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Major Breakthough in Memory Implants

hippocampus bci implant implants memory implant uploading

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#1 MetaMind

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 05:12 PM

Hi folks,
Scientists of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles have made a major breakthrough in archieving long-term memory forming with a special implant that simulates (!) some functions of the hippocampus.

For more than two decades, Berger has designed silicon chips to mimic the signal processing that those neurons do when they’re functioning properly—the work that allows us to recall experiences and knowledge for more than a minute. Ultimately, Berger wants to restore the ability to create long-term memories by implanting chips like these in the brain.

“We’re not putting individual memories back into the brain,” he says. “We’re putting in the capacity to generate memories.”

By the early 1990s, his understanding—and computing hardware—had advanced to the point that he could work with his colleagues at the University of Southern California’s department of engineering to make computer chips that mimic the signal processing done in parts of the hippocampus. “It became obvious that if I could get this stuff to work in large numbers in hardware, you’ve got part of the brain,” he says. “Why not hook up to what’s existing in the brain? So I started thinking seriously about prosthetics long before anybody even considered it.”

Then the researchers took a leap forward by trying this in live rats, showing that a computer could in fact serve as an artificial component of the hippocampus.

They placed electrodes in the monkey brains to capture the code formed in the prefrontal cortex that they believed allowed the animals to remember an image they had been shown earlier. Then they drugged the monkeys with cocaine, which impairs that part of the brain. Using the implanted electrodes to send the correct code to the monkeys’ prefrontal cortex, the researchers significantly improved the animal’s performance on the image-identification task.

Despite the uncertainties, Berger and his colleagues are planning human studies. He is collaborating with clinicians at his university who are testing the use of electrodes implanted on each side of the hippocampus to detect and prevent seizures in patients with severe epilepsy. If the project moves forward as envisioned, Berger’s group will piggyback on the trial to look for memory codes in those patients’ brains.

“I never thought I’d see this go into humans, and now our discussions are about when and how,” he says. “I never thought I’d live to see the day, but now I think I will.”

source: http://www.technolog...emory-implants/

To be honest, this type of technology advancement I havent suspected this early...
Just imagine what implications this might have to link us up into the cloud... storing memories, sharing experiences etc.

Edited by MetaMind, 01 May 2013 - 05:13 PM.

#2 AgeVivo

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 02:32 AM

Sounds very impressive. Anyone to look at it in details and give us his educated feedback?

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: hippocampus, bci, implant, implants, memory implant, uploading

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