The Metro-Area Research Group on Awareness & Meditation (MARGAM) at New York University presents researchers and scholars discussing their current and emerging studies on contemplative practice and consciousness. MARGAM aims to facilitate dialogue and collaboration between scientists, psychologists, philosophers, and scholars engaged in research on consciousness, contemplative practice, and related topics.
For over 30 years Stuart Hameroff’s research has involved consciousness and Brain/Mind Science. MARGAM is pleased to have Dr. Hameroff join us this season for a talk on the ground-breaking theory of Orch-OR: the orchestrated objective reduction activity of the quantum state:
“The nature of consciousness, the mechanism by which it occurs in the brain, and its ultimate place in the universe are unknown. We proposed in the mid-1990’s that consciousness depends on biologically ‘orchestrated’ coherent quantum processes in collections of microtubules within brain neurons, that these quantum processes correlate with, and regulate, neuronal synaptic and membrane activity, and that the continuous Schrödinger evolution of each such process terminates in accordance with the specific Diósi–Penrose (DP) scheme of ‘objective reduction’ (‘OR’) of the quantum state.
“This orchestrated OR activity (‘Orch OR’) is taken to result in moments of conscious awareness and/or choice. The DP form of OR is related to the fundamentals of quantum mechanics and space–time geometry, so Orch OR suggests that there is a connection between the brain’s bio molecular processes and the basic structure of the universe. Here we review Orch OR in light of criticisms and developments in quantum biology, neuroscience, physics and cosmology. We also introduce a novel suggestion of‘ beat frequencies’ of faster microtubule vibrations as a possible source of the observed electro-encephalographic (‘EEG’) correlates of consciousness. We conclude that consciousness plays an intrinsic role in the universe.” *
* Hameroff, S., & Penrose, R. (2014). Consciousness in the universe: A review of the ‘Orch OR’theory. Physics of Life Reviews, 11(1), 39-78.
Stuart Hameroff MD
Professor, Anesthesiology and Psychology
Director, Center for Consciousness Studies
The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
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