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Author Topic: Is the brain a quantum computer?  (Read 3783 times)

Offline woolyhead

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Is the brain a quantum computer?
« on: 20/11/2013 19:44:30 »
We are told that inside the neurones of the brain are micro tubules containing quantum entangled electrons which can affect those in neighbouring neurones. If this mechanism increases the computing power of the brain by a huge factor, could it account for awareness and intelligence? If so, how?
« Last Edit: 23/11/2013 10:33:36 by chris »


 

Offline evan_au

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Re: quantum computing in the human brain
« Reply #1 on: 21/11/2013 10:47:12 »
The biological brain is able to do some tasks for which conventional silicon computers consume far more power, if they could accomplish them at all.
 
It wouldn't be surprising if the electrons in a neurone interacted according to the rules of quantum theory:
  • Electrons in a single atom interact according to the rules of quantum theory (as summarised in the rules governing the structure of an atom).
  • Electrons in adjacent atoms interact through chemical bonds according to the rules of quantum theory (as summarised in the rules of chemical reactions).
  • Electrons in some larger structures like superconductors and metal crystals interact according to the rules of quantum theory.
What would be surprising is if these effects were felt over a largish distance in a brain (such as between the inside of one neurone and the inside of an adjacent neurone). Evidence suggests that efficient information flow between neurones occurs through exchange of neurotransmitter chemicals, not some "spooky action at a distance".

Scientists and Engineers are continually searching for new and better ways to store and manipulate entangled electrons - a common feature of these methods is that entangled states are rapidly lost in a chemical soup at room temperature (typical engineering methods usually involve temperatures near absolute zero, vacuum pumps and high purity materials). Any Quantum Entanglement in the brain must occur in a time shorter than the decoherence time, which is generally pretty short at room temperature and above.
 

Offline woolyhead

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Re: quantum computing in the human brain
« Reply #2 on: 21/11/2013 17:33:10 »
Yes, I see. But in that case why does Professor Sir Roger Penrose think that such quantum coupling may well be possible in a human brain, do you think? He points out that if the "biological force" is high enough, such coupling could occur. My reference for saying this is his book Shadows of the Mind. My question, however, is this: how would such large scale coupling and therefore quantum computing create intelligence and awareness?
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: quantum computing in the human brain
« Reply #2 on: 21/11/2013 17:33:10 »

 

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