Semblance Hypothesis

After more than a decade of examination by adhering to best available scientific methods1-5, mounting evidence forces me to regard semblance hypothesis as a theory. Despite several open invitations to disprove the hypothesis through both this website and a large number of scientific presentations and peer-reviewed publications, not even a single objection was received. To my best knowledge, this is the only existing theory of nervous system functions that has provided testable predictions (pdf here with methods to test them). I sincerely hope that scientific community will use the time-tested method of "testing the predictions of a theory" with an aim to disprove (or prove) it. Please explain the importance of this to your community leaders and policy makers. I thank all those who have supported me during several difficult times of its development.

Kunjumon Vadakkan, dated 21st March, 2020


1. Strobel N. Method for finding scientific truth. Website

2. Strobel N. What is a scientific theory? Website

3. Goodstein D (2007) A testable prediction. Nature Phys. 3:827 Article

4. Lee AS, Briggs RO, Dennis AR (2014). Crafting theory to satisfy the requirements of explanation. Article

5. Lee AS, Hovorka DS (2015) Crafting theory to satisfy the requirements of interpretation. Article



For peer-review


Vadakkan K.I (2018) Extreme degeneracy of inputs in firing a neuron leads to loss of information when neuronal firing is examined. Peerj Preprints (A very small fraction of inputs is able to fire a neuron. In certain circumstances, even fraction of a sigle postsynaptic potential can fire a neuron. The importance of degeneracy of codons in the genetic code reminds us that there is a background utility behind it. Furthermore, the unitary operational mechanism of the system lies in the neighbourhood where degeneracy is observed. This work shows that information storage and retieval should be taking place at the level of the dendritic spines and the findings of semblance hypothesis perfectly match this observation). Article

Vadakkan K.I (2018) A learning mechanism completed in milliseconds and capable of transitioning to stabilizable forms can generate working, short and long-term memories - A verifiable mechanism. Peerj Preprints (Based of semblance hypothesis, the learning-induced change at physiological time-scales of milliseconds remains as the core change sufficient for retrieving memory as a first-person internal senation during working memory. Maintaining this inter-spine change through its stabilization allows continued retrieval of the same memory after short and long time intervals). Article

Vadakkan K.I (2019) Internal sensation of pleasure can be explained as a specific conformation of semblance: Inference from electrophysiological findings. Peerj Preprints (If we can explain memories as first-person inner sensations, how do we explain inner sensation of pleasure? Several disparate findings from nucleus accumbens provide a verifiable mechanism that can also interconnect those findings) Article


Vadakkan K.I (2019) From cells to sensations: A window to the physics of mind. Physics of Life Reviews. This paper summarizes derivation of the mechanism that generates first-person inner sensations of various higher brain functions using constraints from large number of findings of the system from different levels. It explains a testable mechanism by which nervous system generates mind. Several testable predictions are provided.  Article

Vadakkan K.I (2019) A derived mechanism of the nervous system functions explains aging-related neurodegeneration as a gradual loss of an evolutionary adaptation. Current Aging Science (The last stage of ontogeny is expected to remain throughout adulthood. Examination shows that a neuronal circuitry where IPLs can form and function can be evolved from simple excitable cells. It also shows that the last stage is preceded by a transient inter-cellular fusion event and is expectedd to "turn on" the expression of specific proteins that arrests fusion at the intermediate stage of hemifusion. Based on the semblance hypothesis, every event of learning relies on this mechanism to prevent inter-spine fusion. Since any deficiency in this mechanism can lead to inter-spine fusion and since spine loss is a common finding in age-related neurodegeneration, it prompts us to ask the questions, "Is this what determines neuronal life span?" "Will it not limit our ability to learn as we age?" "Can we understand this event better so that we can try methods to artificially maintain the ability to stabilize the inter-spine hemifusion stage to prevent age-related neurodegeneration and increase our longevity?" Article

Vadakkan K.I (2018) A potential mechanism for first-person internal sensation of memory provides evidence for the relationship between learning and LTP induction. Behavioural Brain Research  (Long-term potentiation (LTP) is an electrophysiological finding first observed at the hippocampal CA3-CA1 synaptic region. It has shown several correlations with learning & memory. It has been our realistic hope for the last 50 years that we will be able to use the correlations between LTP and learning & memory to figure out the mechanism of memory retrieval taking place in millisecond time-scales. By viewing memories in their true nature as first-person inner sensations, the present work has explained how a derived mechanism of natural learning ocurring in milliseconds can get scaled-up during experimental LTP induction. Since such scaling-up events take time to manifest, it explains the time-delay of up to a minute or even more for LTP induction following stimulation. Predictions made by this finding can be verified).  Article  Preprint

Vadakkan K.I (2016) Substantive nature of sleep in updating the temporal conditions necessary for inducing units of internal sensations. Sleep Science. (Sleep is part of the substance of the nervous system. The system becomes operational only in the presence of sleep. Without sleep, the system cannot continue to function. In fact, without sleep, there is no system! This finding provides evidence for the hypothesized mechanism).  Article

Vadakkan K.I (2016) Neurodegenerative disorders share common features of "loss of function" states of a proposed mechanism of nervous system functions. Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy. (This work was carried out with a simple idea that just by sitting in a workshop and watching how defects of the cars are being repaired for a period time, we will get some idea how a car works normally. In the case of the nervous system, the observations in various neurodegenerative disorders match with the defects in the hypothesised mechanism).  Article

Vadakkan K.I (2016) Rapid chain-generation of inter-postsynaptic functional LINKs can trigger seizure generation: Evidence for potential interconnections from pathology to behavior. Epilepsy & Behavior (This work provides an opportunity to triangulate large number of findings from different levels to examine a possible normal operational mechanism of the system)  Article

Vadakkan K.I (2016) The functional role of all postsynaptic potentials examined from a first-person frame of reference. Reviews in the Neurosciences (Explained how a neuronal soma is flanked by a large number of internal sensory processing units and their relationship with neuronal firing). Article

Vadakkan K.I (2015) A framework for the first-person internal sensation of visual perception in mammals and a comparable circuitry for olfactory perception in Drosophila. SpringerPlus (This work explains and interconnects several third person findings in visual perception and optics. Presence of a comparable circuitry in a different sensory system in a remote animal species provides support for the presented mechanism). Article

Vadakkan K.I (2015; Revised 2017) The necessity for the observer to examine the system from a first-person frame of reference to trace the path of generation of inner sensations. F1000 Research. Article

Vadakkan K.I (2015) A pressure-reversible cellular mechanism of general anesthetics capable of altering a possible mechanism for consciousness. SpringerPlus (This paper explains how anesthetic requirement is reduced in the presence of dopamine that causes enlargement of dendritic spines). Article

Vadakkan K.I (2014) An electronic circuit model of the inter-postsynaptic functional LINK designed to study the formation of internal sensations in the nervous system.
Advances in Artificial Neural SystemsArticle

Vadakkan K.I (2013) A supplementary circuit rule-set for the neuronal wiring. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (This work explains a unique circuit feature that can generate first-person inner sensations. The circuit feature operates in unison with the synaptically-connected neurons. This circuit feature that was evading our attention).

Vadakkan K.I (2012) A structure-function mechanism for schizophrenia. Frontiers in Psychiatry (This work has identified rapidly reversible, yet stabilizable membrane hemi-fusion as a possible mechanism for inter-postsynaptic functional LINKs).

Vadakkan K.I (2012) The nature of "internal sensations" of higher brain functions may be derived from the design rules for artificial machines that can produce them. Journal of Biological Engineering.

Vadakkan K.I (2011) Processing semblances induced through inter-postsynaptic functional LINKs, presumed biological parallels of K-lines proposed for building artificial intelligence. Frontiers in Neuroengineering.

Vadakkan K.I (2011) A possible mechanism of transfer of memories from the hippocampus to the cortex. Medical Hypotheses.

