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Scientists Develop Brain-Microchip Bridge

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the man-and-machine dept.

Biotech 118

dreampod writes "Canadian scientists have developed a microchip capable of monitoring the electrical and chemical communication channels between individual neurons. This is the first time scientists have been able to monitor the interaction between brain cells on such a precise and subtle level. In addition to providing the ability to see more easily the impact of drugs on various mental disorders during testing, this provides one of the first fundamental steps towards real mind-machine interface."

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singularity (2, Funny)

laktech (998064) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224228)

I'll be looking forward to discuss these developments at the Singularity Conference this weekend!

Re:singularity (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224524)

Resistance is Futile.

Prepare to be assimilated.

Re:singularity (4, Funny)

trum4n (982031) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224658)

UPGRADE MY DAMN MEMORY. i can NEVER remember my passwords....

Re:singularity (5, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224812)

You already had an appointment.

Yesterday.

Re:singularity (2, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 4 years ago | (#33225708)

Resistance is Futile.
Prepare to be assimilated.

Ohm mani padme hum?

Star Trek or Star Wars? (0)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33226772)

Resistance is Futile. Prepare to be assimilated.

Borg motto.

padme

Queen Amidala's civilian name.

I got the "ohm" part (resistance), but is there a reason you mixed Star Trek and Star Wars allusions?

Re:singularity (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 4 years ago | (#33227556)

Too late. I already use Windows.

But not in a real brain? (3, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224240)

TFA is vague but it looks like the cells in question are being kept alive outside the organism. I suppose this could be adapted into an implantable device, but cochlear implants almost do that anyway.

Re:But not in a real brain? (2, Informative)

catbutt (469582) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224358)

Cochlear implants go the opposite direction. Cochlear implants are like speakers, this is like a microphone.

Re:But not in a real brain? (3, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224386)

Cochlear implants go the opposite direction. Cochlear implants are like speakers, this is like a microphone.

Thats true but the important thing here is the interface, which works both ways. This device may have more resolution though, and it seems precise enough to talk to individual neurons, rather than nerve cells.

Re:But not in a real brain? (5, Informative)

catbutt (469582) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224466)

Well I'm not sure what you mean by nerve cells vs. neurons (they are the same thing, by my understanding), but for every neuron there might be 1000 synapses, so that might be what you mean. I couldn't tell from the story, though.

Re:But not in a real brain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33224500)

Mod this guy up. A neuron is a nerve cell.

Re:But not in a real brain? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224598)

Well I'm not sure what you mean by nerve cells vs. neurons (they are the same thing, by my understanding), but for every neuron there might be 1000 synapses, so that might be what you mean. I couldn't tell from the story, though.

The difference, I think, is that nerve cells are more isolated than neurons in the brain. So for a nerve you can use a large detector to isolate a signal but to get meaningful data from nerve cells (neurons) in a mass of neurons you need high resolution.

Re:But not in a real brain? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33224968)

Sorry, they're the same thing. Neuron == nerve == nerve cell. A neuron consists of a cell body (the prokaryon), one axon (outgoing signal), and one or more dendrites (incoming). They connect to each other from axon to dendrite, at links called synapses. The signal is propagated by very high-resolution, high-frequency balancing and shifting ion gradients.

Re:But not in a real brain? (2, Informative)

Monkey-Man2000 (603495) | more than 4 years ago | (#33226714)

Actually, a nerve is not the same thing as a neuron (or "nerve cell" if you like). Nerves are bundles of axons extending from the neurons that travel to and from the sensory/muscle systems to the nervous system. For example, we have 12 cranial nerves [wikipedia.org] and about 30 spinal nerves [wikipedia.org] .

Re:But not in a real brain? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224578)

But I'm not all that sure a single neuron is a reasonable long term target for such a device. After all that neuron could die just when you need it most, (or after a few stiff drinks).

Also, I'm not sure a human can fire a single given neuron in the brain with any precision when (and only when) desired.

I would expect that further research could allow clusters of these sensors to monitor small regions of the brain and detect when that region was fired in a specific way, (as opposed to some random triggering while dreaming or having sex or some other horribly inappropriate time).

Then you could have the QWERTY keyboard in your head (or the flaps, ailerons, engines, and missiles).

I'm sure the keyboard and mouse have a few years left before people start drilling holes in their head for sensors.

However there are a lot of people, blind, spinal damaged, who would be pushing to be first in line for trials.

Re:But not in a real brain? (3, Funny)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224864)

(or the flaps, ailerons, engines, and missiles)

Yes, but you have to think in Russian

Re:But not in a real brain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33226234)

(or the flaps, ailerons, engines, and missiles)

Yes, but you have to think in Russian

http://tinyurl.com/247mdwa [tinyurl.com]

Re:But not in a real brain? (2, Funny)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33226794)

Yes, but you have to think in Russian

Only if you're using Firefox [mozilla-europe.org] . As AC hinted [slashdot.org] , Chrome can do this translation for you.

Re:But not in a real brain? (2, Interesting)

catbutt (469582) | more than 4 years ago | (#33225188)

Sure, but the idea is to monitor thousands or even millions of them....at least if you are planning on doing the kinds of sci-fi-ish things we'd like to do. The issue here is what resolution are we working at. Current technology is several orders of magnitude less than neuron level. Neuron level (or even higher, synapes level) would be good, even if each individual neuron may not be giving a lot of info. (just as every pixel in an image doesn't have a lot of info)

Whether we can ever do it, and whether we'll be able to process all the data meaningfully, no one knows. But the future is long.

Re:But not in a real brain? (2, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 4 years ago | (#33225778)

I'm sure the keyboard and mouse have a few years left before people start drilling holes in their head for sensors.

Sigh.

You should have told me that 10 minutes ago...

Re:But not in a real brain? (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#33225106)

So, you hook them together and you can hear your own thoughts!

Read the small print (4, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224242)

Before jumping on this, read the small print.
They take out a piece of brain tissue, and implant it into the machinery, not the other way around. I'm not sure about you guys, but that kind of interface doesn't seem too useful to me, although it could be useful for diagnosis.

Re:Read the small print (4, Insightful)

catbutt (469582) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224344)

I think it's what is known as "an important first step". That is, having communication between neurons and electronics. Once you've done that, it is another (admittedly large)step to make it practical.

Obviously, it's harder to do in a living organism, so you work out certain details in a test tube, so to speak.

Re:Read the small print (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224632)

I think it's what is known as "an important first step".

This was done with snails. Not exactly a first step.

Re:Read the small print (5, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224826)

Let's call it "an important first slimy forward drag".

Re:Read the small print (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224880)

One small splort for a snail, one giant splertch for snailkind!

Re:Read the small print (1)

Dekker3D (989692) | more than 4 years ago | (#33226262)

I'ma take that with a grain of salt..

Re:Read the small print (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33225452)

They clearly failed to follow through.

I have yet to see even a snail-sized 'Mech.

Unless ComSat is suppressing that info... Hm.

Re:Read the small print (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224348)

I think there is a gap in medicine. You have scientists, technicians (doctors) but few engineers. If there were medical engineers they could take a device like this and package it for implantation. One obvious application would be an electronic bridge between two bunches of nerve cells.

Re:Read the small print (2, Informative)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224394)

If there were medical engineers they could take a device like this and package it for implantation.

There is such a field as Biomedical Engineering [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Read the small print (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224516)

Yep, those guys turn $5 pulse meter into $5k FDA-approved pulse measurement stall.

Bodily-fluid-proofing (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33226832)

Yep, those guys turn $5 pulse meter into $5k FDA-approved pulse measurement stall.

That's $5 for the meter and $4,995 for bodily-fluid-proofing [slashdot.org] and the sort of testing needed for a warranty. We went over this the last time [slashdot.org] someone recommended using mass-market consumer electronics as a medical device.

Re:Read the small print (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#33227254)

This is child's play, Jim.

Re:Read the small print (4, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224608)

Before jumping on this, read the small print.
They take out a piece of brain tissue, and implant it into the machinery, not the other way around. I'm not sure about you guys, but that kind of interface doesn't seem too useful to me, although it could be useful for diagnosis.

I rather suspect if it were the other way around, (implants for arbitrary interfaces) there would be a bit of a hue and cry. Especially when human subjects are discussed.

Its the safe way to do the research without attracting the attention of political or religious groups.

Its pretty patently clear that implantation is the ultimate goal, and this opens a whole can of worms best left unopened while the research is young.

Re:Read the small print (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224786)

Its pretty patently clear that implantation is the ultimate goal, and this opens a whole can of worms best left unopened while the research is young.

Yeah, we'll keep it under the radar and let it gather lots of momentum, entrench itself in terms of research thus far invested, and then we'll spring open that can of worms. Surely that will avert the controversy concerning brain implants!

Re:Read the small print (1)

chichilalescu (1647065) | more than 4 years ago | (#33225292)

yes, a can of worms would be open if you went against god! If god intended you to have chips in your brain, you would be born with them! just like speaking and writing!

mbrlkjhjakd!

Re:Read the small print (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 4 years ago | (#33225692)

I rather suspect if it were the other way around, (implants for arbitrary interfaces) there would be a bit of a hue and cry. Especially when human subjects are discussed.

Besides, even if the technology cannot be made small enough for an inconspicuous implant, I reckon there's plenty of folks willing to wear a funky looking helmet/contraption on their heads if that means being able to send electrical impulses to their paralyzed lower body.

Re:Read the small print (2, Funny)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224666)

Benji mouse :"It has to be prepared"

Mouse 2: "Diced, We will replace it with an artificial brain, no-one will notice.

Arthur Dent :"I will"

Benji mouse: No you wont you will be programmed not to!"

Re:Read the small print (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224920)

Ever read Anne McCaffrey brain/brawn books?

Being able to remove a full brain, keep it on life support (the next step) and interface it to a computer would be rather useful I would have thought :)

Re:Read the small print (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33224958)

Would have made password extraction from Terry Childs much simpler...

Re:Read the small print (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33225176)

Yeah, but maybe they can stimulate it to learn, say, kung fu, then fuse it to my right frontal lobe.
Whoa.

Re:Read the small print (1)

MacroMegaMan (819087) | more than 4 years ago | (#33225600)

You know, I've often wondered why we don't join some of our existing technologies together and get on with things. I know it may not be as simple as it sounds, but we have this tech already:

http://www.sciencenews.org/view/feature/id/54170/title/Let_there_be_light [sciencenews.org]
(Allows for manipulation of neurons with light)

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nl051811%2B [acs.org]
http://nanotechweb.org/cws/article/tech/41146 [nanotechweb.org]
(Nanoscale OLED displays)

http://www.egmrs.org/EJS/PDF/vo281/1.pdf [egmrs.org]
http://www.azonano.com/news.asp?newsID=6802 [azonano.com]
(Nanoscale light detectors)

http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.2108/zsj.22.535?journalCode=jzoo [bioone.org]
http://www.jove.com/index/details.stp?ID=2081 [jove.com]
(And we can stain cells with dyes that fluoresce when the cells experience activity now)

We have peanut butter, jelly and bread. Why can't we get this all together to make a sandwich? Or is this currently in the works?
Or am I missing something subtle, that someone who actually knows about this research can enlighten us about?

Re:Read the small print (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 4 years ago | (#33226220)

We have peanut butter, jelly and bread. Why can't we get this all together to make a sandwich?

Becausw we're not American and it would make us sick?

Re:Read the small print (1)

Dekker3D (989692) | more than 4 years ago | (#33226278)

If the light could both be from the mechanical AND the biological side, you'd have quite a bit of confusion. You want different kinds of signals for input and output.

Re:Read the small print (1)

Syberz (1170343) | more than 4 years ago | (#33226970)

They take out a piece of brain tissue, and implant it into the machinery

Didn't they use semi-organic components in the computer (gelpacks I think) in Star Trek? I seem to recall an episode when the organic components of the computer caught a virus (real one, not computer) and that borked the systems of the ship.

So yeah, my point is that using organic components in a computer seemed to achieve a rather important purpose in Star Trek so it stands to reason that what we are learning here could be useful.

Vampire Plug (1, Interesting)

PiAndWhippedCream (1566727) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224278)

What I really want is a vampire plug that sits on my optic nerve(s) and captures everything I see and records it to a hard drive. I would like it to automatically tag timestamps with my thoughts at the time, but that can wait for version 2.0.

Re:Vampire Plug (2, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224320)

What I really want is a vampire plug that sits on my optic nerve(s) and captures everything I see and records it to a hard drive.

The Man would like you to have that too. I mean, if you have nothing to hide, why would you possibly be against it?

Re:Vampire Plug (2, Funny)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224404)

The only thing a Vampire plug would enable you to do is sparkle.

Re:Vampire Plug (1)

DryGrian (1775520) | more than 4 years ago | (#33225288)

Moderated -1 Twilight Reference, 4 points left.

Re:Vampire Plug (1)

Starfleet Command (936772) | more than 4 years ago | (#33225980)

YES!!! I have long had that wish.

The MAFIAA (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33227250)

What I really want is a vampire plug that sits on my optic nerve(s) and captures everything I see and records it to a hard drive.

Don't watch any vampire movies in this state, or one or more MPAA members will try to slay you.

Chemical dialogue (2, Interesting)

mevets (322601) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224300)

I thought this sort of thing was quite difficult, without vapourizing the tissue and dropping it into a mass spectrometer. I know CSI can drop a grain of goop into a breadmaker and have it pinpoint every compound, dna profile and isotope distribution in a few seconds, but I kinda guessed that was a TV-ish thing.

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. - GB Shaw

The soul (1, Insightful)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224316)

I wonder if 100% of the brain is monitored and analyzed if somewhere in there we will finally find a soul.

Re:The soul (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33224368)

sure you do

Re:The soul (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224390)

I wonder if 100% of the brain is monitored and analyzed if somewhere in there we will finally find a soul.

I take the opposing view. Once we model all of a working mind I think we will be surprised to find out little is going on there in reality.

Re:The soul (1)

CptNerd (455084) | more than 4 years ago | (#33226656)

We already learn that the day after each election.

Re:The soul (1)

suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224526)

I take the view that the universe is 4-dimensional, but only on a microscopic (or smaller) scale; an atom or molecule or even something smaller (quantum sized) might have a depth or "space" attached to it (which can be altered by manipulations/chemistry), but unless you can combine and expand these spaces with extremely small, precise mechanisms (cells), there is no way to make it workably large. Once you have a large cellular network, though, it may be possible.

So more or less, I theorize that we have no current way of detecting it, but it is there, and it can only exist because of biology. If I'm right, and we ever figure that fact out in any way that allows engineering, we will have learned something VERY interesting.

I don't claim to know enough actual physics to be able to back that up, though.

Re:The soul (2, Insightful)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224618)

I take the view that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively; life is just a dream and we are all imaginations of ourselves.

Here's Tom with the weather.

Re:The soul (1)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224700)

Seems more like a gaia dreaming of her father. How else do you explain the complete and utter superiority of women coupled with the ubiquitous nonsensical dominance of the tragic male figure?

That being said, you sound like a kook, homeboy!!! Keep on. ;)

Re:The soul (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33225084)

Seems more like a gaia dreaming of her father. How else do you explain the complete and utter superiority of women coupled with the ubiquitous nonsensical dominance of the tragic male figure?

That being said, you sound like a kook, homeboy!!! Keep on. ;)

The GP is a direct reference to Bill Hicks. And if you want to learn something about women and men and dominance, try reading Macbeth sometime. The superiority women have is that they are superior manipulators who don't like to do their own dirty work.

Re:The soul (1)

DryGrian (1775520) | more than 4 years ago | (#33225304)

Moderated +1 Bill Hicks Reference, 3 points left.

