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Quantum Microtubules?

Ruadhan O'Flanagan rof at maths.tcd.ie
Wed May 28 12:52:01 EST 1997


kspencer at s.psych.uiuc.edu (Kevin Spencer) writes:

>holson at california.com (Howard Olson) writes:

>>Simon Schultz <simon.schultz at psy.ox.ac.uk> wrote:

>>>cyphree at mail.comcat.com wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> Colleagues,
>>>> 
>>>> Is quantum mechanics responsible for memory functions?

Not directly; although quantum mechanical effects underlie all of the 
processes (e.g. chemical) which are responsible for memory functions,
the storage and retrieval of memory in humans can be understood without 
reference to such fundamental levels.


>>>>Is this
>>>> occurring in the microtubles.  Is there credible research in this area?

No.

>>>> Who are the leaders in this field and where can I get more information?

There is no field of quantum neuroscience or quantum cognitive science. If
you read Penrose's books, you'll get about as much information on this
subject as there presently is(afaik - correct me if I'm wrong anybody).
Unless, that is, you want to have a look at the work of(gasp!) Jack Sarfatti.
You'll usually find him gibbering on sci.physics. His ideas are about
as realistic as Penrose's.

>>>The answer is no.

>>Despite the dogmatic statement above. Check with  mathematicians and
>>physicists, not mere psychologists.

>What do mathematicians and physicists know of psychology, much less
>neuroscience?

Pure mathematicians would(in general) know very little about those
subjects. Applied mathematicians would probably have worked with
neural networks and maybe some of the more mathematically-oriented
models of cognition. Physicists are usually jolly good at using
mathematics to analyse physical systems. Also, mathematicians and
physicists can afford to be arrogant when it comes to matters like
quantum theory.

>>Dr. Roger Penrose of Oxford has written a fascinating book :

>>SHADOWS OF THE MIND

>Which should be subtitled, "The Arrogance of a Physicist".

Penrose is a mathematician.

>>He discusses quantum aspects of microtubules therein....

>Ah yes... Dr. Penrose has reached that stage in his career where he
>can come up with ludicrous ideas about things of which he knows little,
>and yet impress people.  People who know less than he does, that is.

Sir Roger knows quite a lot about quantum theory, although he knows
a lot less about brain function. His ideas are rather too far-fetched,
contrived, and redundant to be considered anything other than vague
musings.

--
Ruadhan O'Flanagan

rof at maths.tcd.ie



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