'Johnny Mnemonic' Chip Successfully Stores, Transfers Memories in Rats; Soon to be Tested On Primates

Get ready for the future.  It is already here.

"Scientists have developed a way to turn memories on and off—literally with the flip of a switch."

LOS ANGELES, June 17, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire
The paper is entitled “A Cortical Neural Prosthesis for Restoring and Enhancing Memory.” Besides Deadwyler and Berger, the other authors are, from USC, BME Professor Vasilis Z. Marmarelis and Research Assistant Professor Dong Song, and from Wake Forest, Associate Professor Robert E. Hampson and Post-Doctoral Fellow Anushka Goonawardena. Berger, who holds the David Packard Chair in Engineering, is the Director of the USC Center for Neural Engineering, Associate Director of the National Science Foundation Biomimetic MicroElectronic Systems Engineering Research Center, and a Fellow of the IEEE, the AAAS, and the AIMBE.

Using an electronic system that duplicates the neural signals associated with memory, they managed to replicate the brain function in rats associated with long-term learned behavior, even when the rats had been drugged to forget.

“Flip the switch on, and the rats remember. Flip it off, and the rats forget,” said Theodore Berger of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Department of Biomedical Engineering. Berger is the lead author of an article that will be published in the Journal of Neural Engineering. His team worked with scientists from Wake Forest University in the study, building on recent advances in our understanding of the brain area known as the hippocampus and its role in learning.

In the experiment, the researchers had rats learn a task, pressing one lever rather than another to receive a reward. Using embedded electrical probes, the experimental research team, led by Sam A. Deadwyler of the Wake Forest Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, recorded changes in the rat’s brain activity between the two major internal divisions of the hippocampus, known as subregions CA3 and CA1. During the learning process, the hippocampus converts short-term memory into long-term memory, the researchers prior work has shown.

“No hippocampus,” says Berger, “no long-term memory, but still short-term memory.” CA3 and CA1 interact to create long-term memory, prior research has shown. In a dramatic demonstration, the experimenters blocked the normal neural interactions between the two areas using pharmacological agents. The previously trained rats then no longer displayed the long-term learned behavior.
“The rats still showed that they knew ‘when you press left first, then press right next time, and vice-versa,’” Berger said. “And they still knew in general to press levers for water, but they could only remember whether they had pressed left or right for 5-10 seconds.”

Using a model created by the prosthetics research team led by Berger, the teams then went further and developed an artificial hippocampal system that could duplicate the pattern of interaction between CA3-CA1 interactions. Long-term memory capability returned to the pharmacologically blocked rats when the team activated the electronic device programmed to duplicate the memory-encoding function.

In addition, the researchers went on to show that if a prosthetic device and its associated electrodes were implanted in animals with a normal, functioning hippocampus, the device could actually strengthen the memory being generated internally in the brain and enhance the memory capability of normal rats.

“These integrated experimental modeling studies show for the first time that with sufficient information about the neural coding of memories, a neural prosthesis capable of real-time identification and manipulation of the encoding process can restore and even enhance cognitive mnemonic processes,” says the paper.

Next steps, according to Berger and Deadwyler, will be attempts to duplicate the rat results in primates (monkeys), with the aim of eventually creating prostheses that might help the human victims of Alzheimer’s disease, stroke or injury recover function.

Alexander Higgins sees a connection between the location of the researching University and The Newly Emergent and Ever So Friendly US Police State:

Scientists working at the University of Southern California, home of the Department of Homeland Security’s National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events, have created an artificial memory system that allows thoughts, memories and learned behavior to be transferred from one brain to another.
In a scene right out of a George Orwell novel, a team of scientists working in the fields of “neural engineering” and “Biomimetic MicroElectronic Systems” have successfully created a chip that controls the brain and can be used as a storage device for long-term memories. In studies the scientists have been able to record, download and transfer memories into other hosts with the same chip implanted. The advancement in technology brings the world one step closer to a global police state and the reality of absolute mind control.

And indeed, the DoD is mentioned in the Smart Planet write up of the press release:

The Matrix reality: Scientists successfully implant artificial memory system
... today we have macaque monkeys that can control a robotic arm with thoughts alone. We have paraplegics given the ability to control computer cursors and wheelchairs with their brain waves. Of course this is about the brain controlling a device. But what about the other direction where we might have a device amplifying the brain? While the cochlear implant might be the best known device of this sort, scientists have been working on brain implants with the goal to enhance memory. This sort of breakthrough could lead to building a neural prosthesis to help stroke victims or those with Alzheimer’s. Or at the extreme, think uploading Kung Fu talent into our brains.
 A microchip implanted into a rat’s brain can take on the role of the hippocampus—the area responsible for long-term memories—encoding memory brain wave patterns and then sending that same electrical pattern of signals through the brain. Back in 2008, Berger told Scientific American, that if the brain patterns for the sentence, “See Spot Run,” or even an entire book could be deciphered, then we might make uploading instructions to the brain a reality. “The kinds of examples [the U.S. Department of Defense] likes to typically use are coded information for flying an F-15,” Berger is quoted in the article as saying.

