A New Marriage of Brain and Computer
Google Tech Talks
September, 21 2007
Brain and computer were wed mid-twentieth century by the McCulloch-Pitts model neuron and Hodgkin-Huxley equations for digital firing in biological neurons. Since then, brain neurons, synapses, firings and networks have been considered analogous to electronic switches, states and circuits in classical computers. But despite extraordinary advances and bold predictions, consciousness seems ever
more elusive. On this, and other divisive issues like EEG gamma synchrony, deviations from Hodgkin-Huxley, gap junctions, dendritic
webs/hyper-neurons, anesthesia, quantum computers and clear demonstration of functional quantum coherence in warm protein assemblies, brain and computer have drifted apart. Increasing evidence
suggests that the brain-computer marriage could be spiced up, and consciousness accounted for, by exotic yet testable new approaches such as quantum computation in microtubules (Penrose-Hameroff Orch OR theory) in laterally connected input layers (gap junction dendritic web/hyper-neurons) of neuronal networks.
Speaker: Stuart Hameroff
Stuart Hameroff M.D. is an anesthesiologist, Professor of Anesthesiology and Psychology and Director, Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson.