Direct neural control of complex machines is a long-term U.S. military goal. DARPA has a brain-machine interface program aimed at creating next-generation wireless interfaces between neural systems and, initially, prosthetics and other biomedical devices.
In a Kurzweillian future, the world would become a very strange place, where converging advances in nanotechnology, biotechnology and computer science combine to propel humanity to its next stage of evolution. “By the end of this century, I don’t think there will be a clear distinction between human and machine,” Kurzweil told the Foresight Institute’s Eighth Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology.1
[By 1969,] the miracle of giving light to the blind i, ii, iii, iv or sound to the deaf ha[d] been made possible by implantation of electrodes, demonstrating the technical possibility of circumventing damaged sensory receptors by direct electrical stimulation of the nervous system.2 Computers that become part of our bodies are not so far-fetched.… Surgeons have performed <!–more than 50,000 3–> cochlear implants on patients with hearing loss.v “These people are already walking around with chips in their heads,” [Peter Cochrane, head of research at British Telecommunications PLC,] says.4
Giving completely paralyzed patients full mental control of robotic limbs or communication devices has long been a dream of those working to free such individuals from their locked-in state.5 There is little doubt that direct brain-machine interfaces will be available in the very near future.6
Researchers at the University School of Medicine in Philadelphia demonstrated that signals from neuron groupings in rats brains can be used to control a physical device without the rats carrying out a physical action themselves.7 “This study breaks new ground in several areas,” said Dr. Eberhard Fetz, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Washington School of Medicine, who authored a commentary on the research in the “News and Views” section of Nature Neuroscience. “Unlike comparable studies, this is the first demonstration to prove that simultaneous recordings from large ensembles of neurons can be converted in real time and online to control an external device. Extracting signals directly from the brain to control robotic devices has been a science fiction theme that seems destined to become fact.”8
[Miguel Nicolelis and colleagues] at Duke University in North Carolina wired monkey brains to control robotic arms that mimicked the motions of their real arms (another search; see also another similar study).9 “It was an amazing sight to see the robot in my lab move, knowing that it was being driven by signals from a monkey brain at Duke,” said [Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s] Touch Lab director and co-researcher Mandayam Srinivasan. “It was as if the monkey had a 600-mile- (950-km-) long virtual arm.”10
John P. Donoghue, a neuroscientist at Brown University developing a similar system, said paralyzed patients would be the first to benefit by gaining an ability to type and communicate on the Web, but the list of potential applications is endless, he said. The devices may even allow quadriplegics to move their own limbs again by sending signals from the brain to various muscles, leaping over the severed nerves that caused their paralysis.…
Both he and Nicolelis hope to get permission from the Food and Drug Administration to begin experiments in people [in 2004]. Nicolelis also is developing a system that would transmit signals from each of the hundreds of brain electrodes to a portable receiver, so his monkeys — or human subjects — could be free of external wires and move around while they turn their thoughts into mechanical actions.11
Scientists say they have developed a technology that enables a monkey to move a cursor on a computer screen simply by thinking about it.… Using high-tech brain scans, the researchers determined that [a] small clump of cells…were active in the formation of the desire to carry out specific body movements. Armed with this knowledge, [researchers at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena] implanted sensitive electrodes in the posterior parietal cortex of a rhesus monkey trained to play a simple video game.… A computer program, hooked up to the implanted electrodes,…then moved a cursor on the computer screen in accordance with the monkey’s desires — left or right, up or down, wherever “the electrical (brain) patterns tells us the monkey is planning to reach,” according to [researcher Daniella] Meeker.12 [Dr. William Heetderks, director of the neural prosthesis program at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke,] believes that the path to long-lasting implants in people would involve the recording of data from many electrodes. “To get a rich signal that allows you to move a limb in three-dimensional space or move a cursor around on a screen will require the ability to record from at least 30 neurons,” he said.13
