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TOPIC: "Did consciousness evolve from complex computations among brain neurons, as most scientists assert?

"Did consciousness evolve from complex computations among brain neurons, as most scientists assert? 21 Aug 2014 18:55 #1

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''Recent discovery of quantum vibrations in brain neurons lends weight to his controversial theory of consciousness,
says Sir Roger Penrose
by Will Parker

''Incorporating the recent discovery of quantum vibrations inside brain neurons, a new assessment
of a controversial 20-year-old theory of consciousness presents compelling evidence for the idea that
consciousness derives from very fine scale activities inside brain neurons.
The new review, by scientific heavyweights Stuart Hameroff and Sir Roger Penrose, appears in the
journal Physics of Life Reviews. Penrose and Hameroff go on to suggest that manipulation of these
deep level microtubule vibrations could provide treatments for a range of mental, neurological, and
cognitive conditions.
The theory under review, known as "orchestrated objective reduction" (Orch OR), was put forward by
Penrose and Hameroff in the mid-1990s.
It proposes that quantum vibrational computations in microtubules (major components of a cell's
structural skeleton) are "orchestrated" (Orch) by synaptic inputs and memory, and terminated by
Penrose's "objective reduction" (OR).
Orch OR was harshly criticized from its inception, as the brain was considered too "warm, wet, and
noisy" for such seemingly delicate quantum processes.
However, recent research has now shown warm quantum coherence in plant photosynthesis,
bird brain navigation, and brain microtubules. In particular, the discovery of warm temperature quantum
vibrations in microtubules by a research group led by Anirban Bandyopadhyay in Japan, goes a long way
to corroborating Penrose and Hameroff's original theory. Penrose says his and Hameroff's new paper
updates the evidence and clarifies Orch OR quantum bits as helical pathways in microtubule lattices.
Did consciousness evolve from complex computations among brain neurons, as most scientists assert?
Or has consciousness, in some sense, been here all along, as spiritual approaches maintain? ask Hameroff
and Penrose. "This opens a potential Pandora's Box, but our theory accommodates both these views,
suggesting consciousness derives from quantum vibrations in microtubules, protein polymers inside brain neurons, which both govern neuronal and synaptic function, and connect brain processes to self-organizing processes in the fine scale,
'proto-conscious' quantum structure of reality."
Hameroff contends that "Orch OR is the most rigorous, comprehensive and successfully-tested theory of
consciousness ever put forth," and that from a practical standpoint, "treating brain microtubule vibrations could benefit a host of mental, neurological, and cognitive conditions."
Penrose and Hameroff will explore their theories further tomorrow during a session on "Microtubules and the
Big Consciousness Debate" at the "Brainstorm Sessions," a public three-day event in Amsterdam.
They will also engage skeptics in a debate on the nature of consciousness, while fellow brainbox Bandyopadhyay
will demonstrate microtubule vibrations from active neurons playing Indian musical instruments.''
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Last Edit: 21 Aug 2014 18:59 by Cinta.
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