Stuart Hameroff, M.D.
Stuart Hameroff M.D. (www.quantumconsciousness.org) is a Professor in the Departments of Anesthesiology and Psychology, and Director of the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. He is an attending anesthesiologist at University of Arizona Medical Center, spending 4 days per week in the surgical operating rooms. In the 1970’s and 1980’s he studied the molecular mechanisms of anesthetic gases, and computation in protein cytoskeletal structures – microtubules – that organize interiors of the brain’s neurons and other cells.
In Dr. Hameroff’s words: “In the early 1990’s the study of consciousness became increasingly popular and I was strongly influenced by Roger Penrose’s The Emperor’s New Mind (and later Shadows of the Mind, Oxford Press, 1989 and 1994). Quite famous for his work in relativity, black holes, and quantum mechanics, Roger had turned to the problem of consciousness and concluded the mind was more than complex computation. Something else was necessary, and that something, he suggested, was a particular type of quantum computation he was proposing (‘objective reduction’ – a self-collapse of the quantum wave function due to quantum gravity). He was linking consciousness to a basic process in underlying space-time geometry – reality itself!’
‘It seemed fascinating and plausible to me, but Roger didn’t have a good candidate for a biological site for his proposed process. I thought, ‘could microtubules be quantum computers?’ I wrote to him, and we soon met in his office in Oxford in September 1992. Roger was struck by the mathematical symmetry and beauty of the microtubule lattice and thought it was the optimal candidate for his proposed mechanism. Over the next few years we began to develop a model for consciousness involving Roger’s objective reduction occurring in microtubules within the brain’s neurons.”
Dr. Hameroff’s publications include 150 peer reviewed papers including three co-authored with Roger Penrose and 5 books including: Toward a Science of Consciousness I-III (MIT Press 1996, 1998, 1999), and Ultimate Computing – Biomolecular Consciousness and Nanotechnology, (Elsevier-North Holland 1987.)