Can AI brain-computer interfaces replace depression pills?

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Example of brain-computer interface developed by gaming company Valve. Credit: Independent
Example of brain-computer interface developed by gaming company Valve. Credit: Independent

Sometimes antidepressants stop working after prolonged use and for many people they don’t work at all… With such gloomy prospects, it was only a matter of time until scientists realized there must be better ways to treat depression rather than pills.

After all, drugs only work because they act on certain brain regions to modulate the concentration of certain neurotransmitters, like serotonin or dopamine.

Therefore, in the end, the regulation of mood depends on stimulating brain signals in certain parts of the brain — that is, neurons firing — and this can be done more accurately by just zapping the neurons directly with electricity.

In case you still didn’t hear about them, a brain-computer interface (BCI), is a direct communication pathway between an enhanced or wired brain and an external device. BCIs are often directed at researching, mapping, assisting, augmenting, or repairing human cognitive or sensory-motor functions.

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We are going to see our mental health improve thanks to brain chips and a better understanding of the brain coming from current neuroscience research, and eventually, we are going to say goodbye to the happy, or perhaps not-so-happy pills called antidepressants.

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