Brain prosthesis to bypass brain damage developed

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Whizbang
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Brain prosthesis to bypass brain damage developed

Postby Whizbang » Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:14 pm UTC

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 142524.htm

Researchers at USC and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have developed a brain prosthesis that is designed to help individuals suffering from memory loss.


If there's damage at any region that prevents this translation, then there is the possibility that long-term memory will not be formed. That's why an individual with hippocampal damage (for example, due to Alzheimer's disease) can recall events from a long time ago -- things that were already translated into long-term memories before the brain damage occurred -- but have difficulty forming new long-term memories.

Song and Berger found a way to accurately mimic how a memory is translated from short-term memory into long-term memory, using data obtained by Deadwyler and Hampson, first from animals, and then from humans. Their prosthesis is designed to bypass a damaged hippocampal section and provide the next region with the correctly translated memory.

That's despite the fact that there is currently no way of "reading" a memory just by looking at its electrical signal.


I look forward to the day where a person could say, "I just had a triple hippocampal bypass surgery."

Also, if they were to record the impulse from one individual, could they then transfer that impulse to another, giving two people the same memory?

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SDK
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Re: Brain prosthesis to bypass brain damage developed

Postby SDK » Fri Oct 09, 2015 8:10 pm UTC

This is insanely advanced. I had no idea we were even close to this level with neuroscience.

Whizbang wrote:Also, if they were to record the impulse from one individual, could they then transfer that impulse to another, giving two people the same memory?

I'm guessing everyone's brains are sufficiently different that such a thing probably wouldn't work without some serious calibration.
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Flumble
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Re: Brain prosthesis to bypass brain damage developed

Postby Flumble » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:40 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:Also, if they were to record the impulse from one individual, could they then transfer that impulse to another, giving two people the same memory?

If similar memories between individuals are encoded with a similar pattern of impulses, then, yes. Then, also, neuroscience would be solved and we would move to an internet of memories and google would dominate it and monetize memories and it would all turn into an episode of Black Mirror.

On a scale of 0 to "lots", how complex is the structure of (a section of) the hippocampus? I always believed that replacing individual neurons and synapses with artificial ones is trivial, but that replacing groups becomes extremely difficult if you can only blackbox-test them.

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BlackSails
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Re: Brain prosthesis to bypass brain damage developed

Postby BlackSails » Sat Oct 10, 2015 2:07 am UTC

I mean, we still have to find the actual paper that this news article is on. Its entirely possible the article is something like "A computational model of connections between rat hippocampal neurons"

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Whizbang
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Re: Brain prosthesis to bypass brain damage developed

Postby Whizbang » Sat Oct 10, 2015 2:15 am UTC

I am not sure which of these papers is the right one.

http://emb.citengine.com/event/embc-201 ... orID=15711

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BlackSails
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Re: Brain prosthesis to bypass brain damage developed

Postby BlackSails » Sat Oct 10, 2015 4:21 am UTC

Whizbang wrote:I am not sure which of these papers is the right one.

http://emb.citengine.com/event/embc-201 ... orID=15711


Goddamn, that was a good guess


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