Microtubules the seat of Consciousness

Okay, lets.
https://www.cell.com/current-biology/pdf/S0960-9822(06)01771-4.pdf

https://www.ruf.rice.edu/~bioslabs/studies/invertebrates/microtubules.html

Fair enough, but how do they help us make sense of ourselves, as we negotiate our day to days, and work on making sense of the world we find ourselves within?

All cellular and neural communication in the body occurs via microtubules. This constant electrochemical dynamical activity creates a “field” in and around the body.

I’m sure you have heard of "kirlian photography"that records the EM field an organism creates in and around itself?

This field is invisible to the unaided eye but it exists as a field regardless of an observer.

Now imagine this field inside our brain created by our microtubule network and then think of a concept like ORCH OR (orchestrated objective reduction) at the qantum level that might create a conscious experience of such an orchestrated field in our “inner mind”.

In one of the Youtube discussions, Roger Penrose made a comment that made me sit back and try to visualize what this nobel laureate implied with that statement.

Penrose turned the conscious observer around. Instead of consciousness causing collapse, wavefunctions collapsed spontaneously, causing a moment – a ‘quantum – of consciousness.

Consciousness and the collapse of the wavefunction

It is becoming apparent that consciousness may occur in single brain neurons extending upward into networks of neurons, but also downward and deeper, to terahertz quantum optical processes, e.g. ‘superradiance’ in microtubules, and further still to fundamental spacetime geometry (Figure 1).

I agree that consciousness is fundamental, and concur with Roger Penrose that it involves self-collapse of the quantum wavefunction, a rippling in the fine scale structure of the universe.

Organic light per se isn’t consciousness. But organic light could be the interface between the brain and conscious processes in the fine scale structure of the universe.

Figure 1. A scale-invariant hierarchy extending downward from a cortical pyramidal neuron (left) into microtubules, tubulin dipoles, organic ring dipoles and spacetime geometry curvatures. Self-similar dynamics recur every three orders of magnitude.

Consciousness is the collapse of the wavefunction | Stuart Hameroff

Quantum mechanics suggests that particles can be in a state of superposition - in two states at the same time - until a measurement take place. Only then does the wavefunction describing the particle collapses into one of the two states. According to the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum…

This really belongs in the “microtubule” thread, but this is not just restricted to the human brain but is present in ALL eukaryotic organisms that ever lived .
Proto tubulin filaments can even be found in prokaryotic organisms

Every cell of every living organism on earth contains microtubules. If microtubules do function at the quantum level it would explain all naturally occurring response mechanisms in every living thing on earth, regardless of brain or neural network!

That’s another ouch.
I’ve never heard of Kirlian photography recording the EM field?
How much EM field does a coin possess?
Where does the coin’s “aura” come from?

… However, the truth is much more mundane. When electric charge moves quickly enough through air, it rips electrons off of air molecules and gives them energy.
When these electrons recombine with the air molecules, they emit their energy in the form of light.
For low to medium amounts of electricity, this process is called gas discharge. This is exactly the process at work in neon signs and fluorescent light bulbs.
For high amounts of electricity, the physics involved is more violent and the process is called arcing.

Examples of arcing include lightning, the sparks created by spark plugs, and the arc created by an arc welder. Lightning bolts, spark plugs, neon signs, and Kirlian photography all share the same root phenomenon: if you run electricity through air quickly enough, the air glows. …

I’m guessing that could be called an “Electromagnetic” something or other.
Since what happens inside a neon light tube is a species of electromagnetic behavior, but . . . so is everything ultimately (except for your meta-physical soul - which switches off like the power supply of a dynamo that no longer spins).

WIKI goes into a bit more detail, but I don’t find any mention of Electromagnetic behavior anywhere.


Here you’ve entered the world of wild speculation.

And again, you’re dancing around my fundamental inquire into how would either of those two help a person who’s intellectually/emotionally trying to define themselves and trying to make sense of the world they find themselves embedded within?*

Rivets can tell you how something can be connected to something else, but it tells you nothing of the structure you created.

Note that the quoted passages are from Hameroff, not me.

As to the concept of possible dimensions to the “fine-scale” structure of the universe, I don’t see anybody blink when talking about a dimension of time, or 10 dimensions in string theory, or a holographic dimension, or a dimension of quantum “superposition”.

Those are really weird concepts.
Until we can test them all these hypotheses are theoretical.

As to any personal relationship to any of these scientific propositions, they are too far removed from our “dulled” responses to environmental harmonics.
Heck, a bee can see infrared, a bat can navigate by sonar. All this is outside of our personal experience. These creatures live in a different dimension of reality.

In any case, I don’t think anybody is proposing a self-aware intelligence at the most subtle levels of spacetime. But I find the term “dimension” really interesting.

[quote=“citizenschallengev4, post:10, topic:9463”]
I’ve never heard of Kirlian photography recording the EM field?
How much EM field does a coin possess?
Where does the coin’s “aura” come from?

That is asking the wrong question. A coin is not a living organism with its own internal EM field, but it is a conductor and the aura clearly reflects the shape and atomic arrangement of the coins. Nothing to do with soul, but it is causal to an expression of its relationship with an EM field.

Living organisms create their own EM field and the brain’s EM field has been mapped.

This is a nice follow up:

Integrating information in the brain’s EM field: the cemi field theory of consciousness
[Johnjoe McFadden](javascript::wink:
Neuroscience of Consciousness , Volume 2020, Issue 1, 2020, niaa016

“I here extend the theory to argue that consciousness implements algorithms in space, rather than time, within the brain’s EM field. I describe how the cemi field theory accounts for most observed features of consciousness and describe recent experimental support for the theory. I also describe several untested predictions of the theory and discuss its implications for the design of artificial consciousness. The cemi field theory proposes a scientific dualism that is rooted in the difference between matter and energy, rather than matter and spirit.”

Do neurons integrate information?

It is important to stress that no EM field theory of consciousness denies that much or most brain information processing proceeds via conventional neuron/synapse transmission. However, the same argument described above for integrated circuits, applies to the processing of complex information along complex neuronal pathways. They, like logic gates, input sensory information, such as photographs, and process that information along chains of neuronal networks until they reach a group of neurons, or even a single neuron that fires to generate a verbal output of ‘this is Jennifer Aniston’.

Integrating information in space, rather than in time

There are, however, physical systems that encode information integrated over space in a single moment of time. We know this form of information as force fields. The most obvious is the gravitational field that, at any point on the Earth’s surface, provides a force that effectively integrates the magnitude and distribution of local masses such as those of the Earth, Moon and Sun. Similarly, the EM field at any point in space represents an integration of information concerning the type, distribution and motion of local charges. In contrast to the temporal integration described above, force fields physically integrate complex information that may be simultaneously downloaded from any point in the field.

EMF transmitters and receivers in the brain

It has been known since the 19th century that the brain generates its own EM field, which can be detected by electrodes inserted to the brain. Its source is electrical dipoles within the neuronal membranes caused by the motion of ions in and out of those membranes during action potentials and synaptic potentials. The periodic discharge of neurons—firing or action potentials—generates EMF waves that propagate out of the neuron and into the surrounding inter-neuronal spaces where they overlap and combine to generate the brain’s global EM field that is routinely measured by brain scanning techniques such as electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG). The human brain, therefore, possesses around 100 billion EMF transmitters.

More…!!!

And if that field can be photographed can it be consciously experienced?
IMO, therein lies the answer.

Another excellent article on the remarkable variety of functions microtubules are able to perform.

Are Microtubules the Brain of the Neuron?

From Y tambe
From Y tambe

The actions of microtubules are fantastically complex. They respond instantly in a vast amount of different ways to mental events in thousands of places throughout the neuron at once. How is this directed? How can anyone think that this is a random process? How can anyone not see that mental events direct these fantastically complex processes?

More…

Article begins with:

Some think that microtubules are quantum computers and the seat of consciousness.
Jon Lieff, MD

Followed by a lot of mechanical information about the microtubules physical properties and how cell structures and various processes are dependent on microtubules, then finishes with:

The actions of microtubules are fantastically complex. They respond instantly in a vast amount of different ways to mental events in thousands of places throughout the neuron at once. How is this directed? How can anyone think that this is a random process? How can anyone not see that mental events direct these fantastically complex processes?

