Conclusion

This chapter proposes that there is a novel way in which the brain may be unified, apart from traditional synaptic connections. It has long been known that the brain is highly interconnected through axons; nonetheless, these connections are most often confined to a single modality and connect brain areas in a restricted point-to-point fashion. Unified activity among brain microtubules is presently suggested to fill the void. The brain contains many neurotransmit-ters that affect the neuronal membrane potential; however, it is also true that these neurotransmitters affect the biophysical state of microtubules through ionic fluxes, actions on actin filaments and the phosphorylation of MAP2. Physical responses of microtubules include increased and decreased polymerization, transport and the regulation of receptor proteins inserted into the membrane. Microtubules in the subsynaptic space have properties making them more capable of storing information about synaptic activity than the constituents of the synapses themselves. Microtubules may also play a role in consciousness, thereby enabling attention, perception and dreams. The ubiquitous microtubule arguably sits at the interface between memory and consciousness.

Acknowledgement. I wish to thank my current collaborators: Stuart Hameroff, Jack Tuszynski and Avner Priel for intellectual discussions. Special thanks are due Adele Behar for supporting some of this work and to Malcolm Dean for sending me interesting papers.

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