Scientists Discover How to Implant False Memories.


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Neuroscientist explains inner workings of the brain.

MIT researchers Steve Ramirez and Xu Liu recently made history when they successfully implanted a false memory into the mind of a mouse. The proof was a simple reaction from the rodent, but the implications are vast. They placed the furry little creature inside a metal box, and it froze, displaying a distinct fear response. The mouse was reacting as if it had received an electrical shock there, when it hadn’t at all.

What makes it more riveting is that their success was considered a long-shot. The hypothesis was that not only could they identify those neurons associated with encoding memory, but could essentially rewrite one. Experts say that this an impressive feat which helps uncover more of the mystery of how memory operates. Though neuroscientists have considered such a possibility for years, they never thought this kind of experiment could actually work.

This breakthrough was possible due to research out of Oxford which discovered exactly how short-term memories are transferred into long term memory. But the MIT researchers took it into an entirely new direction. Memories are actually stored in not one area, but certain groups of neurons known as engrams. Ramirez and Liu came together in 2010 and designed a new method for exploring live brains, to identify specific engrams. The neuroscientists used a newly minted technique called optogenetics, which employs lasers to stimulate genetically engineered cells designed to react to them.

Areas where the memory resides are highlighted in purple.

The scientists and their team injected a biochemical cocktail into the brains of special, genetically engineered mice. The cocktail contained a gene with a light sensitive protein called channelrhodopsin-2. This was injected into the dentate gyrus—the area in the hippocampus where memory is encoded. Then they implanted filaments into the mice’s skulls. These acted as a conduit for a laser. The researchers found they could reactivate a memory by flooding certain neurons with laser light.

In order to prove that they could identify certain engrams, they reactivated a memory associated with fear. After the experiment, the mice’s brain tissues were examined under a microscope. Those associated with a specific memory glowed green due to the injected chemical. Liu compared it to a “starry night” where you could view “individual stars.” The engram that glowed was associated with an electroshock to the foot, and so triggered the startle or fear response.

Now that they knew which engram was associated with fear, they set up an experiment to test it. After injecting the cocktail into the same region of the brain, they placed the mouse inside a metal box. This box was safe. The mouse was able to explore for 12 whole minutes with no problems. The next day, it was put in a different box but received an electric shock instead. These two boxes differed in color, shape, and scent, researchers assure. The following day, the same mouse was placed inside the safe box again, and would have remembered it as safe. But researchers activated the foot shock memory using a laser, initiating the fear response.

Networks of neurons lighting up.

Is a similar procedure conceivable for humans? According to Ramirez, “Because the proof of principle is there…the only leap left between there and humans is just technological innovation.” Today, over 20 labs around the world are building upon this research. In fact, a French team recently implanted false memories in the brains of sleeping mice. Howard Eichenbaum, the director of the Center for Neuroscience at Boston University, is going in another direction. He is working on recreating longer and larger memories, those experiences which unfold over time.

There are many positive implications such as the ability to take the bite out of or even erase those painful memories attached to PTSD, depression, and other psychiatric disorders. There may be applications for Alzheimer’s, reverse engineering memories lost to the disease. It even holds promise for those suffering from substance abuse disorder, allowing them to forget their addiction.

Even so, there are negative connotations too. As our memory is the glue which holds our identities together, wouldn’t erasing a memory, even a bad one, indelibly erase a portion of the person themselves? Though painful, our negative memories define us. Of course, those hobbled by depression or haunted by PTSD could come to see it as a saving grace. Today, scientists aim not to erase technically, at least at first, but to rewrite a memory in a manner that promotes, rather than impedes, mental health. But the potential is there. There are further implications.

A neuron associated with the fear response is illuminated.

What about implanting false memories in witnesses to change the outcome of trials? Many in the past have been convicted when they were innocent, exonerated later due to the advent of DNA testing. False memory implantation might lead to a new and ruthless form of witness tampering. Films like Inception or Eternal Sunshine could become a reality. But if you erase the memory of a bad ex from your past, do the lessons you’ve learned about love go with it?

There are implications in terms of state control and even the sovereignty of one’s own mind. Such a procedure under a totalitarian regime could manufacture false patriotism, even wipe clean the memories of revolutionaries in order to make them loyal to the state. The ability to actually do this is thought to be four to five decades away. Yet the federal research group DARPA says it is a mere four years from a brain implant capable of altering PTSD-related memories. Theoretically, such technology could be used to silence dissent.