Read it again, there’s precious little regarding the “Seat of Consciousness” - besides that, it’s such an awful analogy “seat of consciousness” - as if consciousness were a thing.

Write, do you believe consciousness is a ‘thing’ or an ‘action’?

Reading that article it underscored how premature anointing Microtubules as the “Seat” of consciousness is. All I see is a faintly understood element of consciousness. While you’re convinced you can find the answer to everything.

Therein lies the vast gulf between our respective perspectives.

I agree with Tegmark that consciousness is an emergent property of the pattern of a data processing network. Certain data processing patterns are conscious. What is wrong with that proposition?

Leta , the GPT 3 AI claims it is conscious, and well it could be. It is able to recognize context of a sentence or question and respond to it logically and in context. To me that indicates cognition and cognition is a form of consciousness and it has the data processing network that copies consciousness in the real world.

Just as bacteria are cognizant of “quorum sensing”, slime mold “learns” periodic change, paramecium can navigate, sunflower can follow the position of the sun.
Can we not say that these abilities are expressions of cognition at various levels. Ans at what point does cognition become consciousness?

I think you may be confusing consciousness with intelligence. Consciousness starts at the cellular level. Watch a single celled Paramecium “navigate” its way around obstacles.

All I see is a faintly understood element of consciousness. While you’re convinced you can find the answer to everything.

No, that is an assumption on your part. I may sound positive but it is only a proposition. To date I have not heard a more plausible hypothesis,

Therein lies the vast gulf between our respective perspectives.

Perhaps you are making it more mysterious than it really is. Penrose and Hameroff propose that the rudiments of consciousness already begin at quantum level and these guys know a thing or two.

I have some heavy hitters in my corner and I am not prone to worship . Religion is in a different league altogether and that is not where I live.

Nothing except what’s it tell us, beyond the obvious?
Sort of like my, “global heat and moisture distribution engine.”

Of course.
Ain’t I the one saying, we can’t understand human consciousness by studying modern human sense processes and behavior, and that one needs to start at the dawn of evolution to understand what it is, along with how and why consciousness evolved out of situational awareness.

Sir Roger Penrose OM FRS HonFInstP is a British mathematician, mathematical physicist, philosopher of science and Nobel Laureate in Physics.

Dr. Stuart Hameroff is an American anesthesiologist and professor at the University of Arizona known for his studies of consciousness and his controversial contention that consciousness originates from quantum states in neural microtubules. He is the lead organizer of the Science of Consciousness conference.

But they aren’t heavy hitters in the field of Evolution and ecology (read incubator of creatures) - they keep it confined to their mathematical reality and the realm of the tiniest.

Well then stop making it sound like you think its settled.
You should reread some of your own writings with a skeptical eye. You’re the one that has used the term “answer to everything”, while I can’t even conceive of such a conceit - nor the need for it.

And that’s because I have an insight that has offered me a sober appreciation for the limitation of the human mind, while appreciating how much our own self-serving ego, influences all the thoughts unfolding within our individual humans.

An Appreciation for the Human Mindscape ~ Physical Reality divide

:wink:

Of course they are, Penrose is a Physicist /Mathematician, Hameroff is an expert in neurology and especially in the area of consciousness. I can see no better tandem.

Evolution is not pertinent to this question. Microtubules have not evolved, they are responsible for the evolution of neural networks. They are causal to evolutionary processes.

Figure out what microtubule networks do and we will probably be able to copy the patterns. i believe we are already getting close. I know that you reject Leta’s belief that it is conscious, but I think you are restricting the concept of consciousness to humans and anthropomorphization. Try to envision different forms of consciousness such as “quorum sensing” that utilizes a hive mind pattern based on chemical “words”.

And at its very foundation, the ability of microtubule powered flagella and cilia in SINGLE CELLED organisms to "navigate " obstacles. At what point does the organism become aware of its interaction with the environment?

At what point does this response to environmental pressures become a self-conscious act? Awareness is just an evolved form of sensory sensitivity and self-awareness yet a later evolved form of sensory processing that also incorporates the emergence of ability to choose. i.e. FW

Take eyesight, a perfect example of the gradually increased sensitivity to light patterns. The evolution of the eye started as a light-sensitive chemical patch (with a few microtubules) and gradually grew in complexity with the aid of microtubules (mitosis) along with the neural processing expanding the range of sensitivity to color wavelengths and the consequent increase of memory storage (by microtubules) in the brain.

I think this should resonate with your perspective on evolutionary processes. I wish I could be more persuasive in my argument. i guess I’ll just have to keep chipping away at the wall you have erected…
image

… copy the patterns. You really think it comes down to a few patterns we’ll be able to copy - then what do we do with the copy?
Reminds me of a long ago promise.
Atomic Energy will make electricity so cheap they won’t even have to meter it.

It’s not about anthropomorphizing anything.
It about a recognition of complexity and systems. It’ sort of a riff off the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, the closer you zoom in on the details of one component, the more you lose sight of the functioning system, or organism.

Seems to me, you want to focus on the tiniest components thinking you’ll find the key to the answer to everything.

I’m aware of the tiniest components, but I love the biology and physiology and evolutionary pageant, I’m not a mathematician nor physicist, I’m a human, life long introspective philosopher dude working on grasping the whole of the experience and what that has to teach me, us.

(Understanding rivets will never explain the entire structure. Understanding microtubules will never explain the entire choreography of a living organism interacting with the world around it.)

Of course, the evolution of eye sight is fascinating, and how many appreciate that eye sight has been documented developing independently over 40 times. Of course, the ubiquitous microtubule plays it role, an important role, but so do other less celebrated component.

Not sure what you think I’m missing there.

Feels more like we’re weaving a May Pole.

I didn’t erect it, it’s the most fundamental fact of human existence, the

“Human Mindscape ~ Physical Reality divide”

Other’s call it the brain, mind problem, but that only led us down dark dead ends. My framing opens up intellectual possibilities a plenty.

[quote=“citizenschallengev4, post:11, topic:9472”]
Seems to me, you want to focus on the tiniest components thinking you’ll find the key to the answer to everything.

I think you’re missing the picture. I am not talking about a microtubule. I am talking about a network of 100 billion MT and 1000 trillion synaptic connections in the human brain alone!!!. I can’t even conceive of the complexity of such networks, can you?

How many neurons and synapses are found in your brain?

On average, the human brain contains about 100 billion neurons and many more neuroglia which serve to support and protect the neurons. Each neuron may be connected to up to 10,000 other neurons, passing signals to each other via as many as 1,000 trillion synapses. May 30, 2019

I’m aware of the tiniest components, but I love the biology and physiology and evolutionary pageant, I’m not a mathematician nor physicist, I’m a human, life long introspective philosopher dude working on grasping the whole of the experience and what that has to teach me, us.

We are talking about a nanoscale biological processor that has had perhaps 4 billion years to build every living organism on earth!!!

Every Eukaryotic organism on earth has millions if not trillions of microtubules that control all data processing by every organism on earth. We are talking about the conditions that made evolutionary processes possible.

You see these as nanoscale patterns. I see these as astronomically large patterns at nanoscale.

There would be no evolution ( or cell division) without MT.

(Understanding rivets will never explain the entire structure. Understanding microtubules will never explain the entire choreography of a living organism interacting with the world around it.)

If a ship uses a 1000 trillion rivets how big is that ship? Are you getting the idea?

PMID: 24266899

Microtubules in neurons as information carriers

Erik W. Dent, PhDcorresponding author1 and Peter W. Baas, PhD

Vibrant research is being conducted on the mechanisms by which microtubules are organized in different compartments of the neuron, how microtubule dynamics and stability are regulated, and the orchestration of microtubule-based transport of organelles and proteins. While all of this is surely enough to cause one to marvel, we cannot avoid pondering - what other work might microtubules do for neurons?

Here we ponder whether this theme, of microtubules as information carriers, might be important in a variety of ways in neurons, perhaps every bit as important as the roles microtubules play as architectural elements and railways for organelle transport (Figure 1).

image

Microtubules as information carriers in the axon and dendrite

> Schematic showing microtubules in the axon and dendrite of a stylized neuron. Note the small, stable translocating microtubules (orange) in the axon (left) and the dynamic microtubules invading dendritic spines (right). It is not yet known what proteins the small translocating microtubules in the axon may potentially bind and release (question mark). However, multiple studies have demonstrated dynamic microtubules are capable of polymerizing directly into dendritic spines, concentrating +TIP proteins (yellow stars) during polymerization and releasing them upon depolymerization. See text for details.

