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Heronumber0

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A Quantum Theory of Consciousness
« on: 08/07/2007 00:15:04 »
I have been reading about a new model for human consciousness, called the Penrose Hameroff Orchestrated Objective Reduction Model (Orch OR). It sees the brain as a quantum computer. The brain is not supposed to work like a laptop (algorithmic) but as a non-algorithmic device.

This is possibly the best theory around today to explain consciousness.

The model states that organelles in the neurones called microtubules (like hollow drainpipes) in the parts of the neurones called dendrites are resposible for the final output from a brain; where reasoning and other thinking activities are common enough to give us consciousness.

However, I don't quite understand how Frohlich coherence and water behave to help consciousness.

If you can understand the Physics and/or the article please post your views so that we can come to a joint understanding about it. You don't have to be a genius; all you need is an enquiring mind.

http://www.quantumconsciousness.org/penrose-hameroff/orchOR.html


 

Heronumber0

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A Quantum Theory of Consciousness
« Reply #1 on: 09/07/2007 20:35:27 »
No bites huh? come on guys any comments?
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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A Quantum Theory of Consciousness
« Reply #2 on: 09/07/2007 23:42:04 »
I first came across this theory about a year ago. It is pure conjecture without a shred of scientific evidence to support it. However, it's quite intriguing & I wish I could understand it better  :(
« Last Edit: 09/07/2007 23:44:54 by DoctorBeaver »
 

Heronumber0

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A Quantum Theory of Consciousness
« Reply #3 on: 10/07/2007 18:00:51 »
I first came across this theory about a year ago. It is pure conjecture without a shred of scientific evidence to support it. However, it's quite intriguing & I wish I could understand it better  :(

You are right Doc, however, maybe that is why it it's a good theory.  Hameroff has made claims that the Pre-Cambrian explosion of unicellular organisms containing microtubules could have been caused by a sort of consciousness (e.g. attraction to light, movement from predators...).  Believe it or not, they have been supported by findings that quantum oscillation (whatever that means) occurs during photosynthesis in bacteriochlorophyll.  The photons can 'wait' and choose the most efficient path by apparently being in superposition.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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A Quantum Theory of Consciousness
« Reply #4 on: 10/07/2007 19:03:03 »
I first came across this theory about a year ago. It is pure conjecture without a shred of scientific evidence to support it. However, it's quite intriguing & I wish I could understand it better  :(

You are right Doc, however, maybe that is why it it's a good theory.  Hameroff has made claims that the Pre-Cambrian explosion of unicellular organisms containing microtubules could have been caused by a sort of consciousness (e.g. attraction to light, movement from predators...).  Believe it or not, they have been supported by findings that quantum oscillation (whatever that means) occurs during photosynthesis in bacteriochlorophyll.  The photons can 'wait' and choose the most efficient path by apparently being in superposition.

And that means...?  ???
 

Heronumber0

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A Quantum Theory of Consciousness
« Reply #5 on: 11/07/2007 22:11:41 »
Doc, I presume, and you know better than I, that the classical model of photosynthesis with electrons pinging from one photocentre to another from high to low energy generating free energy as they merrily fall to lower potential energy levels needs revision.  I think this means that our thoughts about consciousness being a quantum event can be now entertained as possible, also mediated by photons and using water and proteins as waveguides and nodes so that they fine tune the event where different superposed molecules in the microtubules suddenly collapse to a certain state corresponding to a 'moment' of conscious activity. This may be the Orch(estrated) part of the Orch OR model.  But then, I have to read this stuff agaun...I am still unsure about what is meant by space-time geometries. Can you help me on this Doc?
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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A Quantum Theory of Consciousness
« Reply #6 on: 11/07/2007 22:17:33 »
I'll have to read it all again & try to make sense out of it.

Spacetime geometries - well - erm...

To start with, just think of space. There are 3 geometries - flat (Euclidean), positive & negative. Flat is what it says. Negative is like the surface of a balloon and positive is like a saddle. Those examples are 2-dimensional but the spacetime geometry would be a minimum of 3 spatial & 1 temporal dimension.

Einstein himself had trouble with non-Euclidean geometries and had to get help.
 

another_someone

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A Quantum Theory of Consciousness
« Reply #7 on: 11/07/2007 22:53:52 »
Doc, I presume, and you know better than I, that the classical model of photosynthesis with electrons pinging from one photocentre to another from high to low energy generating free energy as they merrily fall to lower potential energy levels needs revision.  I think this means that our thoughts about consciousness being a quantum event can be now entertained as possible, also mediated by photons and using water and proteins as waveguides and nodes so that they fine tune the event where different superposed molecules in the microtubules suddenly collapse to a certain state corresponding to a 'moment' of conscious activity. This may be the Orch(estrated) part of the Orch OR model.  But then, I have to read this stuff agaun...I am still unsure about what is meant by space-time geometries. Can you help me on this Doc?

