NIAS Public Lecture: “Does consciousness depend on quantum brain biology?” by Prof Stuart Hameroff MD, Lecture Hall, NIAS 1700hrs

Indian Institute of Science Campus, Bengaluru 560 012


NIAS Consciousness Studies Programme
Invites you to a



“Does consciousness depend on quantum brain biology?”



Prof Stuart Hameroff MD

Professor, Anesthesiology and Psychology,

Director, Center for Consciousness Studies

Banner-University Medical Center

The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona


Date : Tuesday, 14th November, 2017, 5.00 PM (Coffee/Tea-4.30 PM)

Venue: Lecture Hall, NIAS, IISc Campus, Bengaluru 560012


Introduction: Prof. Sangeetha Menon, NIAS

Chairperson: Prof. B V Sreekantan NIAS

Abstract: Efforts to understand consciousness have evolved in three directions: 1) Consciousness emerges from complex computation among ‘simple’ brain neurons, 2) Consciousness resonates in a multi-scale brain hierarchy extending inside neurons, more like music than computation, and 3) Consciousness depends on a fundamental property of the universe, e.g. in panpsychism, Eastern philosophy, and relativistic quantum physics. The Penrose-Hameroff ‘Orch OR’ theory spans these 3 approaches, ascribing consciousness to ‘orchestrated’ quantum computations in dendritic-somatic microtubules inside brain neurons (e.g. layer 5 cortical pyramidal cells). The quantum computations are proposed to ‘halt’ by Penrose objective reduction (‘OR’), a property of fundamental spacetime geometry and solution to the quantum ‘measurement problem’, selecting discrete moments of conscious experience and/or choice, and regulating membrane and synaptic functions. Some aspects of Orch OR have been verified, for example microtubules have been shown to have cascades of quantum resonances in terahertz, gigahertz, megahertz and kilohertz frequencies (which may extend to EEG in hertz). And anesthetic gases (which selectively erase consciousness) appear to act by dampening microtubule quantum terahertz oscillations. Orch OR also provides brain mechanisms for advances in artificial intelligence including back-propagation, and hidden layer convolutional networks (‘deep learning’). Orch OR has more explanatory power, experimental verification and practical implications (e.g. treatment of mental and cognitive disorders) than other theories of consciousness.



(1) Craddock et al (2017) Anesthetic alterations of collective terahertz oscillations in tubulin correlate with clinical potency. Nature – Scientific Reports 7(1):9877. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-09992-7,

(2) Hameroff S, Penrose R (2014) Consciousness in the universe: A review of the Orch OR theory. Phys Life Rev 11(1):39-78.


For more info write to: NIAS Consciousness Studies Programme <>


All are welcome


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Tuesday, November 14, 2017