Re:The soul (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 4 years ago | (#33226230)

I wonder if 100% of the brain is monitored and analyzed if somewhere in there we will finally find a soul.

No, and when we don't all the religionists will just say that it's not a physical object or process, so they never expected to find it anyway.

xkcd (1, Funny)

Luke Wilson (1626541) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224328)

obligatory xkcd [xkcd.com]

okaygoods (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33224370)

Technology is progress too fast. Really incredible.dofus kamas [okaygoods.com]

Kiss my medulla oblongata. (0, Offtopic)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224384)

The neurochip is able to monitor the electrical and chemical dialogue between brain cells, and to track subtle changes in brain activity.

So, resistance is futile, conductance useful.

I'm looking forward to version 2.0, otherwise know as Harvey [wikia.com] (for all you Farscape fans).

Re:Kiss my medulla oblongata. (1)

CptNerd (455084) | more than 4 years ago | (#33226664)

So, resistance is futile, conductance useful.

But with too much reluctance comes great impedance.

The chip (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33224416)

Making a chip that measures chemical or electrical changes in the brain is easy. Anyone with a little knowledge about electronics and chemistry can build a large scale prototype, and with enough money you can make it small enough to be implantable. The trick is getting it to use very little power (less than 1uA average) and getting FDA approval.

Electrical changes in the brain are typically 100nV-1mV and 10kHz (depending on what you're looking for). You can measure what's going on by hooking up a pair of wires to brain tissue, amplify the signal using an instrumentation amplifier with a high pass filter, and then sample the resulting voltage with an ADC.

For chemical changes you usually apply a voltage waveform and measure the current (this depends on the chemical). The current response can indicate the presence of a certain chemical and changes to the current waveform can indicate concentration (this is called Voltammetry). This can be done with a few opamp's, a sense resistor and an ADC. The article doesn't mention a lot of specifics, so I guess they could also be referring to rheoencephalography (sweep the frequency of a sine/pulse waveform and measure phase shift and amplitude reduction as it's across brain tissue).

Re:The chip (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33224790)

Aha. A very insightful post, but you reveal yourself Mr. A.C., or should I say Doctor Evil?!

Your attempt to stimulate thought in your peers tells all: your shallow moralistic scientific bent towards empowerment; your obvious belief that because a thing may be conceivable that it is safe to 'think' 'about!' Did you think you could hide that from us? That you think? It cannot be hidden!

Where does this 'think' 'about' come from? Muslim extremists, of course. Those fuckers invented *zero*. Think we would be in all this scientific trouble with the tubez delivering WMDs to children if there was no zero? That's right brothers, imagine there's no zero, it is easy if you try.

The fact is that children are being encouraged to do this goddamn Muslim 'think' 'about' stuff by posts like yours Dr. Evil, and we, the people of the United States of America plan to stop you.

First Wikileaks, then the world, then our own country again cause we can't run it while doing the other two!!! But don't worry, we will be back!

There is one in Orbit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33224426)

...no need for implants, just use SLF/ELF waves

sounds cool where are the Bionic arms and legs? (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224448)

sounds cool where are the Bionic arms and legs?

Re:sounds cool where are the Bionic arms and legs? (2, Funny)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224630)

In the trunk of the flying car. :P

Mind reading (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224458)

With individual brain cells you won't get anything close to that. Even trying at will of doing something, probably won't be very useful, will be more like getting slow binary signals or morse code. And raising the number of cells should be not help, your concience just works at another level, would be like hiting with a building a touchscreen of the size of the iphone.

Re:Mind reading (1)

catbutt (469582) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224508)

True, but take a look at a relay or vacuum tube of 75 years ago, compared to a silicon transistor today. That's about where we are with this stuff.

My guess is that a lot of information goes from one side of the brain to the other via the corpus callosum, and if you could monitor just that traffic (which is still massive), you could gather a lot. Making sense of it is a different matter. I don't think its unreasonable to think that they might be able to do it in 100 years though.