Meanwhile, a psychology professor at New York University, Dr. Gary Marcus, has proposed inserting a microchip into the human brain to allow for a human-internet interface, making the mind a search engine as well as improving one’s memory. Perhaps you could backup files to prevent tampering. But wouldn’t it also allow a hacker to say hack your brain? An important ethical dialogue must begin now. A superstructure and strict protocol must be erected. And yet, chances are those operating outside of its boundaries may still violate it. Though this technique shows promise, strong regulation and oversight must be enacted to prevent human rights violations and miscarriages of justice.

Source:http://bigthink.com

The Military Is Planning To Alter Humans Through Artificial Intelligence And The ‘Hive Mind’


Dr. Robert Duncan, an insider at DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) reveals what the military is doing in the name of ‘cybernetics’, which is the science of controlling humans as machines.  Topics covered will astound you – mind control, transhumanism, and the development of a new species – but everything discussed is real and actually under development.  Duncan defends scientists who work on these things because they believe the results can be beneficial, but he admits that this is not likely because the military is paying their salaries and controlling the research. Duncan’s final comment is that there may be an agenda to depopulate the world.  –GEG

Watch the video discussion. URL:https://youtu.be/86-c-Gbsh4A

Source:needtoknow.news

DARPA is Working to Make Homes That Grow And Can Repair Themselves


IN BRIEF

DARPA has just launched the Engineering Living Materials program, with a vision to create building materials that grow on-site. The materials would be used to construct buildings that repair themselves and adapt to the environment.

DARPA’S CHALLENGE

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has certainly had its hand in making the gizmos and gadgets we enjoy into a reality. The agency is still hard at work blazing the trail for the tech of the future, issuing challenges for the creation of the most advanced things on this Earth.

It has issued a new challenges, this time in the field of construction. DARPA has just announced the Engineering Living Materials program, a program to develop building materials that grow on site, repair themselves, and even adapt to the environment. “The vision of the ELM program is to grow materials on demand where they are needed,” said ELM program manager, Justin Gallivan, in a press release. “Imagine that instead of shipping finished materials, we can ship precursors and rapidly grow them on site using local resources.”

FROM FICTION TO FACT

While this seems like a tall order, some of the precursor technologies are already here. There have been great strides in the field of 3D-printing, with finished products appearing from scratch. This sort of printing has actually transitioned to living tissue:

Other than 3D printing of living tissue, there has also been self-repairing concrete, biologically sourced structural materials made from inexpensive feedstocks, packing materials derived from fungal mycelium, and building blocks made from bacteria and sand. So, get excited about the inevitable Youtube channel of self-reparing condos.

ELM hopes to combine these technologies, creating non-living scaffolds that support living tissue and engineered cells. The end goal is that these scaffolds are no longer needed, that biological cells can be genetically engineered to have these structural properties.

DARPA sees that research on developmental pathways and three-dimensional development of multicellular systems will be key to this challenge.

The “Gremlins” Are Coming!—Meet DARPA’s New Air-Launched Drones


IN BRIEF

Several companies will attempt to make the “Gremlins” program a reality. They now have the challenge of creating a system of reusable unmanned vehicles that can launch from bigger aircraft such as bombers or jets.

PHASE 1 IS A GO

While drone technology has crept up to the civilian market, with multiple modifications made for the tech-savvy consumer, large scale drone research is still firmly in the hands of the military. DARPA is at the forefront of this, with multiple research programs into the military use of drones.

Now it’s at it again, developing another milestone for the boys in green.

DARPA has awarded Phase 1 contracts to several companies who will attempt to make the “Gremlins” program a reality. They now have the challenge of creating a system of reusable unmanned vehicles that can launch from bigger aircraft like bombers or jets.

In particular, four companies have been selected: Lockheed Martin, Dynetics of Alabama, Composite Engineering, and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems of California. The companies are tasked with using their technical genius to conjure up launch and retrieval techniques, low-cost airframe designs and develop the drones’ navigation system and digital flight controls.

Learn more about DARPA in the video below:

PACKING HEAT

The Gremlins program, revealed last year, seeks to show the feasibility of conducting safe, reliable operations involving multiple air-launched, air-recoverable unmanned systems.

