A thought recording and reproduction device refers to any machine which is able to both directly record and reproduce, via a brain-computer interface, the thoughts, emotions, dreams or other neural/cognitive events of a subject for that or other subjects to experience. While currently residing within mostly fictional displays of the capacity of such devices, the idea has received increased scientific currency since the development of the first BCI-enabled devices.
The term oneirography, referring to the recording of dreams, is also a synonym for the above
This hypothetical technology is a key element in some of the early short stories of William Gibson, including his 1977 debut Fragments of a Hologram Rose, where it is called ASP (Apparent Sensory Perception). In his Sprawl trilogy, it is termed Simstim (Simulation Stimulation), and described as the most popular form of entertainment, perhaps equivalent to 20th century pop music. Whereas most instances depict a heavily edited documentary version, replaying an approximation of the actual experience of the person recorded, in The Winter Market a version able to record dreams and imaginations exists.
A number of films from the 1980s onwards, such as Brainstorm (1983), Until the End of the World (1991), Strange Days (1995), Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001), and Sleep Dealer (2008), depict the technology and its ramifications.
In December 2008, Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International's Department of Cognitive Neuroscience announced its own research into the translation of neural signals into images.In addition, Dr. Moran Cerf of UCLA published a 2010 paper for Nature which claimed that he and other fellow researchers were on the cusp of being able to allow psychologists to interpret thoughts by corroborating people's recollections of their dream with an electronic visualization of their brain activity. The research outcome has often been popularized as a device that could record dreams. However, Moran Cerf says he never made that claim and only said that such a device is a theoretical possibility.
BCI devices currently are able to translate a limited subset of neural signals into digital signals, most of which are utilized for motor-centric controls of attached devices. The translation of images which are perceived or conceived within the brain has not yet been fully achieved.
Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary, scientific study of the mind and its processes with input from linguistics, psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, computer science/artificial intelligence, and anthropology. It examines the nature, the tasks, and the functions of cognition. Cognitive scientists study intelligence and behavior, with a focus on how nervous systems represent, process, and transform information. Mental faculties of concern to cognitive scientists include language, perception, memory, attention, reasoning, and emotion; to understand these faculties, cognitive scientists borrow from fields such as linguistics, psychology, artificial intelligence, philosophy, neuroscience, and anthropology. The typical analysis of cognitive science spans many levels of organization, from learning and decision to logic and planning; from neural circuitry to modular brain organization. One of the fundamental concepts of cognitive science is that "thinking can best be understood in terms of representational structures in the mind and computational procedures that operate on those structures."
Cognitive neuroscience is the scientific field that is concerned with the study of the biological processes and aspects that underlie cognition, with a specific focus on the neural connections in the brain which are involved in mental processes. It addresses the questions of how cognitive activities are affected or controlled by neural circuits in the brain. Cognitive neuroscience is a branch of both neuroscience and psychology, overlapping with disciplines such as behavioral neuroscience, cognitive psychology, physiological psychology and affective neuroscience. Cognitive neuroscience relies upon theories in cognitive science coupled with evidence from neurobiology, and computational modeling.
Mind uploading is a speculative process of whole brain emulation in which a brain scan is used to completely emulate the mental state of the individual in a digital computer. The computer would then run a simulation of the brain's information processing, such that it would respond in essentially the same way as the original brain and experience having a sentient conscious mind.
Functional neuroimaging is the use of neuroimaging technology to measure an aspect of brain function, often with a view to understanding the relationship between activity in certain brain areas and specific mental functions. It is primarily used as a research tool in cognitive neuroscience, cognitive psychology, neuropsychology, and social neuroscience.
Cyberware is a relatively new and unknown field. In science fiction circles, however, it is commonly known to mean the hardware or machine parts implanted in the human body and acting as an interface between the central nervous system and the computers or machinery connected to it.
A brain–computer interface (BCI), sometimes called a brain–machine interface (BMI) or smartbrain, is a direct communication pathway between the brain's electrical activity and an external device, most commonly a computer or robotic limb. BCIs are often directed at researching, mapping, assisting, augmenting, or repairing human cognitive or sensory-motor functions. They are often conceptualized as a human–machine interface that skips the intermediary component of the physical movement of body parts, although they also raise the possibility of the erasure of the discreteness of brain and machine. Implementations of BCIs range from non-invasive and partially invasive to invasive, based on how close electrodes get to brain tissue.
BrainGate is a brain implant system, currently under development and in clinical trials, designed to help those who have lost control of their limbs, or other bodily functions, such as patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or spinal cord injury. The Braingate technology and related Cyberkinetic’s assets are now owned by privately held Braingate, Co. The sensor, which is implanted into the brain, monitors brain activity in the patient and converts the intention of the user into computer commands.
