Memory Implant Records And Plays Back
A brain implant capable of recording and playing back the electrical activity of neurons has been constructed by researchers from USC and Wake Forest University.
A primary objective in developing a neural prosthesis is to replace neural circuitry in the brain that no longer functions appropriately. Such a goal requires artificial reconstruction of neuron-to-neuron connections in a way that can be recognized by the remaining normal circuitry, and that promotes appropriate interaction. In this study, the application of a specially designed neural prosthesis using a multi-input/multi-output (MIMO) nonlinear model is demonstrated by using trains of electrical stimulation pulses to substitute for MIMO model derived ensemble firing patterns...
These integrated experimental-modeling studies show for the first time that, with sufficient information about the neural coding of memories, a neural prosthesis capable of real-time diagnosis and manipulation of the encoding process can restore and even enhance cognitive, mnemonic processes.
(A cortical neural prosthesis for restoring and enhancing memory)
Here's a summary of the basic experiment:
- The rats first practiced a simple memory task: To get a refreshing drink of water, hit one lever in a cage, then—after a short distraction—hit the other. They had to remember which lever they’d already pushed to know which one to push the second time,.
- As the rats did this memory task, an array of electrodes recorded signals between two subregions of the hippocampus, called CA1 and CA3, which are involved in storing new information in long-term memory.
- The researchers then gave the rats a drug that kept CA1 and CA3 from communicating. The rats still knew the general rules of the task—press one lever then the other, get water—but couldn’t remember which lever they’d already pressed.
- When the scientists played back the neural signals from CA1 they’d recorded earlier, however, the rats again remembered which lever they had hit, and pressed the other one.
- When researchers played back the signals in rats not on the drug—amplifying the regular signals from CA1—the rats made fewer mistakes and remembered which lever they’d pressed for longer.
Fans of sf writer Lois McMaster Bujold recall the memory biochip mentioned in her 1986 novel Shards of Honor, which allowed the user to play back memories at will.
Thanks to an anonymous reader for writing in with the story and the reference.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/21/2011)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )
Related News Stories -
Dune Fans! Your God Emperor Is Ready
'If one held a sandtrout in the hand, smoothing it over your skin, it formed a living glove.' - Frank Herbert, 1976.
H-MEX Helpful Exoskeleton From Hyundai
'We have those new suits rigged with atomic-powered lifting gadgets...' - John W. Campbell, 1938.
3D Skin Printer Helps Burn Victims
'Over her lacerated right shoulder he sprayed art-derm...'- Philip K. Dick, 1960.
Can Virtual Reality help People Cope With Pain?
Research is promising.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Keith Laumer's Bolo Autonomous Tanks Right On Schedule
'I cannot lie idle under attack.'
When Computers Develop Their Own Language, Will They Talk To Us?
'The curious absent look of a robot talking on the TBR circuits - the Talk Between Robots radio...'
LipNet Reads Lips - Until Disconnected, That Is
'We'd have to cut his higher brain functions... I'm not sure what [HAL} would think about that.'
Eterni.me - To Skype With The Dead
'Nothing... left of Jeserac but a galaxy of electrons frozen in the heart of a crystal.'
Wearable MRI Is Former Occulus/Facebook Exec's New Project
'Your cephalochromoscope... that you always turn on and play when you get home...'
Ford Stratasys Infinte Build 3D Printer
'He proudly indicated his Buick... Almost as good as the original it was printed from...'
The Space Suit As Personal Spaceship
'Darn clever, these suits...'
Dune Fans! Your God Emperor Is Ready
'If one held a sandtrout in the hand, smoothing it over your skin, it formed a living glove.'
Robot Strolls Field, Examines EVERY Plant
'The great machines that did the work ... required but a few dozen men to cultivate an entire county.'
Sweden Outlaws Drones
'An eye that could not only see, but fly, roam, travel at speeds and in directions to suit its operator...'
Wear Your Self-Powered Generator
'It's basically a micro-sandwich...'
TITAN-III Spider Robot Is WAY Too Quick (Video)
'My little friends can find you wherever you go!'
Bill Gates Suggests Tax On Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot that 'appears or pretends to be human' had to be compensated...'
Handle, New Wheeled Hopping Robot
'the hopper sprang thirty feet into the air...'
Matrix Sentinel Ancestor, The Pipe Inspector Robot From Krakow
Watch out, Keanu!
Auto-Focus Smart Glasses Have Liquid Lenses
'Hufhuf oil held in static tension by an enclosing force field within a viewing tube...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories