Discovery of Quantum Vibrations in “Microtubules” inside Brain Neurons Corroborates Controversial 20-Year-Old Theory of Consciousness

A review and update of a controversial 20-year-old theory of consciousness published online on August 20,2013 in an open-access article in Physics of Life Reviews claims that consciousness derives from deeper-level, finer-scale activities inside brain neurons. The recent discovery of quantum vibrations in “microtubules” inside brain neurons corroborates this theory, according to review authors Dr. Stuart Hameroff and Sir Dr. Roger Penrose. They suggest that EEG rhythms (brain waves) also derive from deeper-level microtubule vibrations, and that from a practical standpoint, treating brain microtubule vibrations could benefit a host of mental, neurological, and cognitive conditions. The theory, called “orchestrated objective reduction” ('Orch OR'), was first put forward in the mid-1990s by eminent mathematical physicist Dr. Penrose, FRS, Mathematical Institute and Wadham College, University of Oxford, and prominent anesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff, M.D., Anesthesiology, Psychology and Center for Consciousness Studies, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona. They suggested that quantum vibrational computations in microtubules were “orchestrated” (“Orch”) by synaptic inputs and memory stored in microtubules, and termed by Dr. Penrose “objective reduction” ('OR'), hence “Orch OR.” Microtubules are major components of the cell structural skeleton. Orch OR was harshly criticized from its inception, as the brain was considered too “warm, wet, and noisy” for seemingly delicate quantum processes. However, evidence has now shown warm quantum coherence in plant photosynthesis, bird brain navigation, our sense of smell, and brain microtubules.
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