Dr. Philip R. Kennedy, an [sic] clinical assistant professor of neurology at Emory University in Georgia, reported that a paralyzed man was able to control a cursor with a cone-shaped, glass implant (See also another similar study).14 Each [neurotrophic electrode] consists of a hollow glass cone about the size of a ball-point pen tip.15 The implants…contain an electrode that picks up impulses from the nerve endings. Before they are implanted, the cones are coated with chemicals — taken from tissue inside the patients’ own knees — to encourage nerve growth. The implants are then placed in the brain’s motor cortex — which controls body movement — and over the course of the next few months the chemicals encourage nerve cells to grow and attach to the electrodes. A transmitter just inside the skull picks up signals from the cones and translates these into cursor commands on the computer.16
Scientists at Northwestern University crafted a two-wheeled robot that operated partly on the electrical signals of a displaced lamprey’s brain (pic, video).17 The part of the brain used in the experiment normally keeps the lamprey upright in the water. When connected up correctly, the organ can guide the robot towards a light source.18
Scientists at the University of Tokyo are exploring ways that la cucaracha can become more socially redeeming. Using hardy American roaches, scientists remove their wings, insert electrodes in their antennae (more pics, schematics) and affix a tiny backpack of electric circuits and batteries to their carapace. The electrodes prod them to turn left and right, go backward and forward. The plan is to equip them with minicameras or other sensory devices.19, vi [Later that same year, the motion picture The Fifth Element (1997) featured a remote-controlled cockroach equipped with a camera.]
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute have…demonstrated electronic-based neuron transistors that can control the movement of a live leech from a computer. They can detect the firing of a nearby neuron, cause it to fire, or suppress a neuron from firing — all of which amounts to two-way communication between neurons and neuron transistors.20
Rats steered by a computer…could soon help find buried earthquake victims or dispose of bombs, scientists said [1 May 2002]. The remote-controlled “roborats” (more pics, audio, video) can be made to run, climb, jump or turn left and right through electrical probes, the width of a hair, implanted in their brains. Movement signals are transmitted from a computer to the rat’s brain via a radio receiver strapped to its back. One electrode stimulates the “feelgood” center of the rat’s brain, while two other electrodes activate the cerebral regions which process signals from its left and right whiskers.21
“They work for pleasure,” says Sanjiv Talwar, the bioengineer at the State University of New York who led the research team.… “The rat feels nirvana.”22 Asked to speculate on potential military uses for robotic animals, Dr Talwar agreed they could, in theory, be put to some unpleasant uses, such as assassination.23
[In February 2007, scientists at the Robot Engineering Technology Research Centre at Shandong University of Science and Technology in China announced they had created remote-controlled pigeons (pic) after having had similar success implanting mice in 2005. Their next step is to improve the technology for practical use.]
A team of US scientists have wired a computer to a cat’s brain and created videos of what the animal was seeing. By recording the electrical activity of nerve cells in the thalamus, a region of the brain that receives signals from the eyes, researchers from the University of California at Berkeley were able to view these shapes.… They recorded the output from 177 brain cells that responded to light and dark in the cat’s field of view. In total, the 177 cells were sensitive to a field of view of 6.4 by 6.4 degrees.… In the cat’s brain, as in ours, the signals from the thalamus cells undergo considerable signal processing in the higher regions of the brain that improve the quality of the image that is perceived. Taking an image from a region of the brain before this image enhancement has taken place will result in a poorer image than the cat is able to see.… Given time, it will be possible to record what one person sees and “play it back” to someone else either as it is happening or at a later date.24, vii
In 1870, two German researchers named [Eduard] Hitzig and [Gustav] Fritsch electrically stimulated the brains of dogs, demonstrating that certain portions of the brain were the centers of motor function. The American Dr. Robert Bartholow, within four years, demonstrated that the same was true of human beings. By the turn of the [twentieth] century in Germany Fedor Krause was able to do a systematic electrical mapping of the human brain, using conscious patients undergoing brain surgery [Morgan, James P., “The First Reported Case of Electrical Stimulation of the Human Brain,” Journal of History of Medicine at http://www3.oup.co.uk/jalsci/scope/; Zimmerman, M., “Electrical Stimulation of the Human Brain,” Human Neurobiology, 1982].
