College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Information Processing Mechanisms in Microtubules at Physiological Temperature: Model Predictions for Experimental Tests

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-2009

Keywords

Microtubules, Cellular Automata, Information Processing, Signaling, Electron Transfer

Publication Title

Biosystems

ISSN

0303-2647

Volume

97

Issue/No.

1

Abstract

Both direct and indirect experimental evidence has shown signaling, communication and conductivity in microtubules (MTs). Theoretical models have predicted that MTs can be potentially used for both classical and quantum information processing although controversies arose in regard to physiological temperature effects on these capabilities. In this paper, MTs have been studied using well-established principles of classical statistical physics as applied to information processing, information storage and signal propagation. To investigate the existence of information processing in MTs we used cellular automata (CA) models with neighbor rules based on the electrostatic properties of the molecular structure of tubulin, and both synchronous and asynchronous updating methods. We obtained a phase diagram of possible dynamic behaviors in MTs that depend on the values of characteristic physical parameters that can be experimentally verified.

DOI

10.1016/j.biosystems.2009.04.001

Peer Reviewed

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