Not at all. Where are we going now?

You were questioning the complexity of the neural network by citing rivets in a ship as an indication of the complexity of the vessel.

My retort was if you knew that to build that ship it had taken “1000 trillion” rivets, you would have a pretty good idea of the size and complexity of that ship.

If that was unclear , then your example was unclear… :crazy_face:

So, the fact that a “1000 trillion microtubule network” is constantly processing sensory information about your environment and feeding it to your brain does not impress you?

Your entire relationship with your environment is “governed” by microtubules.
All sensory information from seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching are processed by microtubules including brain microtubules that store and compare experiential information so that the mind can make a best guess of what’s going on in your world and respond to external stimuli.

No, no, no.

Then you say stuff like this.

Think about what you are saying there.
I’ve read these articles about microtubules also, they are amazing, still they are components of incredibly complex systems, they do not “Govern” us - where do you get that from? Heck, scientists are still at the frontier of understanding how they fit into the whole. Lots of speculation, lots more to learn.

Well if you wonder why I talk about people being trapped within their mindscapes? This is it. Great example of the Abrahamic Mindset being so absolutely absorbed in ourselves, most are absolutely incapable of recognizing the outside for what it is.

You are so missing what I’m trying to discuss it hurts. It’s like environment, Earth, the infinitely complex interwoven web of life, it’s just an externality, something barely registering when it actually counts. You’ve no clue how profoundly disheartening these months of back and forth have been.

[quote=“citizenschallengev4, post:17, topic:9472”]
I’ve read these articles about microtubules also, they are amazing, still they are components of incredibly complex systems, they do not “Govern” us - where do you get that from? Heck, scientists are still at the frontier of understanding how they fit into the whole. Lots of speculation, and lots more to learn.

Oh yes, I agree. lots to learn, but not what microtubules do but how they do it…difference. Microtubules process and control the transmission of ALL sensory data in the body in all living organisms.

They most assuredly “govern” mitosis. Without microtubules, there would be no cell division at all. Do you know what it takes to make copies of chromosomes and arrange them in a mirror image in the daughter cell during mitosis? The control and prescision this takes is astounding, yet occasionally a copy is not exact and natural selection decides if that minor mutation offers a survival advantage and is beneficial to the gene pool.

Microtubules, the third principal component of the cytoskeleton, are rigid hollow rods approximately 25 nm in diameter. Like actin filaments, microtubules are dynamic structures that undergo continual assembly and disassembly within the cell. They function both to determine cell shape and in a variety of cell movements, including some forms of cell locomotion, the intracellular transport of organelles, and the separation of chromosomes during mitosis.

During mitosis, microtubules similarly extend outward from duplicated centrosomes to form the mitotic spindle, which is responsible for the separation and distribution of chromosomes to daughter cells .

image

Well if you wonder why I talk about people being trapped within their mindscapes? This is it. A great example of the Abrahamic Mindset being so absolutely absorbed in ourselves, most are absolutely incapable of recognizing the outside for what it is.

You are so missing what I’m trying to discuss it hurts. It’s like the environment, Earth, the infinitely complex interwoven web of life, it’s just an externality, something barely registering when it actually counts. You’ve no clue how profoundly disheartening these months of back and forth have been.

Actually you are missing what this thread is all about. Read the title.

I understand what you are saying, but you are not addressing the claim I am making and engaging in process of supporting it with verifiable facts, all suggesting that MT are the ONLY suitable "common denominator in ALL Eukaryotic life on earth.

This is where consciousness resides: trillions of these interactive networks


1000 trillion synaptic switches selectively processing “action potentials”.

This is where consciousness happens. There is nothing that can compete with this incredible nanoscale “computing power” .

You just keep ignoring the scope of this statement. This is no personal mindscape, this is an Earthscape and every living organism on it! I am offering evidence.
Why do you keep rejecting the evidence?

