Thursday, September 20, 2012

Brain Boost Button one step closer

In 1972 Orson Welles narrated a short documentary film, directed by Alex Grasshoff, based Alvin Toffler's book Future Shock.

In that film there is a man shown getting out of bed, groggily finding a 110VAC wall socket to jack-in his neural implant, and pressing a button with his thumb to charge up his cognitive co-processor brain implant for that day, the way many people feed their caffeine addiction every morning.

Now the Journal of Neural Engineering has published (Volume 9 Number 5; J. Neural Eng. 9 056012) Facilitation and restoration of cognitive function in primate prefrontal cortex by a neuroprosthesis that utilizes minicolumn-specific neural firing [PDF]. This is a simple brain implant to augment the brains processing power (currently in animal tests with monkeys), where there has been brain damage due to trauma or disease. It is the first small tentative step to the Brain Boost Button that Toffler warned us of being on the horizon in 1972...