Stuart Hameroff – M.D.,
- Anesthesiology, Psychology, Center for Consciousness Studies
- Banner-University Medical Center
- The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
Scientific and philosophical efforts to understand consciousness have evolved in two directions in the past decade:
1) The brain is a computer, and consciousness emerges from computational complexity among brain neurons. These efforts are driven by ‘brain mapping’, artificial intelligence (‘AI’), and hopes for ‘uploading’ consciousness into silicon.
2) Consciousness is seen as a fundamental property of the universe, e.g. in panpsychism, Eastern philosophy, Whitehead, quantum physics and cosmology.
Promising views attempt to bridge and synthesize these two approaches. Among these, the Penrose-Hameroff ‘Orch OR’ theory suggests quantum computations in microtubules inside brain neurons connect brain function to the structure of spacetime geometry. Theoretical underpinnings and experimental evidence supporting Orch OR will be presented.