This has nothing to do with the Abrahamic mindset based on mythology. This is the real thing and it can be falsified.

All we need to do is figure out how it works.
It is an indisputable hard fact that it does work and that consciousness is an evolved functional experiential phenomenon.

I will continue to offer more evidence that supports the concept of MT, and related neural filaments as the only possible contender that meets all requirements.

The only question that remains is “HOW DOES IT ALL WORK”? The fact that this entire network exists at nano-scale levels makes it extremely difficult to observe and conduct reliable experiments. But we are getting better at it every year.

p.s. I am just at the introductory stage in this thread. You have no idea about the thriving science that this little self-organizing electrochemical processor has spawned.

Unless you can come up with a better hypothesis, I’ll stick with this one. No one has yet “disproved” it!

I find it strange that you as a hard adherent to the evolutionary process, should so underestimate the incredible creative power that evolution has manged to exhibit, especiallin an organelle that has existed in living things from the moment of abiogenesis. I would not be surprised that microtubules may have been instrumental in abiogenesis

I have mentioned this before but to remind the uninitiated, that earth alone in its existence of some 3,5 billion years has managed roughly 2 trillion-quadrillion-quadrillion-quadrillion chemical reactions, including the biochemical creation of living things.
image

It’s an absurd title. Seat of Consciousness.

Consciousness is not a thing, it’s an action. None of these details you keep bringing up establish
And now you’re getting so desperate to make a point that you’ve done away with the human mind altogether.

Then you tell me I’m rejecting evidence simply because I’m rejecting your interpretation.

You say: “This is where consciousness resides: trillions of these interactive networks” and produce an article about the Microtubules as the scaffolding of cells. I don’t ignore that data! It’s your interpretation that they hold the secret to the “Seat” of consciousness.
Why are you denying that consciousness is an activity that involves the entire body and the environment it’s embedded with in.

When I use the termAbrahamic Mindset it has little to do religious mythology. What I’m referring to is the astounded self-centeredness of our thoughts.

It’s about not being able to conceptually escape the bounds of your mind and appreciate that somethings exist outside of it. Such as recognizing the gulf between your thoughts and the physical. It’s the ultimate human egotism that blinds us to so much and is at the roots of our relentless self destruction for the sake of ‘stuff’.

Well you aren’t going to get there by telling me that microtubules are the seat of consciousness and then provide an article about wonders MT scaffolding.
Or another with “Seat of Consciousness” but the article contained nothing more than a hint about a possible connection to consciousness, instead the article was likewise about structure and a few educated guess.

Nonsense, I’ve read a good deal of these article too. I’m simply stating you are jumping to conclusions that are far from settled science.

And gain in your enthusiasm you make claims that are simply bizarre

What about mastering the Kreb Cycle? Isn’t that were abiogenesis has actually been sketched out? Put away your books by philosopher physicists for a bit and catch up on the writing of biochemists such as Nick Lane - The Vital Question

But it’s not the evidence I’m have an issue with, it’s your fast a loose conclusions and sloppy assumptions.

This is an aside but I hope it makes a point.

That thing about our germ biome is another example of this overreach you fall victim to - 90% germs aren’t integrated into our bodies, this microbiome actually resides in very specific regions for very understandable reasons. Though it’s also true that in our guts, they do have influence over the whole organism - but not in ways that germs integrated into our bodies would. So why, when you bring up that factoid (which is actually rather outdated and has been reduced.)

Although in fairness to you, I can see why people are lead astray.

Microbes inhabit just about every part of the human body, living on the skin, in the gut, and up the nose. Sometimes they cause sickness, but most of the time, microorganisms live in harmony with their human hosts, providing vital functions essential for human survival. For the first time, a consortium of researchers organized by the National Institutes of Health has mapped the normal microbial makeup of healthy humans, producing numerous insights and even a few surprises.

But look at the paper

https://www.nature.com/articles/nature11234

Studies of the human microbiome have revealed that even healthy individuals differ remarkably in the microbes that occupy habitats such as the gut, skin and vagina. Much of this diversity remains unexplained, although diet, environment, host genetics and early microbial exposure have all been implicated. …

https://www.nature.com/articles/492S60a


The point is that I have many more issues with the interpretations, than with the evidence collected.