Sit back, close your eyes and go online. Scientists are busy making hundreds of thousands of connections between the brain and a computer, so that you can surf the net without lifting a finger.
Scientists have developed a flexible network of electrodes that can be injected into the brain and connect the brain cells to a computer.
Your brain gets an upgrade. Scientists are working on a so-called neuroprosthesis, which must connect your brain to a computer, making you smarter.
The electrodes of the prosthesis capture the brain signals with which the computer can analyze your thoughts. The prosthesis then sends some of the infinite knowledge of the internet directly to your brain with the help of electrical impulses.
Millions are spent on the development of neuroprostheses, and the scientists hope to be able to establish a million connections between the brain and a computer soon.
Scientists are just injecting into the brain
Scientists at Harvard University in the US are well on the way to developing a new neuroprosthesis. This consists of a net with electrodes that is so flexible that it can be injected into the brain via a needle that is only 0.1 mm wide. In the brain the net unfolds and nestles around the brain cells.
The brain signals in mice have recently been measured with a network of 128 electrodes, and other tests have shown that multiple networks can be inserted in different places in the brain with one mouse.
Neuroprostheses are common in 10 years
This technique is not a distant future. With simple prostheses with a few hundred electrodes, people who miss an arm or leg can already control robot limbs at this time.
And according to some brain scientists, prostheses that support our senses and our memory will be common in about 10 years, while technologies that can connect the brain to the internet or enable telepathic communication can become reality in 20 to 50 years.
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