It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
An estimated 10 to 20 percent of troops coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan are suffering from traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, which afflict 1.7 million Americans each year. Now the Pentagon’s rolling out a revolutionary initiative to treat the condition: brain implants that one researcher likens to “replacement parts” for damaged gray matter.
[edit on 9-5-2010 by Max_TO]
No surprise that military extreme science agency Darpa is behind the project, which is called REPAIR, or Reorganization and Plasticity to Accelerate Injury Recovery. Yesterday, they announced an initial two-year round of $14.9 million in funding for four institutions, led by Stanford and Brown universities, that will collaborate on the brain-chip project. All in, it’ll involve 10 professors and their research teams, working in neuroscience, psychiatry, brain modeling and even semiconductors.
Significant progress has already been made in understanding brain injury. Scientists can create conceptual, mathematical models of brain activity, and are also able to record the electrical pulses emitted by individual neurons in the brain, which offers insight into how those neurons communicate. That knowledge has spurred rapid progress in neural-assisted prosthetic devices, a program that Shenoy collaborated on with Geoffrey Ling, the same Darpa program manager behind REPAIR.
But what experts can’t yet do, Shenoy said, is alter those electrical pulses to turn brain circuits on or off. His team will use optogenetics, an emerging technique that involves emitting light pulses to precisely trigger neural activity, to develop an implanted TBI treatment device.
“Before this, emitting light into the brain would be like hitting it with a hammer,” Shenoy said. “What we’re doing now is pin-pointing a single neuron, and that neuron will naturally change its activity depending on the cue.”
Originally posted by Max_TO
As much as I like to see someone get there brain fixed seeing the military running such a project provokes a moment of pause .
Wether we like it or not brain manipulation via electric stimulation has come a long way sense the days of poking someone in the brains to make them smell some burnt toast . The study of brain manipulation through direct stimulation has progressed almost as fast as new technologies . As " our " technologies have been developed and refined " we " have developed a means to chip people for any number of purposes and out of all the different places one might have a chip placed , the brain without a doubt has to be one of the most troubling .
(visit the link for the full news article)
"In the last ten years physicists have been extraordinarily noisy about the immense powers, that largely through their efforts, but through other efforts as well have come into the possession of man, powers notably and strikingly for very large scale and dreadful destruction. We have spoken of our responsibilities and our obligations to society in terms that sound very provincial, because the psychologist can hardly do anything without realizing that for him the acquisition of knowledge opens up the most terrifying prospects of controlling what people do and how they feel. This is true for all of you who are engaged in practice, and as the corpus of psychology gains in certitude and subtlety and skill. I can see that the physicists pleas that what he discovers be used with humanity and be used wisely will seem trivial compared to those pleas which you will have to make and for which you will be responsible."