Another early researcher into electrical stimulation of the brain was Walter Rudolf Hess, who began research into ESB in the 1930s, jolting patients’ brains with shocks administered through tiny needles that pierced the skull.25 His experiments [also] included the insertion of fine electrically conductive wires into the brains of anaesthetized cats. To noone’s great surprise, given mild electrical stimulation the cats went beserk [Vance Packard, The People Shapers (New York: Bantam Books, 1977); “Hess, Walter Rudolf,” Encyclopedia Americana (New York: Harper & Row, 1969); “Hess, Walter Rudolph,” Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia (New York: Funk & Wagnalls Inc., 1973)].26
During the decades of the 1940s and 1950s, [Canadian pioneer] Wilder Penfield…experimented with electrical brain stimulation on patients undergoing surgery. One of Penfield’s discoveries was that the application of electricity on alert patients could stimulate the memory of past events [Project Open Mind] (full pic, "I smell burnt toast" reenactment surgery video).
Since 1949, the Tulane University Department of Psychiatry and Neurology has done experimentation in the implantation of electrodes into patients’ brains. According to one of their staff-generated reports, “By implantation of electrodes into various predetermined specific brain sites of patients capable of reporting thoughts and feelings, we have been able to make invaluable long-term observations…” [“Stereotaxic Implantation of Electrodes in the Human Brain: A Method for Long-Term Study and Treatment,” Heath, John, Fontana, Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, Tulane University School of Medicine].
Other early researchers into direct brain stimulation were Robert G. Heath…and his associate, Dr. Russell Monroe. Beginning in 1950, with funding from the CIA and the military, among other sources, they implanted as many as 125 electrodes into subjects’ brains, and also experimented by injecting a wide variety of drugs directly into the brain tissue through small tubes; these drugs included LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline. One of Heath’s memorable suggestions was that lobotomy should be used on subjects, not as a therapeutic measure, but for the convenience of the staff [Heath, Robert G. Undated interview in Omni; Cannon, Martin, “Mind Control and the American Government,” Prevailing Winds, 1994; Human Rights Law Journal, “Freedom of the Mind as an International Human Rights Issue,” Vol. 3, No. 1-4; Ross, M.D., Dr. Colin, “The CIA and Military Mind Control Research: Building the Manchurian Candidate,” lecture given at Ninth Annual Western Clinical Conference on Trauma and Dissociation, April 18, 1996].27 Heath of Tulane University, who pioneered the electrical stimulation of human brains, has equipped dangerously aggressive mental patients with self-stimulators. A film shows a patient working himself out of a violent mood by pushing his stimulator button.28
In 1956, James Olds (pic) reported on research in which he had electrically stimulated the brains of rats. Implanting electrodes in rats’ pleasure center of the brain, he attached a device that allowed the rats to activate the electrical impulse. He found that the rats would become so obsessed with self-stimulation that they would literally starve themselves to death.29 Very similar results have since been achieved replacing rats with monkeys [and humans as well].30
Jose Delgado, funded by Yale University, the Office of Naval Intelligence, the U.S. Air Force 6571st Aeromedical Research Laboratory, and other institutions, and linked to Spanish fascist groups by researcher John Judge,31…is the man who perfected the stimoceiver [or ‘transdermal stimulator’], a tiny electronic device that is implanted into the brains of humans and animals, and is used to transmit electrical impulses directly to the brain [Delgado, Jose, Physical Control of the Mind (New York: Harper & Row, 1969); and Judge, John, “The Secret Government,” Dharma Combat number 10].32
Delgado, in a series of experiments terrifying in their human potential, implanted electrodes in the skull of a bull. Waving a red cape, Delgado provoked the animal to charge. Then, with a signal emitted from a tiny hand-held radio transmitter, he made the beast turn aside in mid-lunge and trot docilely away.33 He has [also] been able to “play” monkeys and cats like “little electronic toys” that yawn, hide, fight, play, mate and go to sleepviii on command.34 The individual is defenseless against direct manipulation of the brain [Delgado, Physical Control].35
The open publication of Delgado’s book Physical Control of the Mind met with a decidedly cool reaction from the public, and this may have warned other researchers in the field to keep quiet about the subject. To this day, Delgado’s is the only popular book on the subject of implants and electrical stimulation of the brain.36
