Scientists Successfully Create Brain Interface That Improves Memory

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Cognitive-boosting prosthetics are quickly becoming a reality as doctors are seeing success with a neural interface that improves memory function by stimulating electrodes implanted in the brain.

This “closed-loop hippocampal neural prosthesis” has moved from testing on rodents, to actual human application with positive results. The device works by sending electrical signals from an apparatus outside the body to electrodes internally connected to the hippocampus, a seahorse-shaped part of the brain that plays a major role in memory.

Researchers involved in the program describe their approach as aiming to use patient’s own neural codes for memory through a closed-loop system in which electrical signals are exchanged instantaneously.

Patients using the system showed a 37 percent improvement in short term memory tests. Scientists were even more surprised to find that long-term memory of 30 to 60 minute intervals had also improved by a similar 35 percent.

But these electrical zaps weren’t just random stimulation. Researchers carefully recorded where and when specific regions of the patients’ brains reacted when performing tasks involving the use of memory, and carefully tailored electrical pulses to induce a similar response.

closed-loop hippocampal neural prosthesis

 

The team originally tested their method on brain tissue, before moving on to rodents, and then monkeys. Now, with their success in humans, they will continue to develop the technology in hopes of someday having a fully implantable apparatus to boost cognitive function.

One of the members of the team touted memory as being part and parcel of one’s personality. Our collection of memories in life certainly play an important role in individuality allowing us to recall experiences that shape our lives.

The team hopes this technology could one day help restore memory function to those affected by drugs, disease, and brain injury.

Their success in memory enhancement comes at a time when interest in cognitive boosting technology is piquing. A number of scientists have been working on mapping out the brains’ neurological connections in hope of developing computer-brain interfaces for superhuman neurological function.

Elon Musk is currently invested in a project called Neuralink, a neural mesh laid over the brain, merging AI with human cognition. Musk says the concept would ideally improve the speed of connection between the brain and one’s digital self, focusing particularly on output.

With the recent success of this closed-loop hippocampal prosthesis, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to expect some investment from Silicon Valley in the future.



What is a Stargate? Explore the Doorways of the Universe

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Humans have long been obsessed with the possibility of alternate universes, and a way to instantaneously travel between this one and the next. This concept was popularized by the science-fiction TV show Stargate, and as recently as 2015, NASA admitted to having spent at least a decade researching access points to places outside our world, our universe, even beyond space and time as we know it.

The term Stargate means just that: an otherworldly door or portal to outside realms, hidden within Earth’s and space’s magnetic fields, waiting to transport the enlightened traveler to a place beyond current time limitations. While space seems to be the most likely location for these doorways to other universes, many places on planet Earth have also been attributed with special transportive capabilities, as well as noticeable shifts in energy, different frequencies, and unexplained lights or sounds.

But little to no scientific evidence has supported the theory of ‘wormholes’ in outer space, much less within the Earth’s atmosphere, until NASA’s Jack Scudder found a way to identify the elusive doorways floating between the Earth and the Sun.

Suspected Stargate Location in Space

Similar to an Einstein-Rosen bridge, or ‘worm-hole,’ the theory of formation of a space portal is that one occurs when space-time is distorted, either by the intense gravitational fields created by the collapse of a star, or by the mingling magnetic forces of the Earth and Sun crossing in space, enhanced by violent solar winds. Some of these portals are gaping holes for significantly sustained periods of time, while most are short-lived, yawning wide and re-closing several times in a day.

But Stargates can be difficult to find. Their reliable instability, elusiveness, and tendency to be tricky to spot can mean it will take years to locate one. There are no signs leading down this road, let alone pointing to it.

However, a plasma physicist, Jack Scudder, at the University of Iowa, has discovered a technique for spotting the elusive unpredictable portals. Scudder called these newly-discovered road signs X-Points, where the intersecting magnetic fields flowing between the Earth and the Sun propel vast amounts of charged particles out of the portal, easy to spot with the correct instruments and the right data.

Once Scudder was able to recognize the indications of a portal, he was able to find similar patterns occurring all over the place in the Earth’s atmosphere. Observed by NASA’s THEMIS spacecraft, they surround the Earth at a distance from 10,000 to 30,000 miles away.

Most of them seem to be located where the Sun and the Earth’s magnetic fields connect to form an unobstructed path, causing the area to pulse with charged particles that also create the Northern Lights and geomagnetic storms we sometimes witness here on Earth.

While not entirely certain what exactly these portals are, Scudder and his team remain optimistic that the answer is not beyond reach.

Stargates are a fascinating overlap of science-fiction and reality, and there are some who claim that we have access to portals here on Earth. Some locations are thought to be compass points on a map designed by sacred geometry and posses the ability to transport us to parallel universes. Among the earthly stargate sites, the most noted are the Stonehenge formation and the Bermuda Triangle, but several other locations are also attributed with being ancient alien portals.

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