Microtubules as a Quantum Hopfield Network

Elizabeth C. Behrman, K. Gaddam, J.E. Steck, and S.R. Skinner

Summary. Penrose and Hameroff's orchestrated objective (Orch OR) theory [14] suggests the existence of quantum computation in microtubule protein assemblies inside living cells. To investigate this suggestion numerically, we model this system as a quantum Hopfield network (QHN) with qubits representing the tubulins and interacting coulombically with each other, at finite temperatures. The effects of energy losses, dissipation, and other environmental factors are not considered, or are considered to be screened. Simulations are carried out on this computational model, and we look for stable states (local minima) of the network. We find that quantum information processing in microtubules is feasible, though at temperatures (5.8 K) lower than physiological temperatures.

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