ScienceDaily.com reported earlier this year that recent research at the National Institute of Material Sciences in Japan, replicated at MIT, corroborates the Orchestrated Objective Reduction (Orch OR) Theory of consciousness:

"A review and update of a controversial 20-year-old theory of consciousness published in Physics of Life Reviews claims that consciousness derives from deeper level, finer scale activities inside brain neurons. The recent discovery of quantum vibrations in "microtubules" inside brain neurons corroborates this theory, according to review authors Stuart Hameroff and Sir Roger Penrose. They suggest that EEG rhythms (brain waves) also derive from deeper level microtubule vibrations, and that from a practical standpoint, treating brain microtubule vibrations could benefit a host of mental, neurological, and cognitive conditions."

The Theory has not been without its detractors, though.

"Orch OR was harshly criticized from its inception, as the brain was considered too "warm, wet, and noisy" for seemingly delicate quantum processes. However, evidence has now shown warm quantum coherence in plant photosynthesis, bird brain navigation, our sense of smell, and brain microtubules. The recent discovery of warm temperature quantum vibrations in microtubules inside brain neurons by the research group led by Anirban Bandyopadhyay, PhD, at the National Institute of Material Sciences in Tsukuba, Japan (and now at MIT), corroborates the pair's theory and suggests that EEG rhythms also derive from deeper level microtubule vibrations."

Fig. 1 > Microtubule arrangement within neurons (above) and the composition of microtubules (below)

The Orch OR Theory provides the foundation for the Quantum Neurodynamic Model for the Biophilic Effect I've advanced in Chapter 3 of Local Non-Locality: Sixty Years at Rush Creek Village. Quantum consciousness, as developed by Hammeroff and Penrose, and the concept of super-radiance within microtubules (developed by Hammeroff and Mari Jibu)  is the only theory that satisfactorily explains the collection of physiological responses to the natural environment known as the Biophilic Effect that includes lower heart rate, improved mental focus, and elevated mood.

Until now, no structural model has been advanced for explaining this set of physical effects. The established academic writers on Biophilia, design, and the "human-nature connection" have been happy citing study after study (e.g.--Ulrich, 1986) and discussing the "symbolic experience of nature...through representation, allusion, and metaphorical expression." (Kellert, 2005, p 150) And while these are sufficient, I suppose, for casual conversations, they don't offer any explanation for the observations documented in these studies. This just wasn't sufficient for me, in researching my book. Something has been happening to the residents at Rush Creek Village for decades now; they've derived wellness benefits as a result of occupying their homes which facilitate a robust relationship with the natural environment (E.O. Wilson's term Biophilia). In my mind, these substantive effects deserved more than a casual mention of the human-nature connection.

Comment