Not a Bridge (1)

Derosian (943622) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224460)

A bridge allows passage both ways, this allows the machine to read the cells, the other problem seems to be it applies to cells outside the brain, although I suppose an implant is the next step.

Sci Fi comes to life... (1)

logistic (717955) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224496)

Ah we'll see something like Interface (ISBN: 0553372300) is just a few short year. Kinda like fusion as a practical source of electricity...

Re:Sci Fi comes to life... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224616)

Or Terminal Man?

Imortality (2, Interesting)

jbssm (961115) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224498)

I believe this will be an easier way to immortality than any genetic treatment.

If you think about, from the moment on that you can store you memories and later thoughts in a chip, just like you do in your brain, how can you distinguish between what goes on in your biological brain and digital one? Where is the barrier?

I know we are still far from that time. Perhaps decades at the best, but just think about the philosophic implications of that and how the concept of life, intelligent life and humanity will need to be re-defined.

It's a "brave new world".

Re:Imortality (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224966)

    A person is a sum of their memories from birth to present. Every moment is training us to be who we are, intentionally or otherwise. Through every seemingly unrelated event, we become the person who we are.

    If the memories and the relationships we form between those memories and the way things work, are recorded precisely and could be transferred to another body, we would achieve immortality. More precisely, each generation these memories are transferred to would be an extension of ourself. The previous self would die, but the subsequent self would retain all the training and be allowed to expand on it.

    The problem would then be, if we were transferred at death, to a new self who was yet to be born, would the time in the resulting self allow for us to maintain our sanity? A person can be driven insane pretty quickly through various brainwashing methods including torture. An isolation tank, where you feel like you're floating in body temperature fluid, free of visual and audio sensory input, can drive a person mad. 9 months in such a place (the womb), followed by a year or more in a form that is unable to communicate or control our physical form, could easily make you into a babbling idiot.

    Imagine being locked in a tank, where you are fed intravenously. You cannot see anything but blackness. You cannot hear anything except the steady rhythm of a machine. Your lungs are full of fluid, but your blood is oxygenated by an outside source. You cannot scream. Any attempts to escape are countered by the fact that the tank you are in is padded where you cannot breach it, and you can find no escape.

    We've all lived through it once, and we don't remember it. I'm not quite sure I'd want to go through it again, even if it only through the implantation of my lifetime of experiences. While it may be a great advance for the next generation of myself to already have these experiences, there have been a lot of things that I wish I'd never experienced, and wouldn't want to curse anyone else with. They are my demons that I have to live with. We all have them. Those who say they don't are lying to themselves. I'd rather let the next form of myself come into the world a blank slate, with no memories or experiences from the past.

 

Re:Imortality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33226612)

Also, it seems to me that the early-age brain plasticity is a very important step for adaptation into this ever-moving world. Just look at how children are able to learn new languages, or how they take some things for granted and are seem able to come up with new ideas we are just not hard wired to have. Skipping this step by forcing memories onto a fresh brain is not going to help with humanity improvement if you ask me.

You're more than just the sum of your memories, you're also how your brain got wired throughout your life, how you emotionally react faced with situations, which is more about the subconsciousness. Just manipulating memories is not a step for immortality, simply another way of spreading knowledge at best. Which is cool already.

Learning language and escaping from womb (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33226944)

Imagine being locked in a tank, where you are fed intravenously. You cannot see anything but blackness. You cannot hear anything except the steady rhythm of a machine.

One plot point in Mr. Holland's Opus is that the human womb transmits sound. It's low-pass filtered, but it's enough to make human babies react differently [birthpsychology.com] to the rhythms and tone contours of the mother's language than to those of a foreign language.

Any attempts to escape are countered by the fact that the tank you are in is padded where you cannot breach it

This study [drmomma.org] claims that the child's lungs send the birth signal when the child is ready to escape.

Obligatory (0)

JoshDM (741866) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224504)

I, for one, welcome our microchipped brainiac overlords.

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33224602)

No obligatories are obligatory! Please, enough with the nonobligatory obligatories.

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33224628)

I read all these posts just for this one....... Love it!