During the latter days of MKULTRA research, a CIA memorandum, dated 22 November, 1961, announced, “Initial biological work on techniques and brain locations essential to providing conditioning and control of animals has been completed. The feasibility of remote control of activities in several species of animals has been demonstrated.… The ultimate objective of this research is to provide an understanding of the mechanisms involved in the directional control of animals and to provide practical systems suitable for human application.”37
Later breakthroughs in technology were documented in “Two-Way Transdermal Communication with the Brain,” published in 1975. By this time Delgado had linked his brain implants with computers. The monograph records,
“The most interesting aspect of the transdermal stimoceivers is the ability to perform simultaneous recording and stimulation of brain functions, thereby permitting the establishment of feedbacks and ‘on-demand’ programs of excitation with the aid of the computer. With the increasing sophistication and miniaturization of electronics, it may be possible to compress the necessary circuitry for a small computer into a chip that is implantable subcutaneously. In this way, a new self-contained instrument could be devised, capable of receiving, analyzing, and sending back information to the brain, establishing artificial links between unrelated cerebral areas, functional feedbacks, and programs of stimulation contingent on the appearance of pre-determined patterns” [Delgado, Lipponen, Weiss, del Pozo, Monteagudo, and McMahon, “Two-Way Transdermal Communication with the Brain,” a co-operative publication of the Medical University of Madrid, Spain, and Yale University Medical School, 1975].38
Many popular articles on Delgado intend us to think that his primary purpose was the rehabilitation of the mentally and physically sick. This does not happen to be the case. Delgado was a blatant control freak. An example is Delgado’s experimentation on changing the social orientation of animals. One staging area for this experimentation was an island in the Bermudas, where Delgado maintained a free-roving population of gibbons with electronic implants, using electrical brain boosts to build and destroy social orders among those primates as if he was knocking down a row of dominoes [Packard, People Shapers].39
Although well cited, Delgado’s practical results on humans were extremely limited,ix as most of his research was either merely stated without a results base, or has been reported on second hand.… Reports have been made on his work on the ‘Pandora Project’, which involved modulating electromagnetic fields to a soldier’s head so that the soldier would lose self-control on the battle field. Reports also include how work was carried out to induce schizophrenia artificially through electrical stimulation of the septal zone in the human brain.40
Always a visionary in the Orwellian mold, Delgado said, “Looking into the future, it may be predicted that telerecording and telestimulation of the brain will be widely used” [Delgado, Jose, “Radio Stimulation of the Brain in Primates and Man,” New Haven, Connecticut: Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, 1969].41 He has urged the U.S. government to make “control of the mind” a national goal.42
Another researcher who specialized in brain implants is Dr. Stuart Mackay, who in 1968 penned a textbook titled Bio-Medical Telemetry. Mackay reported, “Among the many telemetry instruments being used today are miniature radio transmitters that can be swallowed, carried externally, or surgically implanted in man or animal. They permit the simultaneous study of behaviour and physiological functioning. The scope of observations is too broad to more than hint at a few examples. The possibilities are limited only by the imagination of the investigator” [Dr. Stuart Mackay, cited in Glenn Krawcyzyk, “Mind Control Techniques and Tactics of the New World Order,” Nexus, Dec-Jan 1993].43
By 1994, the London Times estimated that in the previous decade there had been 15,000 cases of persons being implanted with electronic brain devices. It is impossible to know if the Times estimate is at all accurate, since it is unlikely that they would be privy to statistics of secret testing. Certainly, most anti-mind control activists would say that the figure was a gross underestimate.44
In July 1996, information was released on research currently taking place into creation of a computer chip called the “Soul Catcher 2025.” Dr. Chris Winter and a team of scientists at British Telecom’s Martlesham Heath Laboratories, near Ipswich, are developing a chip that, when placed into the skull behind the eye, will record all visual and physical sensations, as well as thoughts. According to Winter, “This is the end of death… By combining this information with a record of the person’s genes, we could recreate a person physically, emotionally, and spiritually.”45
