Microtubules, consciousness and quantum space-time

I encourage everyone pondering on the topic of consciousness to take a look at today’s most revered and even much proven theory - the Penrose-Hameroff Orch-OR theory.
Basically the model of consciousness and memory as merely synaptic firing is very outdated and according to Orch-OR, the actual processing happens mostly in dendrites as an orchestrated quantum process on the helical surface matrices of microtubules.
Microtubules resonate in opto-electro-mechanical fashion in tandem to integrate consciousness, the very interesting part here being optical - 613 THz is according to anaesthetic studies the key resonant frequency that integrates waking consciousness. 613 THz is actually blue light - Hameroff drew an interesting mention that maybe it’s no wonder ancient Indian deities have been depicted as blue. This optical emission has also been directly observed - the conditions needed for proper SNR: deep under an Italian mountain.
Penrose postulates that our consciousness is essentially a quantum superposition embedded in quantum space-time, so we’re talking possibly Planck-scale.
At the core (in the depths of proteins of microtubules) of the larger-scale mechanics allowing for this proposed “hologram” is the abundant benzene ring and its unique quantum effects.

I did some crude calculations based on what Hameroff has stated regarding the maximum operations per second of the brain…
Could be said (a bit hand-wavingly) that the most powerful supercomputer in the world can do ops per second approximately as much as a single neuron.

1 Like

Interesting topic! I don’t have that specialistic physical sciencific background, but like to step in anyway. Exploring the Frontiers of Science, the explanation of findings and direction of ongoing efforts is based on current believes and convictions of those involved. They are being made plausible and for the good reason of academic practice.

I didn’t do research on the referred theory, but solely react to your comment. When reading this and other references, it occurs to me that we should combine ancient insights/ideas more often with these kinds of researches to advance our understanding of nature/the universe. Or even speed it up.

Are we talking about consciousness of the appearance of consciousness in those places? I believe the latter. Knowing what spirituality says in the subject, funneling a conscious thought from the larger quantum field seems highly likely. As per the chakra system, blue stands more for ‘truth’ and ‘indigo’ more for intelligence’. That overarching quantum field should then have a violet color, if we find ways to measure it.

As for the computing capacities of a neuron, is it processing or rather imprinting? I think it’s both. Say, for calculating it’s processing and for a new ideas, it’s imprinting. Likely both in a 20/80 or 80/20 kind of way. Also we probably need multiple neurons for reasons of amplification and collecting fail safe data, before perceiving an outcome.

my 1976 phd in pharmacology and neuroscience established that neuronal microtubules transport chemical trophic factors from the nerve cell body to the synapse (dendritic connections to other neurons), thus forming a basis for learning and memory (concurrently, i assembled one of the first-generation labs for intracellular recording of membrane electrical signals and more importantly was the first lab to convert analog electrical signals to digital for computer data accumulation and analysis…before this, pictures of nerve electrical signals were recorded by photography of the oscilloscope…employing the computer enhanced data by many orders of magnitude, from a dozen or so pictures per experiment to millions of data points). these techniques went on to explain several diseases and were the foundation for my fight against the DOD/DVA to explain and recognized Gulf War illnesses, which drew attention from Congress, the White House, 60 Minutes, and countless others in my lonely mission to help veterans and their families receive validity and health care. (I went into some details in my post on Memorial Day; although that thread was unreasonably closed within 24 hours of its creation, it still remains on the forum for view)

while I specialized in exploring relativity and quantum mechanics and biochemistry in college I find it easier to imagine biological mechanisms of consciousness; the math of quantum physics is beyond me.

Penrose-Hameroff may be on to something

alas, all I can do now is watch and wonder why the delay the exploration of consciousness and write about the philosophy of the mind the way Buddha discovered

what proof?

I find that it is still at the hypothesis stage, since the 1990s. Experiments/testing of this hypothesis are missing.

Just as an aside, I seem to recall from my early teachings in science that once a Theory is proven, it becomes a Law. This is still referred to as a Theory, is it not?

1 Like


although more often than not – especially when the proof is fully appreciated – laws are temporary and non-absolute

1 Like

Very much not missing today, I mean the theory isn’t proven but results from experiments are very much starting to point toward Hameroff and Penrose being correct.

Would you forward one of those experiments?

The blue flashes deep under an Italian Mountain are a Neutrino detector.

Nevertheless, some interesting thoughts there :slight_smile:

p.s. just had a look and I found this from a quick google search, thought I remembered it

An additional thought: folks, even scientists, sometimes propose a complex hypthoses to explain a phenomenon because they can’t grasp that a simple mechanism can also produce the observed behaviour, if they could just grasp the appropriate scale.

