Abstract Details

Orch OR Model of Consciousness: Experimental Evidence Part I  Markus Maier (Psychology, University of Munich Germany, Munich, Germany)   C22

Recently, Penrose and Hameroff (2011) proposed a model of consciousness and quantum computations originating from the mid 1990's. According to this model consciousness depends on biologically 'orchestrated' quantum computations in collections of microtubules within brain neurons. The continuous Schrödinger evolution of each quantum computation terminates a quantum-gravity process related to the fundamentals of spacetime geometry. This process is called 'objective reduction' of the quantum state (OR) and results in a moment of conscious awareness. Any brain activity within the microtubuli that occurs before the "objective reduction" follows quantum mechanical rules in line with Schrödinger's equation. Also, as mentioned above, OR indicates a conscious moment implying that quantum states need to be - by definition - preconscious. One core feature of quantum physics is that time has no direction (Penrose, 1994), i.e. future and past are interchangeable and this should consequently apply for preconscious processing, as well. In a first set of experiments, we tested the assumption that, in a preconscious mode of perception and decision making, future events can influence past preconscious behavioural choices. Using a subliminal picture presentation (with positive, neutral and negative pictures sets, see also Bem, 2010) we were able to demonstrate that participants are unconsciously anticipating and avoiding negative future outcomes. The effect seems to be limited to preconscious modes of information processing and to the avoidance of negative events. These results conceptually replicated recent findings reported by Bem (2010). They also support central propositions of the Penrose and Hameroff (2011) model about conscious and preconscious processing and its relation to quantum mechanics.

psychology; consciousness; Orch OR model; quantum theory; retrocausality