Latest By

Artificial Intelligence
Data Storage
Input Devices
Living Space
Space Tech
Virtual Person

"To get anywhere, or even live a long time, a man has to guess, and guess right, over and over again, without enough data for a logical answer."
- Robert Heinlein

  The latest thing in electrically stimulated learning.  

"When you learn something... how does your brain do it?... The nerve-cells of your brain, the neurons, already contain the ideas of Earth and round," he explained. "Constant repetition of "Earth is round" establishes a connection between the two neuron-groups, by gradually lowering the resistance at the synapses of neuron-contacts. Thus, when in future you think of Earth, the thought-impulse flashes along that low-resistance path to the specific neurons containing round."

Being an electrician, I could dimly understand that.

"Long study and repetition establishes the neural paths necessary for remembering. But suppose by applying a tiny electronic impulse from outside, you could artificially establish a low-resistance path between these two neuron-groups?"

I got that, too. "Then I'd know that 'Earth is round' without having to bother learning it!"

"That's the idea!" Carter said... "we invented a scanner that can change the labyrinthine neural connections of the brain by tiny electronic impulses, just as you can rewire a generator's coils. With it, we can set up any desired neural paths in an instant by applying just the right electronic impulses at the right points in the network."

"Any ordinary new set of facts requires thousands of new neural paths in the brain... The scanner can put these new neural connections in your brain in a flash, by projecting a pre-determined pattern of electronic impulses."

From The Knowledge Machine, by Edmond Hamilton.
Published by Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1948
Additional resources -

Here's a picture of the entire set-up:

Compare to the Electromechanical Educator from The Fourth "R" by George O. Smith.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Knowledge Machine
  More Ideas and Technology by Edmond Hamilton
  Tech news articles related to The Knowledge Machine
  Tech news articles related to works by Edmond Hamilton

Articles related to Culture
Save Your Brain's Connectome, Upload Yourself Elsewhere
TMS Decreases Belief In God, Increases Belief In Immigrants
Blockchain Used To Verify Election Results
We Could Downgrade Puerto Rico - And Thereby Save It

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.





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.





More News

Save Your Brain's Connectome, Upload Yourself Elsewhere
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?'

TMS Decreases Belief In God, Increases Belief In Immigrants
'... setting up the same currents, the same basic ideas, in them all.'

Loomo Mini Transporter Robot Companion You Ride On
'Slowly the [robot] horse raised its head, wiggled its ears, blinked twice, gave a tentative whinny.'

Soft Robotics - Now With 3D Printed Sensors!
'A series of chemelectric afferent nerve-analogues, which permitted it to gauge to an ounce the amount of pressure necessary to snap a bone...'

AI Tool Lynx Insight And The Cybernetic Newsroom
'The structure,... was once a great homeostatic newspaper, the New York Times. It printed itself directly below us...'

Espresso Telescope Searches For Exoplanets
'These instruments were the wonderful ones our astronomers had perfected.'

Dune Fans! Metal-Organic Frameworks Make Science Fiction Real
'Dew collectors,' he muttered, enchanted by the simple beauty of such a scheme.

Manned Maneuvering Unit From 1984
'The glittering little rocket bolted to the black iron behind him.'

Astronaut Gets Younger In Space
'So what we're looking for now is not an antibiotic - an anti-life drug - but an anti-agathic, an anti-death drug...'

Blockchain Used To Verify Election Results
'Any adult could punch into the phone his or her code, followed by a yes or no.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise | - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.