Sorry, I have not read the theory, but having read what you are saying about it, I have one question that keeps popping up in my mind - how are you defining conciousness?

All very well saying that we may or may not have this very powerful mechanism, but how does that relate to what we believe conciousness to be - and to understand that, we have to understand clearly what it is we believe that conciousness is.
 

Heronumber0

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A Quantum Theory of Consciousness
« Reply #8 on: 11/07/2007 23:04:29 »
I think Hameroff defines it as thoughts and feelings and the sense of awareness of 'self'.  Would you see it that way as well?
 

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A Quantum Theory of Consciousness
« Reply #9 on: 11/07/2007 23:17:52 »
If I don't reply to this thread for a while it's not because I'm bored with it or have nothing to say. I want to read the theory a few more times before I pass further comment.
 

another_someone

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A Quantum Theory of Consciousness
« Reply #10 on: 11/07/2007 23:19:02 »
I think Hameroff defines it as thoughts and feelings and the sense of awareness of 'self'.  Would you see it that way as well?

Not unreasonable.

Now what is 'self'.

OK, for a human being, we have a fair idea of what that means (we have a visual boundary that defines a person, and generally regard anything within that visual boundary as being 'self' for that person, and anything outside of that visual boundary as being 'other'.

Actually, I cannot see that this is something that cannot be determined with current computer technology.

But from what I understand you are saying about this theory, you are suggesting that the idea of 'self' extends down to the cellular level?  If so, then does this mean that each cell within the human body has a sense of identity of its own, a notion of 'self' that pertains to itself?
 

Heronumber0

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A Quantum Theory of Consciousness
« Reply #11 on: 11/07/2007 23:30:13 »
Good point.  I don't want to misquote Hameroff but he suggests that these microtubule proteins coupled to neurone cells mediates the unitary 'self' that does not change during the stream of experience/consciousness that passes through its life.  I am not sure whether this consciousness extends to other cells.  However, it is important that Hameroff (jokingly - I think) referred to a potato having at least one conscious moment per month.  I wonder what it thinks about?
 

Heronumber0

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A Quantum Theory of Consciousness
« Reply #12 on: 12/10/2007 18:32:21 »
After a bit more research, I think I have a glimmering of understanding - only a tiny little bit but here it is:

Quantum Consciousness- How Does Consciousness Arise?

This post considers God as the designer of consciousness in Man when Man became capable of a conscious experience that is above the conscious experience of a dog, for example. So that a human can have recursive and meditational thought and allow trains of subconscious events able to make conscious moments or emotions.

I am ignoring the theories of evolution of consciousness here and, to my limited mind, it is likely at this point that consciousness was conferred to man and that one son of Adam slew another and felt something called guilt. The first murder in mankind.

However, the origins of consciousness are not found exclusively in the field of Biology or Descarte’s philosophy of mind-body separation. The answer to the evolution of consciousness seems to lie in quantum physics. In particular Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff have formulated one of the best models of consciousness hitherto formulated.
Hameroff was an anaesthetist who observed that anaesthesis leads to loss of consciousness. Loss of consciousness seems to involve three events: loss of mobility, loss of memory and loss of consciousness.

The deduction was there to be made. If anaesthetics knock out consciousness, where do they do the job? And is the source of consciousness at this same point.

The answer seemed to be ‘yes’ to both and there seem to be quantum effects involved in conferring consciousness on to a person. At some point in microtubules inside brain nerve cells, a waveform collapse seems to occur to cause a conscious feeling, for example happiness or sadness. Not only that but it seems to be a non-algorithmic process.

This would predict that Artificial Intelligence (AI) could never devise an algorithm to copy this process of generating a conscious moment. Moreover, the vast network of molecules and processors in the brain beat any machine by miles. This means that the brain is a quantum supercomputer with each brain neurone having the computational power of a computer.

So if we are not mere machines and we are ‘non computable’ then how did we get here in a sentient state which animals cannot reach?

I say that it screams out ’Design!’ Some of you may disagree and read me the cliched line of: ‘with vast amounts of time….’

 

Heronumber0

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A Quantum Theory of Consciousness
« Reply #13 on: 12/10/2007 18:33:39 »
More Technical version:


Anaesthetics seem to knock out consciousness by reducing van der Waal’s forces (relatively weak quantum forces that attract different atoms or molecules to each other) in the hydrophobic pocket of tubulin molecules found inside pipe-like materials in most cells. These pipe like macromolecules are called microtubules. They are found in complex array throughout most cells but in especially complex webs and arrays in nerve cells – neurones- and in the ends of the neurones called dendrites. Anaesthetics seem to work by affecting the quantum shuttling of an electron in the hydrophobic pocket, and seem to slow down the quantum shuttling which causes van der Waal’s or London forces. Hameroff and Penrose suggest that consciousness occurs by quantum effects caused by Objective Reduction of the tubulin subunits of microtubules which have a near infinite number of conformations (shapes) in quantum geometric space-time. By choosing final conformations, an output would arise which could effect the conscious moment by conventional neuronal pathways.

Microtubules are made of protein subunits called tubulins stitched together in the shape of hollow pipes some millionths of a mm in diameter. Microtubules in the part of certain neurones called dendrites which is, to all purposes, like a wired up computer server, seem to be able to carry signals along their whole length and also to neighbouring microtubules.

However, because of the sheer number of tubulins which could vary their conformation (shape) in quantum geometric space-time, there was an almost endless number of ways that signals could be conveyed inside a single neurone alone, with the tubulins acting as switches do in a computer chip. Put together all the neurones in a brain and you have the beginnings of a vast computer network that can give rise to conscious moments or qualia. For example, a feeling of sadness, awe at a waterfall, happiness would be conscious moments. Many conscious moments one after the other make a being sentient.

At this point, it is worth mentioning that Artificial Intelligence as it presently stands cannot mimic the complexity of conscious volition by a human being. However, Hameroff and Penrose state that human consciousness is non-algorithmic. If true, this puts a severe limitation on the direction of Artificial Intelligence. However, the idea has been met with scepticism by programmers who consider that more complex algorithms will solve the problem.

Hitherto, even the most complex programming is not able to solve the problem of complete tiling an infinite surface with repeated, limited numbers of geometrical shapes. It is proposed by extension of Hameroff and Penrose’s theory that AI can never reach the quantum computational capacity of human neurones.

In humans the computational events which finally result in a fixed state of tubulin conformations is thought to be 25 milliseconds. The requirement for the OR to occur is that denderites have gap junctions. These are like open gates between neighbouring houses – imagine hundreds of houses with side gates open in a street. You could get from one end to the other end of the street quite quickly. The movement of free electrons through the tubulins in synchrony act like computer switches and are able to generate a coherent, conscious state by selectively triggering the firing of certain neurones. A great quality of microtubules is that they can relay a signal along their lengths and to neighbouring tubulins without signal diminishing – a unique quality.
This state could involve quantum tunneling to give a unity of experience which one could term as a ‘self’ identity.

The final conformational/switching state of the tubulins is not only 1 or 0 but both in superposition as you would imagine with a quantum computer qubits.

The OR part of the theory - objective reduction – is due to the final conformations in geometric space-tme and is thought to occur by self collapse due to quantum gravity and not due to the act of observation (subjective reduction). The tuning or orchestration of the final state of the tubulin molecules can be influenced by factors such as memory, synaptic inputs or axonal firing, perhaps aided by the action of microtubule associated proteins (MAPS). This would correspond to the arrival of a conscious moment.

There is a problem here. For a unified global conscious moment you need coherence which is similar to a Bose-Einstein condensate at 37oC. However, the brain is a warm and wet environment which would, under normal circumstances, disallow such a ‘condensate’ to form. However it is thought that the cytoplasm of the neurones adjacent to the dendritic microtubules exists in two phases called ‘sol’ and ‘gel’. In the sol or liquid state actin fibres are depolymerised or broken down like needles thrown down loosely (actin is like a mesh that would act as a shield for the microtubules). The tubulin molecules would be free to receive and send information in this state.

However, in the gel state which is more like a solid, the tubulin arrays are protected by a mesh of actin filaments. Because of this ordered array, the water also arranges with four bonds instead of three and becomes a crystalline arrangement. To add to this shield, the negative charged ends of the tubulin molecules stick out into the cytoplasm and attract oppositely charged ions. All three factors isolate the tubulins from the warm wet environment long enough to avoid decoherence. Taken together these events could relate to a preconscious state.

What is the final point of all these observations and hypotheses and the proof from neural correlates of consciousness, namely gamma synchrony electroencephalography (EEG) at 30-90Hz which is lost in unconsciousness and reappears in consciousness after anaesthesia?

Consciousness is non-algorithmic, definitely requires quantum effects and perhaps can only be worked with at at a quantum, non classical method. This leaves the question of who gave us this brain to make a mind – mere chance events over millions of years or the Hand of God?

I know which side I am on….