“The brain is so complex that one wouldn’t at the outset think that replacing any of its parts is doable,” said Dr. Howard Eichenbaum, a professor of psychology at Boston University and director of the Laboratory of Cognitive Neurobiology there. But advances in neuroscience and computer engineering have made it possible to develop implanted circuits that mimic neural activities, he said. “At least in principle, it looks as though a chip imitating some functions of the hippocampus could be implanted in the future,” he said (pic). “It’s a huge, huge advance in simply duplicating the functions of the hippocampus, which in many ways Dr. [Theodore W.] Berger, [a professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California and the director of the Center for Neural Engineering there,] has done.”46
Electrical devices called deep brain stimulators, essentially a pacemaker for the brain, have been used for some years to ease the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Now, they’ve just been approved for another degenerative brain disease called dystonia.… The brain stimulators don’t cure dystonia but…they can give patients a better quality of life. The beneficial effect has lasted for almost a decade so far in Parkinson’s patients, and it’s expected the dystonia effect will also be long lasting.47
Cyberkinetics Inc. of Foxboro, Mass., has received Food and Drug Administration approval [in 2004] to begin a clinical trial in which four-square-millimeter chips will be placed beneath the skulls of paralyzed patients48 that would enable [them] to control computers directly with their brains or possibly help them move their limbs.… “Testing these implants in humans is the next step,” said Eberhard E. Fetz, professor at the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Washington, who has been experimenting with brain-signal devices since the late 1960s. “Within a decade, we’ll see these being used regularly to control prosthetic devices or activate a patient’s own muscles.”49 At least two other research teams are planning similar brain-machine experiments in people.50
For the first time in humans , a team headed by University researchers has placed an electronic grid atop patients’ brains to gather motor signals that enable the patients to play a computer game using only the signals from their brains. The use of a grid atop the brain to record the organ’s surface signals is a brain-machine interface technique that uses electrocorticographic (ECoG) activity — data taken invasively directly from the brain surface.… Eric C. Leuthardt, M.D., a WUSTL neurosurgeon at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and Daniel Moran, Ph.D., assistant professor of biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, performed their research on four adult epilepsy patients who had the grids implanted so that neurologists could find the area in the brain serving as the focus for an epileptic seizure, with hopes of removing it to avoid future seizures.… “To put this in perspective,” Leuthardt said, “the previous EEG-basedx systems are equivalent to a 1908 Wright brothers airplane in regards to speed of learning to achieve control. Right now, with our results, we’re flying around in an F-16 jet.”51
Probes implanted in the brain for diagnosis and treatment could be improved with nanoscale carbon fibers. Biomedical engineer Thomas Webster from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana and colleagues developed a carbon nanofiber-reinforced plastic composite to determine whether it could improve neural and orthopedic prosthetics.
Neural prosthetics, usually made of silicon, can become covered in scar tissue. Orthopedic implants, usually made of titanium or titanium alloys, often become covered in soft tissue.
Knowing that carbon nanofibers and nanotubes have electrical and mechanical properties that might make them suitable for prosthesis, the researchers tested composites of 60-odd nanometer carbon nanofibers in polycarbonate urethane. Polycarbonate urethane is already approved for human use.
They found that neurons cultured on the nanofiber composite developed neurite extensions, which are the first step towards axons and a sign that the materials could encourage interactions essential to neural probes. Additionally, the material had less adhesion to astrocytes, which can impede neural function by producing scar tissue.
For orthopedic applications, the researchers found that bone-forming cells adhered better to composites with a high volume of nanofibers but cells that produce soft fibrous tissue stuck less readily.
[Related to brain implants are implants that are connected to nerves from different parts of the body. Professor Kevin Warwick, for example, had implants inserted into his and his wife’s arms allowing two-way communication. The results were published in his book, I, Cyborg.]
[Another man, whose arms needed to be amputated,] underwent surgery to graft existing nerve endings from his shoulder onto the pectoral muscle on his chest. Those nerves grew into the muscle after about six months. Electrodes on the graft can now pick up any thought-generated nerve impulses to the now-absent limb and transmit those to [a] mechanical prosthesis, controlling the movements of the [“bionic”] arm.53
VİDEO LİNK :
[The television series Ripley’s Believe it or Not that aired on 5 June 2004 included a segment about French doctors who implanted a computer chip in a paralyzed man’s abdomin connected to implants in his legs that allowed him to stand and walk with a walker by means of computer control.]
Not everyone is thrilled at the prospect of a post-human future populated by cyborgs, designer children, conscious computers,xi immortals and disembodied minds roaming the Internet.… [Critics] think this could be the worst calamity to befall us, both as individuals and as a species.xii And they argue we should be taking steps to prevent it.55
If cyborgs are created with superhuman capabilities from a normal human start point, then it certainly brings about a threat to humanity itself. Perhaps the development of direct, military-style cyborgs might be possible to avoid. After all, when cyborgs exhibiting an intelligence that far surpasses that of humans are brought about, it will surely be the cyborgs themselves that make any decisions about how they treat humans.56
[Marvin Minsky, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor and pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence,] celebrates a future when humans will be able to “upload” the contents of their brains into computers or robot brains.… [Ray Kurzweil] recently called for replacing the body’s often imperfect molecular blueprint, DNA, with software.… “Transhumanists want to use technology to enhance and fulfill human potential,” [James Hughes, executive director of the World Transhumanist Association based in Willington, Conn.,] said. “That’s very hard to do if you die after only 70 years.”57
“Humanity’s ability to alter its own brain function might well shape history as powerfully as the development of metallurgy in the Iron Age,” cognitive neuroscientist Martha Farah and eight co-authors write in a[n]…issue of Nature Reviews Neuroscience.58
i A handful of researchers are plumbing the potential of the bionic eye, including Wheaton, Ill.-based Optobionics Corp., led by Dr. Alan Chow, a pediatric ophthalmologist whose artificial silicon retinas have slight [sic] improved the vision of the six patients who’ve received them.
— Jim Krane (The Associated Press) “Bionic Eye Follows Bionic Ear,” Yahoo! News, 27 May 2002.
ii A small, precise dose of electricity can restore sight to some of the million or so Americans considered legally blind. For the past few months, two patients have made out doctors in white lab coats, among other things, thanks to a complex apparatus…made by Second Sight, a privately held firm in Santa Clarita, Calif. The device includes a tiny antenna inside the eye and a retinal implant with pencil-tip-size electrodes that fire electrical signals directly onto the optic nerves and brain. The resolution is extremely crude because there are only 16 electrodes, not enough to recognize faces. Second Sight and a consortium of research laboratories recently received a $9 million federal grant to find a way to squeeze 1,000 electrodes onto the array to make the picture sharper. Powered by an external battery, a mini video camera screwed into a pair of eyeglasses will wirelessly beam images to the array (pic) — all for an estimated cost, including surgery, of $25,000. Scientists concede facial recognition may be five to ten years away. So far, Second Sight has reported no negative side effects in the two patients undergoing clinical trials.
— Aliya Sternstein, “Seeing-Eye Chip,” Forbes, 14 Oct 2002.
iii A pea-sized miniature telescope inserted into the eye is showing promise in improving vision for people with macular degeneration.… Once the telescope is implanted, the eyes no longer work together because the brain cannot merge the magnified image in one eye with the normal image in the other eye. The one-hour surgery involves removing the eye lens and placing the telescope into the patient’s eye with the poorest vision. The eye telescope is one of the newest developments in a bionic revolution, in which plastic, metal and polymers are used to create artificial muscles, ears and other organs that researchers hope will improve the quality of life. “There’s no question there will be a tremendous number of advances in the future that will include devices, whether electrical or mechanical, which will enhance the function of our organs,” said Steve Goldstein, a University of Michigan Henry Ruppenthal family professor of orthopedic surgery and bioengineering.
— The Associated Press, “Miniature ‘bionic’ eye implant rescues vision,” USA Today, 8 Dec 2003.
iv An implantable chip that can serve as both a prosthetic retina and a drug delivery system has been developed to treat age-related blindness and conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. Created by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, the chip communicates chemically rather than electrically, using neurotransmitters to stimulate cells.… Because the chip can draw droplets of fluid in as well as out, it could also enable researchers to take samples in real time, giving them a chemical picture of what goes on in living tissues during certain processes.
— Gabe Romain, “‘Wet’ Eye Chip Becomes Reality; Uses chemicals to work as artificial retina and drug delivery system,” BetterHumans, 23 June 2004.
v Physicians of the House Ear Clinic have successfully implanted the first two patients with a Penetrating Electrode Auditory Brainstem Implant (PABI), a revolutionary prosthetic device that is currently in clinical trials. The PABI is based on cochlear implant technology, but extends the utility to stimulating the hearing portions of the brain to restore some degree of hearing function to people deafened by bilateral tumors on their hearing and balance nerves (vestibular schwannomas). The PABI is a modified version of the existing Auditory Brainstem Implant (ABI) with the addition of an assembly of microelectrodes, designed to penetrate into the auditory portion of the brainstem (cochlear nucleus) and send sound signals to the brain.
— “First Successful Use of Penetrating Microelectrodes in Human Brainstem Restores Some Hearing to Deaf Patient,” Business Wire, 16 Jan 2004.
vi Be on guard next time you step into the shower. It might not be a regular cockroach watching you on the ceiling. It could be a well-heeled voyeur’s spy filming you!
— Ron Henderson, trans., “Cockroaches on a secret mission,” Sydsvenska Dagbladet, 18 Jan 1997, at http://magazine.magnus.se/artikele.asp?artikel=kackerla.
vii The idea that advance in neurotechnology will one day allow us to video our whole lives from somewhere inside our brains throws up all kinds of issues about privacy, about the world being a stage, about how we edit and censor our own memories and about how one day someone else may do this job for us.
— Lee Marshall, Screen review “The Final Cut,” at http://www.screendaily.com/story.asp?storyid=16330&r=true.
viii Sleep induced by electrical stimulation of the brain is similar to spontaneous sleep.
— José M. R. Delgado, M.D., Physical Control of the Mind: Toward a Psychocivilized Society (New York: Harper & Row, 1969), p. 158.
ix In 1950 the Agency [CIA] tooled up for a battery of mind control experiments on human guinea pigs, underwritten by a network of scientific foundations and academic fronts. Neuropsychiatrists at Tulane, McGill, Yale, UCLA and Harvard, some of them laboring beside Nazi imports, researched the use of brain implants to control behavior.… A monograph written in the 1960s by Dr. Jose Delgado, a Yale psychiatrist hailing from Franco’s Spain, detailed his experiments on an 11-year-old boy with electrodes implanted in his brain. Dr. Delgado stimulated his young subject’s synapses with a radio transmitter at a range of 100 feet. The boy was immediately stripped of his sexual identity, reporting that he wasn’t sure if he was a boy or a girl.
— Alex Constantine, “Journal Preview; 12/95: The Constantine Report,” at http://www.mindcontrolforums.com/cnst-nws.htm.
x [Operant conditioning is used in the science of electroencephalograph (EEG)-based cursor control brain-computer interface (BCI) technologies. By successive training of mu (and beta) brainwaves, a cursor can be moved on a computer screen just by thinking about it.]
xi According to Moore’s Law, computer power doubles every 18 months, meaning that computers will be a million times more powerful by 2034. According to Nielsen’s Law of Internet bandwidth, connectivity to the home grows by 50 percent per year; by 2034, we’ll have 200,000 times more bandwidth. That same year, I’ll own a computer that runs at 3PHz CPU speed, has a petabyte (a thousand terabytes) of memory, half an exabyte (a billion gigabytes) of hard disk-equivalent storage and connects to the Internet with a bandwidth of a quarter terabit (a trillion binary digits) per second. The specifics may vary: Instead of following current Moore’s Law trajectories to speed up a single CPU, it’s likely that we’ll see multiprocessors, smart dust and other ways of getting the equivalent power through a more advanced computer architecture.… By 2034, we’ll finally get decent computer displays, with a resolution of about 20,000 pixels by 10,000 pixels (as opposed to the miserly 2048 pixels by 1536 pixels on my current monitor). Although welcomed, my predicted improvement factor of 200 here is relatively small; history shows that display technology has the most dismal improvement curve of any computer technology, except possibly batteries.
— Jakob Nielsen, “Thirty years with computers,” News.com, 27 May 2004.
xii [Ethicist Joel Anderson at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri,] points out that it will take time for people to accept the technology. “Initially people thought heart transplants were an abomination because they assumed that having the heart you were born with was an important part of who you are.”
— “World’s first brain prosthesis revealed,” NewScientist.com, 12 March 2003.
2 José M. R. Delgado, M.D., Physical Control of the Mind: Toward a Psychocivilized Society (New York: Harper & Row, 1969), p. 201.
3 Cochlear Hearing Implants, “New to Cochlear? Start Here,” at http://www.cochlearamericas.com/NewToCochlear/new_to_cochlear_index.asp.
6 Peter Passaro, “Is it Possible to Download Knowledge into the Brain? Mind-machine interfaces will be available in the near future, and several methods hold promise for implanting information,” Better Humans, 16 Jan 2004.
7 Amanda Onion, “Rat Robots: Scientists Develop Remote-Controlled Rats,” ABCNEWS.com, 2 May 2002.
11 Mundell, “Monkey Moves Computer Cursor.”
12 Anne Eisenberg, “Don’t Point, Just Think: The Brain Wave as Joystick,” The New York Times, 28 March 2002.
13 Paul Eng, “Moving Thoughts: Scientists Study Brain Implants to Control PCs, Artificial Limbs,” ABCNEWS.com, 13 March 2002.
16 Eng, “Moving Thoughts.”
17 Onion, “Rat Robots.”
19 “Peepers creepers; Research at the University of Tokyo is investigating ways in which cockroaches with the mini-cameras can be used to locate vermin or perhaps even survivors of earthquakes,” Time, 27 Jan 1997, 149(4), p. 17.
24 Dr David Whitehouse, “Looking through cats’ eyes,” BBC News, 11 Oct 1999; See also Garrett B. Stanley, Fei F. Li, and Yang Dan, “Reconstruction of Natural Scenes from Ensemble Responses in the Lateral Geniculate Nucleus,” The Journal of Neuroscience, 15 Sep 1999, 19(18):8036-8042.
27 Keith, Mass Control, pp. 94-95.
31 Keith, Mind Control, p. 127.
32 Keith, Mass Control, p. 97.
35 Jose Delgado, cited in Keith, Mind Control, p. 128.
36 Ibidem, pp. 129-130.
37 Ibidem, p. 130.
38 Keith, Mass Control, p. 99.
39 Ibidem, p. 100.
40 Ibidem, p. 101.
41 Warwick, I, Cyborg, p. 112.
42 Packard, People Shapers, p. 4.
43 Keith, Mass Control, p. 101.
44 Keith, Mind Control, p. 138.
45 Ibidem, p. 302.
46 Anne Eisenberg, “What’s Next; A Chip That Mimics Neurons, Firing Up the Memory,” The New York Times, 20 June 2002; See also USC Engineering News at http://www.usc.edu/dept/engineering/bergerNYT.
49 Jeffrey Krasner, “Approval sought to test brain implant; Neuron-fired device would aid paralyzed people, state firm says,” boston.com, 6 Nov 2003.
51 Tony Fitzpatrick, “Thought control: Human subjects play real mind games,” Record, 25 June 2004.
56 Warwick, I, Cyborg, p. 239.
57 Wylie, “Transhumanists.”
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