The "quantum soul": A scientific hypothesis

Stuart Hameroff, Deepak Chopra

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

The concept of consciousness existing outside the body (e.g. near-death and out-of body experiences, NDE/OBEs, or after death, indicative of a 'soul') is a staple of religious traditions, but shunned by conventional science because of an apparent lack of rational explanation. However conventional science based entirely on classical physics cannot account for normal in-the-brain consciousness. The Penrose-Hameroff 'Orch OR' model is a quantum approach to consciousness, connecting brain processes (microtubule quantum computations inside neurons) to fluctuations in fundamental spacetime geometry, the fine scale structure of the universe. Recent evidence for significant quantum coherence in warm biological systems, scale-free dynamics and end-of-life brain activity support the notion of a quantum basis for consciousness which could conceivably exist independent of biology in various scalar planes in spacetime geometry. Sir Roger Penrose does not necessarily endorse such proposals which relate to his ideas in physics. Based on Orch OR, we offer a scientific hypothesis for a 'quantum soul'.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationExploring Frontiers of the Mind-Brain Relationship
PublisherSpringer New York
Pages79-93
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781461406471
ISBN (Print)9781461406464
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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    Hameroff, S., & Chopra, D. (2012). The "quantum soul": A scientific hypothesis. In Exploring Frontiers of the Mind-Brain Relationship (pp. 79-93). Springer New York. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-0647-1_5