 

Offline socratus

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A Quantum Theory of Consciousness
« Reply #14 on: 25/11/2007 14:38:58 »
Heronumber0 asked:
Quantum Consciousness- How Does Consciousness Arise?
==============================
1.Consciousness is real but nonphyslcal.
2.Consciousness is connected to physical reality .
============ ========
1. Descartes said: " I think, therefore I am "
2.Zen/Tibetan Buddhist monks said " I think not, therefore I am"
============ ========= ==
The man acts: 1) usually under logic program,
2) sometimes on intuition (unconsciousness) .
============ ========= ======
Dualism of Consciousness.
============ = ======= ============ =
Brain of a man approximately consists of sixteen milliards neurons.
All of them form the system that manages human body.
That is why, it is of no wonder, that with the work of all the
sixteen milliards neutrons of brain, a man cannot catch a single
impulse of Electron, Quantum of light, his God:
(mass of electron is equal 10^-31 kg., charge of electron is equal
10^-19 k.)
Quantum of light, Spiritual particle, which had created us, turned
out to be under control of the material existence. However, the
spiritual particle aspires to establish its supremacy
over material nature. And the possibilities to reign over material
nature are limited.
The expansion of the possibilities of the development of spiritual
particle is connected with the creation of specific (vacuum)
conditions. These conditions are reached
as a result of constant religious practice.
To perceive the universe, to perceive the spiritual essence, it is
necessary for the man to take possession of religious practice.
PRACTICE.
THE GENERAL PRINCIPLES.
============ ========= ========= =
We pray the GOD and we do not realize that HE is inside us.
Each of us carries in himself the SPIRITUAL PARTICLE
(QUANTUM OF LIGHT - AN ELECTRON).
But we do not realize that HE is inside us.
Behind the habitual forces of nature there is one force hidden - a
spiritual one (h - e).
But ITS action is almost completely disguised with the other forces
(mechanical, electromagnetic, nuclear, chemical and others),
therefore it remains unnoticed in an ordinary processes.
But God never operates outside of natural principles.
There are the processes in which He reveals himself.
Therefore, His disclosing is a technical question.
How can we learn it?
For this purpose it is necessary to create the following effects in
our computer-brain:
A). Nonlinear effect
B). Superconducting effect
C). Holographic effect
D). Vacuum effect.
Nobody, except us, can make this technical work.
Only we (by the constant, thin, internal practice) can create
conditions for these effects.
This practice has called "a Religious practice".
In this lies an essence of Religion - to establish the communication
of a Human being with his Divine origin.
============ ========= ======
Our computer-brain works on a dualistic basis.
In a usual daily life all we do is done logically, under an
influence of our feelings.
On the other hand, in a religious practice we learn to perceive and
to operate:
1) Without the participation of the sense organs.
2) Without the participation of the logic mental processes.
When these conditions will be created, then the opportunity to
operate will be given
to a QUANTUM OF LIGHT (AN ELECTRON), to OUR DIVINE ESSENCE.
We will acquire new forces, new abilities.
Once again.
An electron's mass is 10^-28gr . The size is 10^-13sm. A charge is
10^-19k .
With these characteristics it is hard for IT to appear.
Therefore it is clear, why we don't know IT in our ordinary life.
ITS cognition is achieved by a very hard, thin and laborious work.
This work demands of a person to be devoted to it.
====================================
 

Offline turtle

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A Quantum Theory of Consciousness
« Reply #15 on: 11/12/2007 13:52:47 »
Interesting post Socratus

One has to ask what appears to be the common denominator?
From this common denominator can a medium be identified, in which consciousness can be best understood based on the hiden aspects in which it plays out within other natural processes.

I don't think it coincidental that the human body is comprised mainly of water, and that water is the common denominator within the fabric of all life.

Is the key to understanding consciousness be found through the medium of water?
 

Offline xso61671

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A Quantum Theory of Consciousness
« Reply #16 on: 21/12/2007 09:28:22 »
Can you describe consciousness as experience?  When you become conscious of something are you able to react to and manipulate it?  Is thinking just a set of reactive choices by the the experience or conscious?  Can there be thought, or experience without input to the senses?  So does input create thought or does consioussness have free will?  How do you account for creativity and imagination? 
 

Offline Mr. Scientist

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A Quantum Theory of Consciousness
« Reply #17 on: 30/11/2009 16:48:11 »
Doc, I presume, and you know better than I, that the classical model of photosynthesis with electrons pinging from one photocentre to another from high to low energy generating free energy as they merrily fall to lower potential energy levels needs revision.  I think this means that our thoughts about consciousness being a quantum event can be now entertained as possible, also mediated by photons and using water and proteins as waveguides and nodes so that they fine tune the event where different superposed molecules in the microtubules suddenly collapse to a certain state corresponding to a 'moment' of conscious activity. This may be the Orch(estrated) part of the Orch OR model.  But then, I have to read this stuff agaun...I am still unsure about what is meant by space-time geometries. Can you help me on this Doc?

Hum... someone has been listening too much to the scientists who says its somewhat of a miracle... but really, there is a scientific term for particles that are stressed under such regions, where jumping what may appear spontaneously from one energy-level to another is a process of quantum tunelling.
 

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A Quantum Theory of Consciousness
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