Neural Networks and Quantum Neurology: Speculative Heuristic Towards the Architecture of Psychism

  • Javier Monserrat
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4527)


A new line of investigation known as quantum neurology has been born in recent years. One of its objectives is to accomplish a better explanation of psychism. It basically explains the unity of consciousness, its holistic character, and the indeterminism of its responses. How is this “phenomenological explicandum” explained in classical neurological architecture? After commenting on the properties of classical architecture, we focus on the proposal of Edelman, since we consider it as probably one of the better proposals explaining psychism. The discussion of Edelman’s proposal, from the viewpoint of the problem about the “physical support” of psychism in classical physics, allows us to evaluate the strengths of his proposal, as well as the remaining insufficiencies in his explanation. The “heuristic” way of quantum neurology offers a new approach to the “phenomenological explicandum” that does not contradict, but completes classical architecture. The discussion regarding the Hameroff-Penrose hypothesis allows us to propose that the psycho-bio-physical ontology would have an architecture with three levels (or sub-architectures) and two (or three) interface systems among them. This hypothetical architecture permits us to reflect on the production of ontologies, architectures, and functional logics (real and artificial). In any case, the new quantum neurology would suggest new formulations of the psycho-bio-physical ontology by means of the graph theory (classical neurology) and of topology (quantum neurology).


Human Mind Quantum Coherence Physical Support Phenomenological Experience Functional Logic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Damasio, A.: Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain. Quill/HarperCollins Publishers Inc, New York (1994)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Damasio, A.: The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness. Harcourt, Inc., Orlando (1999)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Damasio, A.: Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain. Harcourt, Inc., Orlando (2003)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Edelman, G.M., Mountcastle, V.B.: The Mindful Brain: Cortical Organization and the Group-Selective Theory of Higher Brain Function. MIT Press, Cambridge (1978)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Edelman, G.M.: Neural Darwinism: The Theory of Neuronal Group Selection. Basic Books, New York (1987)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Edelman, G.M.: Topobiology: An Introduction to Molecular Embriology. Basic Books, New York (1988)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Edelman, G.M.: The Remembered Present: A biological Theory of Consciousness. Basic Books, New York (1989)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Edelman, G.M.: Bright Air; Brilliant Fire: On the Matter of the Mind. Basic Books, New York (1992)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Edelman, G.M., Tononi, G.: A Universe of Consciousness: How Matter Becames Imagination. Basic Books, New York (2000)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Edelman, G.M.: Building a Picture of the Brain. In: Edelman, G.M., Changeux, J.-P. (eds.) The Brain, Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick (2001)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Edelman, G.M.: Wider than the Sky: the Phenomenal Gift of Consciousness. Yale University Press, New Haven (2004)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Edelman, G.M.: Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge. Yale University Press, New Haven (2006)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hameroff, S., Penrose, R.: Orchestrated Reduction of Quantum Coherence In Brain Microtubules: A Model for Consciousness. In: Hameroff, S.R., Kaszniak, A.W., Scott, A.C. (eds.) Toward a Sciences of Consciousness, The First Tucson Discussions and Debates, pp. 507–540. MIT Press, Cambridge (1996)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hameroff, S.: Conscious Events As Orchestrated Space-Time Selections. Journal of Consciousness Studies 3(1), 36–53 (1996)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hameroff, S.: Quantum Computation In Brain Microtubules? The Penrose-Hameroff ’Orch OR’ Model of Consciousness. Philosophical Transactions Royal Society London (A) 356, 1869–1896 (1998)MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hameroff, S.: Did Consciousness Cause the Cambrian Evolutionary Explosion? In: Hameroff, S.R., Kaszniak, S.R., Scott, A.C. (eds.) Toward a Science of Consciousness II: The Second Tucson Discussions and Debates, pp. 421–437. MIT Press, Cambridge (1998)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hameroff, S.: Time, Consciousness and Quantum Events in Fundamental Spacetime Geometry. In: Bucceriu, R., Saniga, M. (eds.) Proceedings of a NATO Advanced Research Workshop (2003)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hameroff, S.: Quantum States in Proteins and Protein Assemblies: The Essence of Life? In: Proceedings of SPIE Conference on Fluctuation and Noise, Canary Islands (June 2004)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hameroff, S.: Consciousness, Neurobiology and Quantum Mechanics: The Case for a Connection. In: Tuszynski, J. (ed.) The Emerging Physics of Consciousness, Springer, Heidelberg (2006)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Monserrat, J.: Epistemología Evolutiva y Teoría de la Ciencia. Publicaciones de la Universidad Comillas, Madrid (1987)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Monserrat, J.: Problema psicofísico y realidad cuántica en la física heterodoxa de David Bohm. Pensamiento 47, 297–312 (1991)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Monserrat, J.: Lectura epistemológica de la teoría unificada de la cognición en Allen Newell. Pensamiento 51, 3–42 (1995)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Monserrat, J.: Está realmente el mundo en mi cabeza? A propósito de J.J. Gibson y D. Marr. Pensamiento 51, 177–213 (1995)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Monserrat, J.: Francis Crick y la emergencia de la conciencia visual. Pensamiento 52, 241–252 (1996)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Monserrat, J.: La Percepción Visual. La arquitectura del psiquismo desde el enfoque de la percepción visual. Biblioteca Nueva, Madrid (1998)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Monserrat, J.: Penrose y la mente computacional. Pensamiento 55, 177–216 (1999)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Monserrat, J.: Penrose y el enigma cuántico de la conciencia. Pensamiento 56, 177–208 (2000)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Monserrat, J.: Engramas neuronales y teoría de la mente. Pensamiento 57, 176–211 (2001)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Monserrat, J.: John Searle en la discusión sobre la conciencia. Pensamiento 58, 143–159 (2002)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Monserrat, J.: Teoría de la mente en Antonio R. Damasio. Pensamiento 59, 177–213 (2003)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Monserrat, J.: Gerald M. Edelman y su antropología neurológica: Presentación y discusión de su teoría de la mente. Pensamiento 62, 441–470 (2006)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Penrose, R.: The Emperor’s New Mind. Oxford University Press, Oxford (1989)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Penrose, R.: Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness. Oxford University Press, Oxford (1994)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Penrose, R.: The Large, the Small and the Human Mind. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1997)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Penrose, R.: The road to reality: a complete guide to the laws of the universe. Knopf, New York (2005)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Tuszynski, J.A., Wolff, N.: The Path Ahead. In: Tuszynski, J.A. (ed.) The Emerging Physics of Consciousness, pp. 1–25. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Tuszynski, J.A. (ed.): The emerging Physics of Consciousness. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Wolff, N., Hameroff, S.: A Quantum Approach to Visual Consciousness. Trends in Cognitive Science 5(11), 472–478 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Javier Monserrat
    • 1
  1. 1.Universidad Autónoma de Madrid 

Personalised recommendations