David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 929:74-104 (2001)
What is consciousness? Conventional approaches see it as an emergent property of complex interactions among individual neurons; however these approaches fail to address enigmatic features of consciousness. Accordingly, some philosophers have contended that "qualia," or an experiential medium from which consciousness is derived, exists as a fundamental component of reality. Whitehead, for example, described the universe as being composed of "occasions of experience." To examine this possibility scientifically, the very nature of physical reality must be re-examined. We must come to terms with the physics of spacetime-as described by Einstein's general theory of relativity, and its relation to the fundamental theory of matter-as described by quantum theory. Roger Penrose has proposed a new physics of objective reduction: "OR," which appeals to a form of quantum gravity to provide a useful description of fundamental processes at the quantum/classical borderline.hz Within the OR scheme, we consider that consciousness occurs if an appropriately organized system is able to develop and maintain quantum coherent superposition until a specific "objective" criterion (a threshold related to quantum gravity) is reached; the coherent system then self-reduces (objective reduction: OR). We contend that this type of objective self-collapse introduces non-computability, an essential feature of consciousness which distinguishes our minds from classical computers. Each OR is taken as an instantaneous event-the climax of a self-organizing process in fundamental spacetime-and a candidate for a conscious Whitehead "occasion of experience." How could an OR process occur in the brain, be coupled to neural activities, and account for other features of consciousness? We nominate a quantum computational OR process with the requisite characteristics to be occurring in cytoskeletal microtubules within the brain's neurons. In this model, quantum-superposed states develop in microtubule subunit proteins ("tubulins") within certain brain neurons, remain coherent, and recruit more superposed tubulins until a mass-time-energy threshold (related to quantum gravity) is reached..
|Keywords||*Consciousness States *Neurons *Neurosciences *Physics|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
D. Zohar (1995). A Quantum-Mechanical Model of Consciousness and the Emgerence of 'I'. Minds and Machines 5 (4):597-607.
Stuart R. Hameroff (1998). "Funda-Mentality": Is the Conscious Mind Subtly Linked to a Basic Level of the Universe? Trends in Cognitive Sciences 2 (4):119-124.
Stuart R. Hameroff, Consciousness, Whitehead and Quantum Computation in the Brain: Panprotopsychism Meets the Physics of Fundamental Spacetime Geometry.
Roger Penrose (2001). Consciousness, the Brain, and Spacetime Geometry: An Addendum: Some New Developments on the Orch OR Model for Consciousness. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 929:105-10.
Stuart Hameroff, Overview: Could Life And Consciousness Be Related To The Fundamental Quantum Nature Of The Universe?
P. Marcer & E. Mitchell (2001). What is Consciousness? An Essay on the Relativistic Quantum Holographic Model of the Brain/Mind, Working by Phase Conjugate Adaptive Resonance. In P. Loockvane (ed.), The Physical Nature of Consciousness. John Benjamins.
Shan Gao (2008). A Quantum Theory of Consciousness. Minds and Machines 18 (1):39-52.
Shan Gao (2013). A Quantum Physical Argument for Panpsychism. Journal of Consciousness Studies 20 (1-2):1 - 2.
Roger Penrose & Stuart Hameroff (1996). Orchestrated Objective Reduction of Quantum Coherence in Brain Microtubules: The "Orch OR" Model for Consciousness. Mathematics and Computers in Simulation 40:453-480.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads48 ( #37,316 of 1,102,037 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #68,255 of 1,102,037 )
How can I increase my downloads?