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Orch-OR

“Orchestrated Objective Reduction” is the name given to a 20+ year-old theory of consciousness authored by theoretical physicist Sir Roger Penrose and anesthesiologist Dr. Stuart Hameroff. Orch-OR claims consciousness is based on non-computable quantum processing by ‘qubits’ (quantum bits) formed by the microtubules of cells. In this model the superposition of quantum states in these qubits undergoes a ‘state reduction’ or ‘collapse of the waveform’ through a process of ‘orchestration’ which modifyies the spacetime-separation of their superimposed states. The theory has come under sharp criticism from many sides and fails to exactly explain what consciousness is or where it comes from, but it is still a brilliant early conceptualization of the kinds of mechanistic processes that might support consciousness.