Quantum walks in brain microtubules--a biomolecular basis for quantum cognition?

Top Cogn Sci. 2014 Jan;6(1):91-7. doi: 10.1111/tops.12068. Epub 2013 Nov 21.


Cognitive decisions are best described by quantum mathematics. Do quantum information devices operate in the brain? What would they look like? Fuss and Navarro () describe quantum lattice registers in which quantum superpositioned pathways interact (compute/integrate) as 'quantum walks' akin to Feynman's path integral in a lattice (e.g. the 'Feynman quantum chessboard'). Simultaneous alternate pathways eventually reduce (collapse), selecting one particular pathway in a cognitive decision, or choice. This paper describes how quantum walks in a Feynman chessboard are conceptually identical to 'topological qubits' in brain neuronal microtubules, as described in the Penrose-Hameroff 'Orch OR' theory of consciousness.

Keywords: Agency; Consciousness; Dendritic integration; Microtubules; Orch OR; Quantum cognition; Quantum walk; Tubulin; Volition.

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiology*
  • Cognition
  • Decision Making / physiology*
  • Microtubules / physiology*
  • Models, Neurological
  • Quantum Theory*