Brain implants, often referred to as neural implants, are technological devices that connect directly to a biological subject's brain – usually placed on the surface of the brain, or attached to the brain's cortex. A common purpose of modern brain implants and the focus of much current research is establishing a biomedical prosthesis circumventing areas in the brain that have become dysfunctional after a stroke or other head injuries. This includes sensory substitution, e.g., in vision. Other brain implants are used in animal experiments simply to record brain activity for scientific reasons. Some brain implants involve creating interfaces between neural systems and computer chips. This work is part of a wider research field called brain–computer interfaces.
Neuroprosthetics is a discipline related to neuroscience and biomedical engineering concerned with developing neural prostheses. They are sometimes contrasted with a brain–computer interface, which connects the brain to a computer rather than a device meant to replace missing biological functionality.
Neuroinformatics is the field that combines informatics and neuroscience. Neuroinformatics is related with neuroscience data and information processing by artificial neural networks. There are three main directions where neuroinformatics has to be applied:
In neuroscience, single-unit recordings provide a method of measuring the electro-physiological responses of a single neuron using a microelectrode system. When a neuron generates an action potential, the signal propagates down the neuron as a current which flows in and out of the cell through excitable membrane regions in the soma and axon. A microelectrode is inserted into the brain, where it can record the rate of change in voltage with respect to time. These microelectrodes must be fine-tipped, impedance matching; they are primarily glass micro-pipettes, metal microelectrodes made of platinum, tungsten, iridium or even iridium oxide. Microelectrodes can be carefully placed close to the cell membrane, allowing the ability to record extracellularly.
Neuroergonomics is the application of neuroscience to ergonomics. Traditional ergonomic studies rely predominantly on psychological explanations to address human factors issues such as: work performance, operational safety, and workplace-related risks. Neuroergonomics, in contrast, addresses the biological substrates of ergonomic concerns, with an emphasis on the role of the human nervous system.
Brain-reading or thought identification uses the responses of multiple voxels in the brain evoked by stimulus then detected by fMRI in order to decode the original stimulus. Advances in research have made this possible by using human neuroimaging to decode a person's conscious experience based on non-invasive measurements of an individual's brain activity. Brain reading studies differ in the type of decoding employed, the target, and the decoding algorithms employed.
NeuroSky, Inc. is a manufacturer of brain-computer interface (BCI) technologies for consumer product applications, which was founded in 2004 in Silicon Valley, California. The company adapts electroencephalography (EEG) and electromyography (EMG) technology to fit a consumer market within a number of fields such as entertainment, education, automotive, and health.
Electroencephalography (EEG) is a method to record an electrogram of the spontaneous electrical activity of the brain. The biosignals detected by EEG have been shown to represent the postsynaptic potentials of pyramidal neurons in the neocortex and allocortex. It is typically non-invasive, with the EEG electrodes placed along the scalp using the International 10–20 system, or variations of it. Electrocorticography, involving surgical placement of electrodes, is sometimes called "intracranial EEG". Clinical interpretation of EEG recordings is most often performed by visual inspection of the tracing or quantitative EEG analysis.
Imagined speech is thinking in the form of sound – "hearing" one's own voice silently to oneself, without the intentional movement of any extremities such as the lips, tongue, or hands. Logically, imagined speech has been possible since the emergence of language, however, the phenomenon is most associated with its investigation through signal processing and detection within electroencephalograph (EEG) data as well as data obtained using alternative non-invasive, brain–computer interface (BCI) devices.
Brain technology, or self-learning know-how systems, defines a technology that employs latest findings in neuroscience. [see also neuro implants] The term was first introduced by the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in Zurich, Switzerland, in the context of the Roboy project. Brain Technology can be employed in robots, know-how management systems and any other application with self-learning capabilities. In particular, Brain Technology applications allow the visualization of the underlying learning architecture often coined as “know-how maps”.
A cortical implant is a subset of neuroprosthetics that is in direct connection with the cerebral cortex of the brain. By directly interfacing with different regions of the cortex, the cortical implant can provide stimulation to an immediate area and provide different benefits, depending on its design and placement. A typical cortical implant is an implantable microelectrode array, which is a small device through which a neural signal can be received or transmitted.
Moran Cerf is am American-French-Israeli neuroscientist, professor of business, investor and former white hat hacker.
Thorsten O. Zander is a German scientist who introduced the concept of passive brain-computer interface. He co-founded Zander Labs, a German-Dutch company in the field of passive brain computer interface (pBCI) and neuro-adaptive technology (NAT).