The goal of the program is to have bombers or transport aircraft launch groups or swarms of reusable unmanned vehicles called gremlins for intelligence and reconnaissance purposes. When the gremlins complete their mission, a C-130 transport aircraft would retrieve them in the air, and then return to base where ground crews would prepare them for their next use within 24 hours.

Gremlins are expected to last 20 uses, and may also launch from fighters and other small, fixed-wing platforms when bombers are out of range.

Such air-launched drones are primarily a cost-reducing program, bridging the gap between missiles that are one-use only, and reusable systems that are costly to maintain. The program aims to prove that such systems could provide significant cost advantages over expendable systems, spreading out payload and airframe costs over multiple uses instead of just one.

The Gremlins program is named for the imaginary, mischievous imps whom World War II airmen blamed for the frequent mechanical woes that beset their planes.

No word yet as to what happens if you feed them after midnight.

The Internet Just Slipped From the Hands Of the United States


internet-free

Short Bytes: Following the decline of the US Senators’ plea for declaratory and injunctive relief against NTIF, the control of the Internet’s Domain Name System has been transferred to the private nonprofit ICANN which was founded in 1998. The change has taken effect on October 1.

The internet was a pet project of the US military which was funded by DARPA (formerly ARPA). A vital thing to the internet is the Domain Name System (DNS) and the United States, the creator of the internet, has been controlling it since more than two decades. You can read more about DNS and its working in our article: What is DNS (Domain Name System) and How it Works ?

Initially, when the internet was not so popular, the US used to look after the domain name system. The task was later shifted to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) in 1998 which is a division of the nonprofit ICANN. But the US government, faced as NTIA, still had the control over the operations of the IANA.

Other countries have been pressurizing the US to isolate itself from the operations of ICANN and IANA. The control has begun shifting from the hands of the US but efforts have been made to halt the process. Senators from the states of Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma and Nevada filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of Texas.

Sen. Ted Cruz, who has been on the front foot in the story, believes the control of internet slipping from the hands of the US would lead to its censoring by authoritarian countries.

“Imagine an internet run like many Middle Eastern countries that punish what they deem to be blasphemy,” Cruz said in a Sept. 14 hearing. “Or imagine an internet run like China or Russia that punish and incarcerate those who engage in political dissent.”

In the final decision on Friday, the declined the request for “declaratory and injunctive relief” against NTIA. As of October 1, 2016, ICANN will have the sole authority over the IANA functions.

“This transition was envisioned 18 years ago, yet it was the tireless work of the global Internet community, which drafted the final proposal, that made this a reality,” said Stephen D. Crocker, chair of the board of ICANN.

“This community validated the multistakeholder model of Internet governance. It has shown that a governance model defined by the inclusion of all voices, including business, academics, technical experts, civil society, governments and many others is the best way to assure that the Internet of tomorrow remains as free, open and accessible as the Internet of today.”

The Domain Name System is important to the existence of the internet. Without this address book, it would have been impossible to access a website on the internet. You won’t be reading this news if there was no DNS. The recent stewardship transition, began 18 years ago, doesn’t affect the normal internet users like us.

Robot Hackers Could Be the Future of Cybersecurity


The final round of DARPA’s Cyber Grand Challenge pits computers against one another as human programmers watch the future of cybersecurity.

At a live event August 4 in Las Vegas at the annual Def Con hacker conference, seven Cyber Grand Challenge finalists are preprogramming their computers to play a digital version of “capture the flag.” 

A dozen years ago the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) held its first “grand challenge” to see if autonomous automobiles could cross a 240-kilometer stretch of the Mojave Desert on their own. Mechanical problems and mishaps ended the race before any of the competitors had gone more than 12 kilometers. DARPA, the U.S. Department of Defense’s research arm, is looking for a better outcome Thursday in its inaugural Cyber Grand Challenge, where seven autonomous computers battle one another in what the agency claims is the “world’s first all-machine hacking tournament.”

DARPA announced the competition a couple of years ago, challenging computer programmers to create machines that could find and fix flaws in their software without human intervention. At a live event Thursday evening in Las Vegas at the annual DEF CON hacker conference, seven Cyber Grand Challenge finalists are preprogramming their computers to play a digital version of “capture the flag”. The key to victory and the $2-million prize is to successfully defend one’s digital “flags”—bits of data written into programs running on the computers—from other teams’ cyber attacks while at the same time attacking competitors’ computers to find their flags.

