causal mechanisms relevant to neuroscience.More importantly, it is explained how a key quantum effect can be introduced into braindynamics in a simple and practical way that provides a rationally coherent, causally formulated, physics-based way of understanding and using the psychological and physical data derived fromthe growing set of studies of the capacity of directed attention and mental effort to systematicallyalter brain function.
: attention, brain, consciousness, mental effort, mind, neuropsychology,neuroscience, quantum physics, self-directed neuroplasticity.3