Thank you Mr. Higgins.

Watch out, everybody.  It will be a wild ride for some of us.  Extra care will be needed not to get swept away by the tide ever so gradually into actions with which we neither agree in principle nor in practice.  Your consent and attention is the most important, most coveted thing you own.

“Unlike me, 
many of you have accepted the situation 
of your imprisonment and will die here 
like rotten cabbages.”

--No.6; Free For All
The Prisoner

Be seeing you.

Signs of Radiation Sickness:
Experiences Since March 11 in California

I was commenting on a rather frightening lil' article, thought to share the info. Then I thought, this is a proper post. Scroll down for the article that inspired it (not much new info there, I am afraid, though props to the journalist for some hard core representing, in this matter as in the BP-'spill.' Keep up the Great Work, Deborah Dupre).  

Comments are most welcome, as always.

Radiation Effects Experienced Personally & Some Also By People With Whom I Am Personally Familiar

by Johanna Faust

Symptoms the article(s) below do not mention: metallic taste in mouth (all); bad muscle cramps, especially ones that will not go away for a long period of time (cesium); swollen lymph glands; loose or suddenly painful teeth; hives (iodine). the last two especially in those with known iodine allergies. go to a doctor and get tested -- don't say its about radiation -- see if your iodine levels are unnaturally high. 

stay out of the rain. do not wear shoes at home. damp dust and wear a good particulate mask and gloves and eye protection when dusting. spray water after cleaning to help dust settle (important). eat lots of tumeric and get you iodine levels up with ki or kelp if on west coast, idaho, pennsylvania, or any place with known high levels. avoid milk and organic mushrooms, strawberries. wear gloves when changing air filters. these are just so many different approaches, ways to think about it.

a few more observations, if i may: 

i did not include these strange headaches that i have been getting. didn't used to get them except once when i was visiting a place with high elevation. these headaches, center forehead behind eyes pressure, same on both side, not throbbing, painful. does not respond to aspirin, ibuprofen or caffeine. 

happened about as often as the sore throat. had both together after this one night i slept with the window open. had each symptom maybe 4, 5 times, all since late march (no headaches before then, & the last cold/flu was new year's).

2 bouts of wicked bad cramps, one the first wednesday in June, almost 24hrs of the threat or actuality of severe cramps. even when soaking in hot epsom water. sometimes opposing muscle groups simultaneously. 2nd time was maybe a couple days ago. reishi tea helped, but i cannot extrapolate with certainty based on one instance. coincided with a spike in cesium levels, and i also had eaten some strawberries. was surprised at the correlation, & scared.

lastly, a metallic taste in the mouth: reminded me of a time when i had chrome or keys or plated steel in my mouth as a child, thinking about something else, suddenly realized it. and the horrible taste. kept coming back no matter what i drank or rinsed or brushed with. this has happened recently only once, in early May, when i was out cycling as i recall. i wo...See More

these links include info explaining radiation, and links to monitoring stations, as well as links to all aspects of the debate. excellent to start dealing with the situation. 
-- as list: http://tinyurl.com/nukushima. 
-- as mind-map http://tinyurl.com/newkushima.

because it does no good to freak out -- unnecessarily.

Here is the article these were originally in comment to:

& the article to which that one served as clarification:

I want to say something funny like "So....  about that land you wanted to invite me to live upon -- in Costa Rica..." -- but it wouldn't be funny.  

I want to curse these people that brought this upon us.  I want to cleanse their likeness from my soul.  I cannot believe that they do not even question their own actions, as I agonize over mine.  Theirs affect so many, so obviously, and mine so few.  If any Reader out there can make a difference in this mess, even if it means changing drastically the course, the direction of his Life's work, the time is most definitely now.  The time was in fact yesterday, was last year. Silence equals death.  Silence kills.  Silence is consent.  Do not consent even passively to these evils.  Do not further them with your sweat equity or with your good name.  

I know I am not perfect in this, but if, when I see the good, I pattern myself after it, if when I see evil in myself, I strive to rid myself of it, if I do not shrink from this (and I know cannot, it is too important now)... there is no explicit complement to that conditional. There is much virtue in this 'if' -- it is more of an imperative.  An invocation.

"If we make it
we will all
sit back
and laugh"

King Crimson, Epitaph.

Be seeing you.