Just as DARPA’s earlier challenges helped pave the way for advances in self-driving vehicles, the agency wants its Cyber Grand Challenge to uncover ways that connected devices can be programmed to defend themselves against cyber attack. Computers and networks are regularly under attack, leading to data breaches, identity theft and number of other headaches that have become part of modern life. One recent high-profilecyber attack on Democratic National Committee (DNC) computers led to the theft of more than 19,000 committee e-mails and created speculation that the Russian government might be trying to tamper with the upcoming presidential election. As medical equipment, automobiles and home appliances increasingly connect to public networks to create the so-called Internet of Things, cyber attacks could become even more widespread and dangerous.

It takes software companies an average of a year to find and fix security flaws in their software, giving cyber intruders ample time to install malicious software (malware) that can steal users’ sensitive information, says Mike Walker, the DARPA program manager overseeing the Cyber Grand Challenge. DARPA’s new competition is about bringing autonomy to the cyber domain—inside the logic and memory of network computers—so that flaws can be found and fixed in minutes or seconds rather than months, he says.

Competitors wrote their own “cyber reasoning system” software that will run on computers supplied by DARPA for the final round. Over the course of the 10-hour competition this software should identify flaws in other programs running on the computer and automatically defend them from attack as well as probe competitors’ computers for flaws. Each computer in the final round runs on a special DARPA-written operating system and features about 1,000 processing units, or “cores,” and 16 terabytes of RAM.

DARPA awarded each finalist team $750,000 to help them prepare for the final round. Some of the teams include programmers from academia including the University of Idaho, University of Virginia, University of California, Santa Barbara and Syracuse University. Others hail from tech industry veteran Raytheon, as well as a number of cybersecurity startups. Shortly after DARPA names the Grand Challenge winner on Friday, that team’s software will engage in a second capture the flag competition, this time against human hackers.

The Pentagon produces an impressive, humanlike robot. Where all this headed?


In what could be the last time that a human taunts a robot with a hockey stick and lives to brag about it, the latest demonstration of the Atlas Robot has prompted renewed fears about the future of intelligent machines.

Born in 2013, Atlas is a DARPA-funded robot developed by Boston Dynamics. Its latest iteration stands at a very human-proportioned 5’9, weighing 180lbs. Like Lee Majors circa 1974, each successive version of Atlas has gotten better, stronger, faster than it was before.

What can Atlas do? Aside from scaring the bejesus out of genius technophobic Oxbridge physicists, it’s intended to perform tasks in emergency situations too dangerous for humans. Climbing ladders, driving vehicles, carrying heavy objects, and negotiating rough terrain are all in its disaster response repertoire.

One task Atlas won’t attempt anytime soon is cleaning up Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Custom built robots were designed to swim underwater and negotiate its damaged tunnels, in order to find and remove hundreds of tons of melted radioactive fuel rods. So far, every robot sent into the reactor has failed, their wiring nuked by the intense radiation.

The Department of Defense has stated that it has no interest in using Atlas in warfare. That may well be so. But the next generation of intelligent robots may be capable of reacting to dubious Pentagon claims with human-like incredulity.

Does this new species of Robo sapiens gives you hope for the future? Or does it cause more anxiety than Sarah Connor in a mental institution? The wildly popular Atlas video struck a nerve with YouTubers, prompting ample portions of both wonder and worry.

One futurist who’s brimming with techno-optimism is Jason Silva, the host of Brain Games on the National Geographic Channel. In a recent interview with Reason TV, the loquacious Silva told us why Stephen Hawking is wrong about the future: we should look forward to our benevolent robot overlords, because we will become them.

Watch the video. URL: https://youtu.be/rVlhMGQgDkY

DARPA’s latest project? A brain implant capable of restoring lost memories


File photo - A laboratory assistant holds one hemisphere of a healthy brain in the Morphological unit of psychopathology in the Neuropsychiatry division of the Belle Idee University Hospital in Chene-Bourg near Geneva in a March 14, 2011 file photo. (REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/files)

File photo – A laboratory assistant holds one hemisphere of a healthy brain in the Morphological unit of psychopathology in the Neuropsychiatry division of the Belle Idee University Hospital in Chene-Bourg near Geneva in a March 14, 2011 file photo.