Good example being evolution, which for many years folks (including scientists of the day) couldn’t see how it could happen, because they never really grasped quite how long evolution has had to operate.

Other obvious one is the size of the known universe. Heck, most folks can’t grasp the size of the solar system let along the known universe.


Nobody can grasp the size of the known universe but my mother.
And she could be jiving us too.


Word is, there is one neutrino installation at the south pole, purpose is military.

All the covid craziness compelled me to read a lot in the last couple of years. Outside of PS Audio fourm, Study Nickola Tesla had become my entertainment when there is nothing else to occpupy my spare time.

I now hold strong belief that what is available and known to us vs what is really avaialble and known to black project military R&D can’t be really compared. The gap is not in terms of decades but in centries.

1 Like

It’s when they start messing with Tachyons we need to worry - in Star Trek* that rarely ends well :slight_smile:

* Other Sci-Fi franchises are available. Always consult your family geek for advice.


Or I just had one too many drinks haha /cheers

1 Like

It is good to keep an open mind. But not so open your brain falls out.


A topic I have been following for a long time. Cheers Arenith!!!

For those interested in the intersection of Physics, Philosophy, Brain Science, Theology, and many other stuffs, I recommend Closer to Truth. Robert Lawrence Kuhn’s show is/was broadcast on PBS; he is a PHD in brain science, worked in venture capital, and advised Presidents on China policy… yep, really. I have not found a better resource for the BIG questions and the latests with PHDs, Nobel prize winners et al and in a pretty darn easy to understand format. To be honest, I keep a Google browser tab open on my 2nd monitor to quickly look up the concepts that sometimes come at you pretty quickly.

For me, I am a naturalist, no dualism for me. I tend to like the Panpsychism conjecture and that consciousness may be the fundamental platform for our universe… flame away you duelists, grab a holy man and let’s go at it!

Bruce in Philly

The Closer to Truth channel on YouTube: Closer To Truth - YouTube

Here is the start of his vids with Dr Stuart Hammeroff… he has others with Roger Penrose. Hammeroff discusses his and Penrose’s microtubule conjecture… in short, quantum effects manifested in microtubules are the mechanism of consciousness, in particularly the collapse of the wave function there. This vid may be out of order… he does long interviews chopped up into short vids… but here is your start into a fascinating world of… well… what its all about eh?:

Specific to quantum effects in microtubules:

1 Like

“that the most powerful supercomputer in the world can do ops per second approximately as much as a single neuron”

So, some future generation of computer will be organic?

If that’s the best we can do, before reaching any further: yes!

they may, though still all theory and a blurry mix of recognized biology infused with quantum mechanics buzz…I had such ethereal theoretical and inspiring reaches with my thesis advisor during hundreds of our experiments to modify neuronal microtubular transport (axoplasmic transport). The possibilities generated our enthusiasm and my own interest in unifying theories and experimental models of learning, memory, and consciousness. Apparently little if anything has advanced since my 1970s work in that field and my 1977 publication about the importance of neuronal microtubules in Experimental Neurology.

Nevertheless, the effort will eventually yield results that will support or evolve theory.

Personally, I focus on synapse function and plasticity, neural networks, pragmatism, and Vipisanna/Jhana meditation rather than subatomic quantum mechanics to explain learning, memory, and consciousness…but expect that answers will come from many directions. To the future, and beyond!

(a notable…a common unit of synaptic transmission is the ‘quanta’ or quantum (not to be confused with quantum mechanics physics and calculus), which produce miniature endplate potentials, ie small electrical depolarizations of the post-synaptic membrane induced by release of neurotrasmitters; Katz and Miledi received a Nobel Prize for their pioneering research in the 1960s. my contribution to this was to record them not only like they did - photographs of the oscilloscope - by writing an analog to digital program to convert synaptic electrical signals to digits for computer analysis with my Fortran programs. this way, instead of a few measurements per experiment I accomplished millions of data bits)

(another notable…Stuart Hameroff’s 2021 publication in the journal Cognitive Neuroscience… ‘Orch OR’ is the most complete, and most easily falsifiable theory of consciousness. Falsifiable is defined as ‘able to be proven false’. We shall see.)

If I had a penny for each time I have heard a neo-hippy use the term “quantum” to justify any and every batschitte theory of theirs, well I’d probably have about 15 pounds, but that’s a lot of people not having a clue what quantum mechanics is (nowt wrong with that) but still feel empowered to believe everything off the back of it.

Edit - probably closer to 150 pounds, now I come to think of it, it is their second favourite “woo-woo” term after “frequency of vibration”

1 Like