Editorial Views  |   August 2018
Anesthetic Action and “Quantum Consciousness”: A Match Made in Olive Oil
Author Notes
  • From the Departments of Anesthesiology and Psychology and Center for Consciousness Studies, Banner-University of Arizona Medical Center, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.
  • Corresponding article on page 271.
    Corresponding article on page 271.×
  • Accepted for publication April 26, 2018.
    Accepted for publication April 26, 2018.×
  • Address correspondence to Dr. Hameroff: hameroff@u.arizona.edu
Article Information
Editorial Views / Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems
Editorial Views   |   August 2018
Anesthetic Action and “Quantum Consciousness”: A Match Made in Olive Oil
Anesthesiology 8 2018, Vol.129, 228-231. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002273
Anesthesiology 8 2018, Vol.129, 228-231. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002273
Anesthetic gases block consciousness selectively, sparing nonconscious brain activities, and thus their specific action could unravel the age-old mystery of how the brain generates, or mediates, consciousness. In this issue, Li et al.1  make a significant contribution to our understanding of both anesthesia and consciousness, showing that an isotope of the anesthetic xenon (129Xe) with the quantum property of nuclear spin 1/2 is significantly less potent than xenon isotopes without spin, despite identical chemical actions. Li et al. suggest that the xenon nuclear spin antagonizes its own anesthetic action by promoting consciousness, and that consciousness involves quantum brain processes, thus supporting a genre of theories known as “quantum consciousness.”
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