Any time a new technology is either backed by President Obama or developed by DARPA, you know it’s serious business. But if something is backed by Obamaand developed by DARPA, that’s when you know to really take notice — and the government’s new Restoring Active Memory (RAM) program is just that. Freshly announced by DARPA, the project’s goal is to create an implantable neural-interface designed to restore lost memories in those suffering traumatic brain injuries.

As stated by DARPA in its recent press release, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) affect roughly 1.7 million civilians each year and an astounding 270,000 military servicemembers since 2000. Further, TBI has shown to impair one’s ability to recall memories created before suffering the injury while also limiting the capability to form new ones after. With the RAM program, DARPA intends to expedite the process of developing tech designed to bridge the gaps created in injured brains. In other words, TBI sufferers may not have to worry about lost memories if DARPA has its way.

The RAM program, which is part of Obama’s broader BRAIN Initiative, aims to accomplish this memory-saving goal by performing two steps. First, DARPA hopes to create a multi-scale computational model that describes how neurons code memories. Assuming it can gather the necessary data, DARPA’s next step is to create a neural-interface armed with the ability to bridge memory flow gaps created in the brain after a traumatic injury. The implant would essentially stimulate the desired target in the brain to help it restore its ability to create new memories.

Related: Construction is nearly complete on DARPA’s crazy submarine-hunting drone

DARPA says it plans on working with a number of human volunteers for its clinical trials and also intends to run studies of the tech with animals. For the volunteers, it’s targeting individuals with traumatic brain injuries who have trouble encoding or recalling memories, as well as those with other neurological conditions scheduled to undergo neurosurgery. Moreover, DARPA already has the insight of a relative Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications panel for supplemental information regarding human and animal trials of this nature.

“As the technology of these fully implantable devices improves, and as we learn more about how to stimulate the brain ever more precisely to achieve the most therapeutic effects, I believe we are going to gain a critical capacity to help our wounded warriors and others who today suffer from intractable neurological problems” DARPA’s biological technologies program manager Justin Sanchez tells Popular Science.

No official timetable was given regarding the release of the RAM program’s test results, though DARPA did say it had already begun administering trials since September. If all goes according to plan, the agency intends to expand the context of its research to those outside of the military who also experience brain trauma.

From cameras to computers, new material could change how we work and play


Serendipity has as much a place in science as in love. That’s what Northeastern physicists Swastik Kar and Srinivas Sridhar found during their four-year project to modify graphene, a stronger-than-steel infinitesimally thin lattice of tightly packed carbon atoms. Primarily funded by the Army Research Laboratory and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, the researchers were charged with imbuing the decade-old material with thermal sensitivity for use in infrared imaging devices such as night-vision goggles for the military.

From cameras to computers, new material could change how we work and play

What they unearthed, published Friday in the journal Science Advances, was so much more: an entirely new material spun out of boron, nitrogen, carbon, and that shows evidence of magnetic, optical, and electrical properties as well as DARPA’s sought-after thermal ones. Its potential applications run the gamut: from 20-megapixel arrays for cellphone cameras to photo detectors to atomically thin transistors that when multiplied by the billions could fuel computers.

“We had to start from scratch and build everything,” says Kar, an assistant professor of physics in the College of Science. “We were on a journey, creating a new path, a new direction of research.”

The pair was familiar with “alloys,” controlled combinations of elements that resulted in materials with properties that surpassed graphene’s—for example, the addition of boron and nitrogen to graphene’s carbon to connote the conductivity necessary to produce an electrical insulator. But no one had ever thought of choosing oxygen to add to the mix.

What led the Northeastern researchers to do so?

“Well, we didn’t choose oxygen,” says Kar, smiling broadly. “Oxygen chose us.”

Oxygen, of course, is everywhere. Indeed, Kar and Sridhar spent a lot of time trying to get rid of the oxygen seeping into their brew, worried that it would contaminate the “pure” material they were seeking to develop.

“That’s where the Aha! moment happened for us,” says Kar. “We realized we could not ignore the role that oxygen plays in the way these elements mix together.”

“So instead of trying to remove oxygen, we thought: Let’s control its introduction,” adds Sridhar, the Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Physics and director of Northeastern’s Electronic Materials Research Institute.

Oxygen, it turned out, was behaving in the reaction chamber in a way the scientists had never anticipated: It was determining how the other elements—the boron, carbon, and nitrogen—combined in a solid, crystal form, while also inserting itself into the lattice. The trace amounts of oxygen were, metaphorically, “etching away” some of the patches of carbon, explains Kar, making room for the boron and nitrogen to fill the gaps.

