Consciousness and the Brain, Part Three: Quantum Consciousness,withStuart Hameroff

Books Mentioned In This Interview

stuart hameroff toward a science of consciousness

Stuart Hameroff, MD, is a professor of anesthesiology and psychology at the Banner University Medical Center of the University of Arizona in Tucson. He is also co-founder and director of the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona. He is author of Ultimate Computing: Biomolecular Consciousness and Nanotechnology. Since 1994, he has organized the “Toward a Science of Consciousness” conferences at the University of Arizona and elsewhere. Working with Sir Roger Penrose, he is the co-author of the “Orch OR” theory of consciousness.

Here he describes his collaboration with Sir Roger Penrose in the development of the “Orch OR” theory of consciousness. Penrose is a highly respected mathematician and theoretical physicist who worked with Stephen Hawking to develop the theory of black holes. In the 1990s, he wrote a book about consciousness called The Emporer’s New Mind. In that book, he applied Gödel’s incompleteness theorem to demonstrate that human consciousness was not merely a complex computer. He offered a theory of the mind based upon quantum mechanical principles. The founders of quantum physics also developed similar theories. Upon reading this book, Hameroff proposed to Penrose that the microtubule structures of the brain provided the link between the quantum and the classical worlds. Hameroff emphasized that quantum processes are very different than those observed in the world of large objects. For example, through superposition, sub-atomic particles can be thought of as being in two places at once.

(Recorded on August 4, 2015)

Published on August 17, 2015


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