A quantum approach to visual consciousness

Nancy J. Woolf, Stuart R. Hameroff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

74 Scopus citations

Abstract

A theoretical approach relying on quantum computation in microtubules within neurons can potentially resolve the enigmatic features of visual consciousness, but raises other questions. For example, how can delicate quantum states, which in the technological realm demand extreme cold and isolation to avoid environmental 'decoherence', manage to survive in the warm, wet brain? And if such states could survive within neuronal cell interiors, how could quantum states grow to encompass the whole brain? We present a physiological model for visual consciousness that can accommodate brain-wide quantum computation according to the Penrose-Hameroff 'Orch OR' model. In this view, visual consciousness occurs as a series of several-hundred-millisecond epochs, each comprising 'crescendo sequences' of quantum computations occurring at ∼40 Hz.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)472-478
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Volume5
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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