“It was as if the oxygen was controlling the geometric structure,” says Sridhar.

They named the new material, sensibly, 2D-BNCO, representing the four elements in the mix and the two-dimensionality of the super-thin lightweight material, and set about characterizing and manufacturing it, to ensure it was both reproducible and scalable. That meant investigating the myriad permutations of the four ingredients, holding three constant while varying the measurement of the remaining one, and vice versa, multiple times over.

After each trial, they analyzed the structure and the functional properties of the product— electrical, optical—using electron microscopes and spectroscopic tools, and collaborated with computational physicists, who created models of the structures to see if the configurations would be feasible in the real world.

Next they will examine the new material’s mechanical properties and begin to experimentally validate the magnetic ones conferred, surprisingly, by the intermingling of these four nonmagnetic elements. “You begin to see very quickly how complicated that process is,” says Kar.

Helping with that complexity were collaborators from around the globe. In addition to Northeastern associate research scientists, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students, contributors included researchers in government, industry, and academia from the United States, Mexico, and India.

“There is still a long way to go but there are clear indications that we can tune the of these materials,” says Sridhar. “And if we find the right combination, we will very likely get to that point where we reach the thermal sensitivity that DARPA was initially looking for as well as many as-yet unforeseen applications.”

US Military Creating Brain Chips To Regulate Emotion


The Pentagon is developing an innovative brain chip that would help to treat PTSD in soldiers and veterans that could eventually help to bring sweeping changes to the way depression and anxiety is treated for millions of Americans. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, wants to reach deep into your brain’s soft tissue in order to record, predict, and treat anxiety, depression, and other maladies of mood and mind. Together, teams from the University of California at San Francisco, Lawrence Livermore National Lab, and Medtronic, will use the money to create a cybernetic implant that will have electrodes extending into the brain.

The military is optimistic in having the prototype completed within just 5 years, and it then plans to seek FDA approval for the device. DARPA’s “Systems-Based Neurotechnology for Emerging Therapies” program has seen more than a decade of research in treating disorders such as Parkinson’s disease via a technique called deep brain stimulation. With this treatment, low doses of electricity are sent deep into the brain much in the same way that a defibrillator is used to send electricity win order to jump-start a heart following cardiac arrest.

“DARPA is looking for ways to characterize which regions come into play for different conditions – measured from brain networks down to the single neuron level – and develop therapeutic devices that can record activity, deliver targeted stimulation, and most importantly, automatically adjust therapy as the brain itself changes,” stated the DARPA program manager Justin Sanchez.

The Air Force has also been interested in studying the brain using electricity, and they’ve been conducting studies that examine the effects of low amounts of electricity on the brain by using a non-invasive interface. More specifically, they’ve been using a cap that doesn’t penetrate into the skull. The objective is to deliver a surge or boost with the cap, so that it helps to keep soldiers awake and stay alert through long stretches of piloting or screen interaction.

z“With existing technology, we can’t really record anxiety level inside the brain. We can potentially record adrenaline and cortisol levels in the bloodstream to measure anxiety. However, if a deep brain implant is to be used (as proposed in this project), it might be possible to monitor activity in the amygdala, and this would be a direct way of monitoring anxiety,” states University of Arizona neuroscientist Charles Higgins.

If the program is successful, it will yield new brain-monitoring capabilities that have the potential to collect data about when the patient is most likely to encounter traumatic stimuli. The device would record what happens when a subject transitions into a state of depression or anxiousness. Today, such a task can only be accomplished using a brain-monitoring system, like the EEG or MEG. The new technology could promote similar technology which is smaller, more cost-effective, and useful.

It is currently predicted that around 1 in 3 soldiers suffer from PTSD after serving. With the increase in prevalence, it’s understandable why so many are vested into researching this technology. However, affording the government with the technology and the ability to implant a chip into soldiers that will promote a stable mood, making them happy regardless of their environment and actions, seems like a scary benefit to the government and military.

This may also be applied in conjunction with a similar DARPA project which was recently able to allow human movements to be regulated through a non-invasive machine interface: mind control. Whether these projects are of strategic value may be primary in the military, but attention must be paid to the ethical implications of these technologies. It is unclear what exactly will come out of all this, but the direction these projects appear to be taking is worrying.

 

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