3 neural implants that could change our lives

implant
Image credit: Alamy

Here are three of [DARPA’s] research programs that are showing promise in early human testing:

1) A NEURAL IMPLANT [TO] HELP MANAGE PSYCHIATRIC ILLNESS

More than 2.2 million veterans and 44 million civilians are living with some form of psychiatric illness, and medications don’t work for everyone. DARPA set out to create new options for people living with debilitating anxiety, depression, and PTSD.

“We can get somebody back to normal. It’s a whole new set of tools for physicians,” said Justin Sanchez, Director of the Biological Technologies Office at DARPA.

2) A NEURAL IMPLANT TO HELP IMPROVE MEMORY

“We are right at the cusp” of improving memory recall with direct neural interfaces, Sanchez said.

All day long, our brains shift between poor and good memory states. A brain-computer interface can read the signals of populations of neurons in the lateral temporal cortex. The device continuously monitors the state of the brain and delivers stimulation within a fraction of a second after detecting a poor memory state, to improve the person’s memory performance.

Related article:  Designed for distraction: Why our brains find it difficult to focus

3) A NEURAL IMPLANT TO REVOLUTIONIZE PROSTHETICS FOR WARFIGHTERS AND VETERANS

Since 2006, DARPA has run a program to revolutionize prosthetics. The latest advances allow amputees to actually feel again with their bionic limbs.

Sensors in a prosthetic hand relay information to an interface in the brain that allows the person to detect which of their “fingers” are being touched.

Read full, original post: The Mind-Blowing Promise of Neural Implants

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