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Is the Brain a Quantum Computer? Abninder Litta

Summary: Is the Brain a Quantum Computer?
Abninder Litta
, Chris Eliasmithb,c
, Frederick W. Kroona
Steven Weinsteinb,d
, Paul Thagarda,b,e
aSchool of Computer Science, University of Waterloo
bDepartment of Philosophy, University of Waterloo
cDepartment of Systems Design Engineering, University of Waterloo
dDepartment of Physics, University of Waterloo
eDepartment of Psychology, University of Waterloo
Received 16 February 2005; received in revised form 8 July 2005; accepted 18 October 2005
We argue that computation via quantum mechanical processes is irrelevant to explaining how brains
produce thought, contrary to the ongoing speculations of many theorists. First, quantum effects do not
have the temporal properties required for neural information processing. Second, there are substantial
physical obstacles to any organic instantiation of quantum computation. Third, there is no psychological
evidence that such mental phenomena as consciousness and mathematical thinking require explanation
via quantum theory. We conclude that understanding brain function is unlikely to require quantum com-


Source: Anderson, Charles H. - Departments of Anatomy and Neurobiology & Physics, Washington University in St. Louis


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences; Biology and Medicine