Vadakkan K.I (2010) Framework of consciousness from semblance of activity at functionally LINKed postsynaptic membranes. Frontiers in Psychology (Consciousness Research).   Article


Video presentations

1. A testable hypothesis of brain functions    Video

2. How to study inner sensations? Examples from mathematics    Video

3. Neurons and Synapses    Video

4. List of third person findings and the derivation of the solution for the nervous system     Video    

5. Constraints to work with   Video

6. Induction of units of inner sensation    Video

7. Why do we need to sleep?    Video

8. A potential mechanism for neurodegeneration     Video

9. LTP: An explanation by semblance hypothesis       Video

10. A framework for consciousness    Video

11. A potential mechanism of anaesthetic agents      Video



Vadakkan K.I (2010) Semblance hypothesis of memory. 3rd Edition ISBN: 978-1-4502-5620-9

Vadakkan K.I (2008) Semblance hypothesis of memory. 2nd Edition ISBN: 978-1-4401-0754-2

Vadakkan K.I (2007) Semblance of activity at the shared post-synapses and extracellular matrices - A structure function hypothesis of memory. ISBN:978-0-5954-7002-0


Center for Neuroscience, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. August 11th, 2017. Title: Why did Camillo Golgi disagree with the Neuron doctrine?

Society for Neuroscience annual meeting - Satellite event. October 17th, 2015. Title: Examining nervous system functions from a first-person frame of reference using the semblance hypothesis.

Society for Neuroscience annual meeting - Satellite event. November 17th, 2014. Title: Exploring the mind using the semblance hypothesis.

Society for Neuroscience annual meeting - Satellite event. November 2013. Title: Internal Sensations, Artificial intelligence and the semblance hypothesis.

Florida State University, Department of Scientific Computing seminar. February, 2013. Title: Transferable units from natural Intelligence: Proof requires AI development.

University of New Mexico, Department of Computer Science colloquium. January 2013. Title: Natural intelligence to artificial intelligence - A new route that can be taken. (video). I apologize to molecular biologists for my comment that discoveries in molecular biology were over. It is the lack of matching advancement in neuroscience that made me to say that).

Society for Neuroscience annual meeting - Satellite event. October 15th, 2012. Title: Reducing internal sensation of retrieved memories using the semblance hypothesis.

Society for Neuroscience annual meeting - Satellite event. November 13th, 2011. Topic: Semblance hypothesis of memory: Computational modelling and development of artificial circuits.

Society for Neuroscience annual meeting - Satellite event. November 14th, 2010. Topic: Semblance hypothesis of memory - Transfer of memories from the hippocampus to the cortex.

Society for Neuroscience annual meeting - Satellite event. October 18th, 2009. Topic: Semblance hypothesis of memory - A presentation.


Vadakkan K.I (2013) A structural unit of brain network that can operate in unison with synaptic connections and can impart needed functions. Cell symposium on the topic "Networked Brain" at the Society for Neuroscience meeting November 8 Poster

Vadakkan K.I (2012) Induced p-semblances as a possible mechanism for the internal sensation of pain. Society for Neuroscience Annual meeting, Oct.16. Abstract 674.25/HH10

Vadakkan K.I (2012) Perception as the integral of semblances formed by re-activation of existing previously formed functional LINKs between the postsynapses. Cognitive Neuroscience Society meeting, April 3rd, Abstract H90

Vadakkan K.I (2011) Semblions induced through inter-postsynaptic functional LINKs, biological parallels of K-lines, as basic units of internal sensations. Society for Neuroscience conference, Abstract 722.16/XX68

Vadakkan K.I (2010) Framework of consciousness from the semblance hypothesis of memory. Toward a science of consciousness Conference, Tucson, University of Arizona. Abstract No: P-8

Vadakkan K.I (2009) Delusions, cognitive impairment and the therapeutic effect of dopamine receptor antagonists in schizophrenia - An explanation through the semblance hypothesis of memory. Society for Neuroscience conference, Poster Abstract: 644.3/U18

Vadakkan K.I (2008) Oxidation-state dependent interconnections between dendritic spines provide early evidence in support of semblance hypothesis of memory. Society for Neuroscience conference, Abstract: 239.19/E16

Vadakkan K.I (2008) Examination of the premises of semblance hypothesis that can explain retrieval-efficient mechanism of memory at appropriate time-scales. Second Canadian Association for Neuroscience annual meeting, Montreal. Abstract A-G 118