Re:Obligatory (0)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#33225104)

In Soviet Russia, this one post reads you !

Have a nice day.

"socialized medicine" (0, Offtopic)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224534)

Opponents of "socialized medicine" argue that capitalism is necessary for cutting-edge medical research, here is an example of the opposite.

Re:"socialized medicine" (1)

dreampod (1093343) | more than 4 years ago | (#33225446)

Though it may come as a surprise if you had listened to the republicans lately but Canada is actually a capitalist society and while we 'socialize' the cost of it, the fact of the matter is it is good solid capitalist sense to do so because we pay vastly less for better outcomes and manage to cover everyone simultaneously.

However the research for this project is out of the University of Calgary and is not funded by our health care system but through the standard mix of research grants, university funds, and private partnerships that you would get out of any US post secondary institution.

Everyone will be an Einstein/Shakespeare/Mozart! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33224600)

Wow! But being of modest means, I'm afraid I'll have to settle for ad-supported circuitry.

Skull Jack In The Future? (1)

IonOtter (629215) | more than 4 years ago | (#33224648)

I forget if it was a Shadowrun book, or a William Gibson novel, but one of the protagonists had been captured, and the bad guys had cheerfully plugged THEIR equipment into the hero's skull jack. Think "A Clockwork Orange", only without the need for eyedrops.

You really don't want an implant that can allow someone to root your brain.

Re:Skull Jack In The Future? (1)

Caledfwlch (1434813) | more than 4 years ago | (#33225048)

William Gibson's "Neuromancer"

Implanted into a certain ex-governor from Alaska (3, Funny)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#33225114)

Another Bridge to Nowhere...

Re:Implanted into a certain ex-governor from Alask (1)

dreampod (1093343) | more than 4 years ago | (#33225406)

*Golf clap*

Bravo sir.

Wonder if I could get a grant... (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 4 years ago | (#33225212)

...to study these devices under varying physical conditions...say, a determinate study to isolate the fractional conductivity effects of Grey Goose vs. Jägermeister...

We are the Canadians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33225418)

you will be assimilated, resistance is futile

False alarm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33225566)

Jeez, I almost read it as 'Scientists developed brains'. I could have presented some of those as birthday gifts to my boses!

Oh Please, Please!... (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33226116)

Get 535 of these ready for implant and equipped with a basic math & econ101 enhancement module and send them on your fastest aircraft along with a team of implant technicians to Washington DC.

Stat!!

I for one (1, Funny)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 4 years ago | (#33226424)

I for one welcome our new implanted-micro-chip-augmented human overlords.

Do Beowulf Clusters of Humans make God plausible? (1)

Vesuvias (584893) | more than 4 years ago | (#33227424)

I have always been most curious on what impact direct machine brain interfaces would have on Human communication. If we can communicate thought, feeling, and memory at the speed of light where is the barrier between you and I? Where do I stop and you begin? Would the direct connection of billions of humans to one another form a self aware super intelligence?

There are times where I feel this may be our only chance at survival as a race. If we don't unify to the point where each one of us sees that harming another human is the same as harming ourselves then as technology advances a single misguided human may be able to do enough harm to destroy the entire species.

This then seems to have weird parallels to religious teachings, the golden rule comes to mind. Selflessness versus Selfishness; a common theme across a lot of religions.

But if we could form the equivalent of a God-like intelligence. Does that make the idea of God at least more plausible? If God is plausible and religions have been "training" us morally for a day when clustering was technologically possible, that would be rather... interesting.

Admittedly this is a bit more optimistic and pro-religious than is customary for slashdot but these are MY random bits of waxing imaginative dammit....

Time to Start the OS Interface Project? (1)

AbominousSalad (1774194) | more than 4 years ago | (#33227460)

I'm a tinfoil hat wearing freak on my worst days, but any fear of this project is trumped by my William Gibson fanboy-isms and my desire to keep my career moving long after Carpal Tunnel Syndrome cripples my hands. In all seriousness - does this announcement constitute a good reason to start working on the scaffolds for a new DNI-based X desktop?
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