21 January 2021
10:00 - 11:30 AM
Virtually via Zoom
Travis Craddock (Florida)

Light-based quantum processes in the brain

Abstract: Living cells emit a constant stream of photons at an ultraweak intensity. Colloquially referred to as biophotons, it is still not clear what role they play nor how they are generated in the first place. Energy metabolic processes involving the decay of electronically excited molecular species generated chemically during oxidative metabolic processes in the mitochondria seem to be one such source. Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) in particular have a number of variants with multiple mechanisms for the production of biophotons during both the normal functioning of the cell (i.e., the electron transport chain) or initiated by various biotic or abiotic stressors and oxidative factors (i.e., chemically induced oxidative stress). It has been suggested with some evidential support that these biophotons may play a role in neuronal communication and that this system is broken in neurodegenerative disease. As oxidative stress plays an important role in the neurodegenerative process it is hypothesized that neurons undergoing neurodegeneration will emit an altered biophoton profile compared to healthy tissue. In this presentation the history, theory and evidence for a potential endogenous light-based signaling system in the brain will be presented.  The purpose is to generate thoughtful discussion on this emerging idea.   Potential benefits of harnessing this process, and how this may lead to practical and effective strategies to identify and delay neurodegenerative decline will also be discussed.

Brief Bio: Travis J.A. Craddock, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychology & Neuroscience, Computer Science and Clinical Immunology at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He serves as the Director of the Clinical Systems Biology group at NSU’s Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine where he applies computational systems biology and biophysics methods towards the purpose of identifying novel treatments for complex chronic illness involving neuroinflammation.  Dr. Craddock received his Ph.D. in the field of biophysics at the University of Alberta where his graduate research activities focused on subneural biomolecular information processing, and nanoscale neuroscience descriptions of memory, consciousness and cognitive dysfunction in neurodegenerative disorders.  His current research activities are focused on using a theory driven approach to understand the underlying molecular regulation of chronic illness resulting from exposure to neurotoxins, such as anesthesia and nerve agents, or viral infection in order to improve diagnosis and putative treatment strategies. This work is primarily funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health.   

Current Areas of Academic Focus:

  • cellular information processes, and molecular neuroscience
  • biophysics of neurological/neurodegenerative diseases
  • systems neurobiology
  • quantum biology


See below for link to join via zoom:

Topic: KCN Event: Travis Craddock

Time: Jan 21, 2021 10:00 Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 863 1536 6031

Passcode: 797572


Share recording with viewers:
https://utoronto.zoom.us/rec/share/KiW4cWYJcP8DzcX89Y9D7xrmJX99DnM6QtHNAoRcLBXFi8nWaOCevBihBncbzUQK.ieN1I5m8sCcA9aa6 Passcode: +6X4Kx4Dyt