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Cogn Sci. 2007 Nov 12;31(6):1035-45. doi: 10.1080/03640210701704004.

The brain is both neurocomputer and quantum computer.

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1
Departments of Anesthesiology and Psychology, University of Arizona Health Sciences Center.

Abstract

In their article, Is the Brain a Quantum Computer,? Litt, Eliasmith, Kroon, Weinstein, and Thagard (2006) criticize the Penrose-Hameroff "Orch OR" quantum computational model of consciousness, arguing instead for neurocomputation as an explanation for mental phenomena. Here I clarify and defend Orch OR, show how Orch OR and neurocomputation are compatible, and question whether neurocomputation alone can physiologically account for coherent gamma synchrony EEG, a candidate for the neural correlate of consciousness. Orch OR is based on quantum computation in microtubules within dendrites in cortex and other regions linked by dendritic-dendritic gap junctions ("dendritic webs") acting as laterally connected input layers of the brain's neurocomputational architecture. Within dendritic webs, consciousness is proposed to occur as gamma EEG-synchronized sequences of discrete quantum computational events acting in integration phases of neurocomputational "integrate-and-fire" cycles. Orch OR is a viable approach toward understanding how the brain produces consciousness.

PMID:
21635328
DOI:
10.1080/03640210701704004
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