Wigner Research Center for Physics's researcher in testing the quantum theory of consciousness Fresh report in Physics World [1] reviews the work of an Italian-Hungarian research group. [2]. The study, of which our colleague Lajos Diósi is a decisive co-author, scrutinizes the theory of physicist Roger Penrose and anesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff that identifies elementary conscious events as the collapse of the wave function of the tubulin structures in the brain.

The authors of the study have compared their foton detection counts obtained in the INFN Gran Sasso underground laboratory to the predictions of the dynamical equations of the collapse. They conclude that the tubulins in the brain are insufficient to activate the collapse. The authors do nonetheless not rule out that predictions of a reparametrized or maybe modified dynamics of the collapse would allow for the Penrose-Hameroff quantum mechanism of consciousness.


The INFN Gran Sasso National Laboratory (Source: INFN)


The report in Physics World, assisted by leading author Catalina Curceanu of INFN, summarises the Penrose-Hameroff theory of quantum consciousness and the physics theory of spontaneous wave function collapse. As to the latter, the coincidence as well as certain differences between the theories of Roger Penrose and Lajos Diósi are mentioned respectively.

[1] Physics World (13 July 2022) Quantum theory of consciousness put in doubt by underground experiment

[2] Physics of Life Reviews Volume 42, September 2022, Pages 8-14