Oil painting by Urs Schmid (1995) of a Penrose tiling using fat and thin rhombi. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
At a fundamental level, your brain and the fabric of the universe operate in much the same way according to a recent meta-study published by world-renowned consciousness researchers Stuart Hameroff and Roger Penrose [Hameroff and Penrose (2013)].
Their theory is based off findings that quantum vibrations occur in microtubules in the brain (discovered by Anirban Bandyopadhyay). These microtubules form the basic structure of cells in our neurons, which are responsible for a wide range of consciousness-related phenomena such as the transmission of thoughts, nerve impulses, and the operation of the five senses, among other things.
The current quantum-level understanding of reality suggests that these same ‘quantum vibrations’ makeup the most fundamental structure of the universe — in essence, they are the fabric of reality itself. This implies a very real and direct connection between the brain, human consciousness and the existence of the Universe — that they are fundamentally inseparable at the quantum level.
Hameroff and Penrose explain their theory further:
“…consciousness derives from quantum vibrations in microtubules, protein polymers inside brain neurons, which both govern neuronal and synaptic function, and connect brain processes to self-organizing processes in the fine scale, ‘proto-conscious’ quantum structure of reality.”
They go on to state that:
“…conscious experience is intrinsically connected to the fine-scale structure of space–time geometry, and that consciousness could be deeply related to the operation of the laws of the universe.”
Furthermore, Hameroff and Penrose suggest that ‘brain waves’ could be a result of these deeper level microtubule vibrations.
Brain waves are connected to our moods, emotions, high-level brain function and overall states of consciousness at any given moment. For example, meditation is known to harmonize and balance brain waves along with creative activities and spiritually oriented exercise such as Yoga and Tai Chi. Hameroff and Penrose’ research may eventually shed new light on the connection between these activities and their effects on our consciousness and the universe as a whole.
These findings are significant in light of the claims made by various spiritual and personal development authors who insist that our minds, via our thoughts, beliefs and emotions, can fundamentally affect and change our personal and collective reality. Hameroff and Penrose’s research confirms that there is a direct quantum relationship between the fundamental structure of the human mind and the fabric of the universe, which would offer an explanation for the mechanism of how our minds can actually produce changes in reality at the most minute physical level, although this has not been conclusively demonstrated or proven by this study.