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J Integr Neurosci. 2017;16(s1):S27-S36. doi: 10.3233/JIN-170064.

Understanding the emergence of microbial consciousness: From a perspective of the Subject-Object Model (SOM).

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Bangalore 560064, India. E-mails:,
Mumbai 400 099, India. E-mails:,


Microorganisms demonstrate conscious-like intelligent behaviour, and this form of consciousness may have emerged from a quantum mediated mechanism as observed in cytoskeletal structures like the microtubules present in nerve cells which apparently have the architecture to quantum compute. This paper hypothesises the emergence of proto-consciousness in primitive cytoskeletal systems found in the microbial kingdoms of archaea, bacteria and eukarya. To explain this, we make use of the Subject-Object Model (SOM) of consciousness which evaluates the rise of the degree of consciousness to conscious behaviour in these systems supporting the hypothesis of emergence and propagation of conscious behaviour during the pre-Cambrian part of Earth's evolutionary history. Consciousness as proto-consciousness or sentience computed via primitive cytoskeletal structures substantiates as a driver for the intelligence observed in the microbial world during this period ranging from single-cellular to collective intelligence as a means to adapt and survive. The growth in complexity of intelligence, cytoskeletal system and adaptive behaviours are key to evolution, and thus supports the progression of the Lamarckian theory of evolution driven by quantum mediated proto-consciousness to consciousness as described in the SOM of consciousness.


Lamarckian theory; Orch-OR theory; Proto-Consciousness; SOM; cytoskeleton; microbial intelligence; quantum biology

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