A DARPA-sponsored study on brain prosthetics to improve memory performance has moved into practice for human testing after animal tests. The first test subjects were epileptic patients at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, who already had implanted electronic equipment and participated in similar experiments. All of them have managed to improve the work of short-term memory with the help of new technology.
During the experiments, the subjects played simple computer games based on memory training - remembering the type, location, combinations of objects, etc. Scientists at this time read signals from neurons around the area of the hippocampus, which is responsible for the formation of persistent memories. They mapped the patterns of neurons that matched the subjects' best performance in games.
Further, after a long pause, when the data almost disappeared from the memory of the patients, they were instructed to play the same games. But now, with the help of special equipment, the patients' brains were stimulated according to the reference patterns. And here's the result: the work of short-term memory improved in 37% of cases, and long-term memory, from 75 minutes or more, by as much as 35%. Patients who forgot how to use a fork during the day improved their memory by a third!
Robert Hampson, lead author of the study, insists that they are not tasked with writing information directly into the human brain. Or replace old memories with new, corrected ones. No and no, this is not ethical and dangerous. At this stage, the technology is intended purely for medical purposes - to learn how to stimulate the work of different parts of the brain in patients with Alzheimer's disease and the like. So that people can overcome the illness, recover, and not turn into cyborgs with memory chips in their heads.