David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Features of consciousness difficult to understand in terms of conventional neuroscience have evoked application of quantum theory, which describes the fundamental behavior of matter and energy. In this paper we propose that aspects of quantum theory (e.g. quantum coherence) and of a newly proposed physical phenomenon of quantum wave function "self-collapse"(objective reduction: OR -Penrose, 1994) are essential for consciousness, and occur in cytoskeletal microtubules and other structures within each of the brain's neurons. The particular characteristics of microtubules suitable for quantum effects include their crystal-like lattice structure, hollow inner core, organization of cell function and capacity for information processing. We envisage that conformational states of microtubule subunits (tubulins) are coupled to internal quantum events, and cooperatively interact (compute) with other tubulins. We further assume that macroscopic coherent superposition of quantum-coupled tubulin conformational states occurs throughout significant brain volumes and provides the global binding essential to consciousness. We equate the emergence of the microtubule quantum coherence with pre-conscious processing which grows (for up to 500 milliseconds) until the mass-energy difference among the separated states of tubulins reaches a threshold related to quantum gravity. According to the arguments for OR put forth in Penrose (1994), superpositioned states each have their own space-time geometries. When the degree of coherent massenergy difference leads to sufficient separation of space-time geometry, the system must choose and decay (reduce, collapse) to a single universe state. In this way, a transient superposition of slightly differing space-time geometries persists until an abrupt quantum classical reduction occurs. Unlike the random, "subjective reduction"(SR, or R) of standard quantum theory caused by observation or environmental entanglement, the OR we propose in microtubules is a self-collapse and it results in particular patterns of microtubule-tubulin conformational states that regulate neuronal activities including synaptic functions. Possibilities and probabilities for post-reduction tubulin states are influenced by factors including attachments of microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) acting as "nodes"which tune and "orchestrate"the quantum oscillations..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
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.
Stuart R. Hameroff (2001). Consciousness, the Brain, and Space-Time Geometry. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 929:74-104.
Stuart Hameroff, Search for Quantum and Classical Modes of Information Processing in Microtubules: Implications for “the Living State”.
Rick Grush & P. Churchland (1995). Gaps in Penrose's Toiling. In Thomas Metzinger (ed.), Journal of Consciousness Studies. Ferdinand Schoningh 10-29.
Rick Grush & Patricia Smith Churchland (1995). Gaps in Penroses Toiling. Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (1):10-29.
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.
Shan Gao (2008). A Quantum Theory of Consciousness. Minds and Machines 18 (1):39-52.
Maurice A. De Gosson (2013). Quantum Blobs. Foundations of Physics 43 (4):440-457.
Roger Penrose & C. J. Isham (eds.) (1986). Quantum Concepts in Space and Time. New York ;Oxford University Press.
Stuart Hameroff, Anesthesia, Consciousness and Hydrophobic Pockets a Unitary Quantum Hypothesis of Anesthetic Action.
Stuart R. Hameroff (2002). Quantum Computation in Brain Microtubules. Physical Review E 65 (6):1869--1896.
Stuart R. Hameroff & Roger Penrose (1996). Orchestrated Reduction of Quantum Coherence in Brain Microtubules: A Model for Consciousness. In Stuart R. Hameroff, Alfred W. Kaszniak & A. C. Scott (eds.), Toward a Science of Consciousness. MIT Press
Shan Gao (2013). A Quantum Physical Argument for Panpsychism. Journal of Consciousness Studies 20 (1-2):1 - 2.
Danko Georgiev (2013). Quantum No-Go Theorems and Consciousness. Axiomathes 23 (4):683-695.
Added to index2010-12-22
Total downloads11 ( #213,207 of 1,725,584 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #268,753 of 1,725,584 )
How can I increase my downloads?