Orch-Or theory of Penrose and Hameroff and new experimental findings about microtubules

The latest news in quantum biology is the claim about corroboration of the the Orch OR theory of Penrose Hameroff (see this). To my humble opinion the news suffer from rather heavy hyping. If the observation of the group lead by Anirban Bandyopadhyay about detection of quantum vibration in microtubule scale - their lengths vary up to 50 μm - can be replicated, one can speak about breakthrough in quantum consciousness. The results do not however prove Orch OR, which involves poorly defined vision about quantum gravitational description of state function reduction so that most predictions are just order of magnitude estimates relying on Uncertainty Principle.

The biological half of the theory relies on microtubules and for this side of the theory the claimed finding would of course be a victory. Indeed, there is a meeting in Amsterdam devoted to Orch OR theory of consciousness motivated by this finding (see this) Unfortunately, I could not find any article about the findings of Bandyopadhyay in web. I managed however to find two years old Youtube talk of Bandyopahdyay summarizing earlier experimental results supporting the vision about microtubules as macroscopic quantum systems (see this) to be discussed below.

The findings reported in the talk give support for the general TGD inspired view about TQC and allow rather detailed model in the case of microtubules. The idea is that flux tubes from a 2-D coordinate grid consisting of parallel flux tubes in two different directions: say helical Fibonacci flux tubes and their mirror images. Crossing points would be associated with tubulins and the conformational state of tubulin could define a bit coding whether the braid strands defining coordinate lines are braided or not (swap or not). In this manner any bit pattern at microtubule defines a particular TQC program. If also conformations are quantum superposed one as "quantum-quantum computation". The flux tubes could form lattice of type A whereas microtubules form always a lattice of type B - a heavy objection against Penrose-Hameroff model. This picture generalizes in the fractal universe of TGD. One can form layers of 2-D coordinate grids and connect them by vertical flux tubes to obtain 3-D grid defining TQC. Brain is known to have grid like architecture and neurons could by quantum computation produce bit/qubit defining swap or not/superposition of swap and not-swap for a larger scale TQC. One would have fractal of TQCs.

One also ends up with a very crazy idea which turned out to have lifetime longer than the time it took to type it.

  1. If one piles up 2-D TQC:s one obtains 3-D TQC. In crossings one must have 4 bits to specify whether to swap or not since there are three planes for TQC and 4 pairs of crossing strands (12,13,23,23).
  2. If one further piles 3D TQC:s in 4-D one obtains 4-D one making sense in zero energy ontology because failure of strict non-determinism is basic element of TGD. Single crossing would in 4-D would involve crossings of four lines in orthogonal dimensions. TGD predicts also space-time regions with Euclidian signature in all scales (lines of generalised Feynman diagrams). I have proposed that any system corresponds to an Euclidian space-time sheet having its size and shape and behaving like quantum system. In these regions the fourth piling might really make sense!
  3. in 4-D This would make 6 crossing pairs corresponding to 6 planes in which particular TQC takes place - for which one must tell whether to swap or not (12,13,14,23,24,34). This makes 6 bits. DNA codons correspond to 6 bits! Could codons define crossing points of magnetic flux tubes arriving from 4 coordinate directions- perhaps at Euclidian space-time sheets? Could the planes correspond to 3 components of magnetic field and 3 components electric field. Magnetic flux tubes and electric flux tubes in 3 directions? In Euclidian regions magnetic and electric do not differ intrinsically.

The TGD inspired interpretation of the experiments of Bandyopadhyay in terms of flux tube coordinate grids making possible TQC architectures with tubulin dimers defining bits defining in turn TQC program looks rather natural. Coordinate grids can be fixed on basis of the experimental findings and there are 8 grids. The interpretation is in terms of different resolutions. The grids for A and B type lattices are related by 2π twist for the second end of the basic 13-unit for microtubule. An attractive interpretation for the resonance frequencies is in terms of phase transitions between A and B type lattices. If A type lattices can be generated only in phase transitions induced by AC stimulus at resonance frequencies, one could understand their experimental absence, which is a strong objection against Penrose-Hameroff model.

This would fit very nicely with the general vision about frequencies as passwords inducing not only directed attention but activities in target - also TQCs! The increase of Planck constant could be associated with the phase transition to A-phase making possible high Tc dark super-conductivity for which evidence is observed! One can even deduce estimates for heff/h=n if one requires that AC photons have energy above thermal threshold: n= fvisible/fAC would be the estimate. For biophoton energies one would obtain something like n≈ 108-109, which pops up in different contexts in TGD framework.

For details see the chapter Quantum Mind, Magnetic Body, and Biological Body or the article "Orch-Or theory of Penrose and Hameroff and new experimental findings about microtubules".