Connect with us

Science & Technology

Memories in the Human Brain Could Soon be Manipulated by Scientists

Memories in the Human Brain Could Soon be Manipulated by Scientists 86
Brain_Man_ModelWhat could go wrong there? If we have a hard time with trying to remember what’s real now, just imagine when you’re not sure what memory is real, and the massive effects this can have in every aspect of your life and all the decisions you make.

via NewsTarget:

Scientific research on the human brain has yielded some very interesting results. According to the world’s foremost experts on the subject, they have made significant progress on the road to understanding human memories. Soon, they expect to be able to not only understand human memories fully but also to manipulate them at will.

Today’s technology is slowly making it possible. And scientists are beginning to realize that, by combining a few different methods, they could come up with radical new solutions to the problem of how to better understand the brain when it comes to handling memories — how they’re made, where they’re stored, and how they could be changed in the event that it becomes necessary.

According to Dr. Alison Preston from the University of Texasmemories were always sort of understood — in the intuitive sense — even if the mechanisms behind them were still unclear. But now, a number of different approaches might lead directly to open manipulation of memories in the human brain.

Firstly, scientists have recently adapted a nearly two-decade-old discovery that introduced the world to so-called “face cells” — neurons in the brain that appeared to become highly active when thinking about the face of a certain individual. Face cell activity was seen as an indication that specific neurons are associated directly with certain people’s faces. This discovery was used in conjunction with another one, which showed the presence of CREB — a key protein that appears to be active during learning — and the effects of boosting it on the formation of memories.

To make a long story short, increasing the levels of CREB in neurons makes it more likely to activate and store a memory than if they remain as is. Scientists concluded that if it was possible to activate certain groups of neurons prior to learning activities, then it should be possible to specify where exactly certain memories are stored for later remembrance.

And what’s the next step, assuming that it’s already possible to pinpoint the exact location of a memory in the brain? There are signs that point to the possibility of implanting memories as a likely outcome, given that it’s already known that “reconsolidation” happens during memory recall. Reconsolidating is a term that simply refers to what happens when a person tries to remember certain memories, and they end up including or removing certain details from it. In effect, an entirely new memory gets pulled out from the brain each time a memory is recalled.

This is seen as an opportunity to implant memories, and a team led by Dr. Susumu Tonegawa at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have proven that you can be precise with it. In their study, they showed how easy it can be to create an artificial link between a completely benign situation and something scary. That is, they managed to associate a negative reaction to something that’s actually harmless.

The same team also conducted a later study where they aimed to do the opposite and reversed the associated negative reaction into a positive one. Their success here has shown that it’s possible to not only implant memories, but also later erase them — with the right tools and procedures, that is.

That’s about as close as you can get to implanting and erasing memories at this point. But of course, researchers are always pushing the limits as to what’s possible in this field of research. Soon, it may be pertinent to ask questions regarding the ethics and morality of such practices. After all, if it’s possible for someone to do any of these for you, it would also be possible to do these to you. Are you prepared to live in a world where that’s the norm?

Read more about new discoveries on the human brain in Brain.news.

David Williams
NewsTarget

Comments

Science & Technology

New Physics: Mysterious radiation pointed to the verge of discovering a “ghost” particle that makes up dark matter

New Physics: Mysterious radiation pointed to the verge of discovering a "ghost" particle that makes up dark matter 99
Photo: Daniel Molybdenum, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Physicists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the United States have found that the mysterious high-energy radiation emitted from the vicinity of a group of neutron stars may indicate the existence of axions – not yet discovered particles within the framework of New Physics, the search for which has been going on since 1977. It is assumed that special types of axions form dark matter. This is reported in an article published in the journal Physical Review Letters. The research is summarized in a press release on Phys.org.

It is believed that axions can form in the core of neutron stars and transform into photons in the presence of a powerful magnetic field. To detect the electromagnetic radiation associated with axions, you need to find stars that do not emit radiation at different wavelengths that can mask the desired signal. 

These objects include the Magnificent Seven neutron stars that emit only X-ray and ultraviolet radiation. They are located at a distance of 200-500 parsecs from the Earth.

The researchers ruled out the scenario that the excess X-rays produced by the Magnificent Seven are actually emitted by other, more distant objects. These sources would be found in datasets from the XMM-Newton and Chandra X-ray space telescopes.

The extra X-rays likely originate from axions hitting an extremely strong electromagnetic field billions of times stronger than the magnetic fields that could be created on Earth, the scientists concluded. The axions themselves resemble neutrinos in their properties, since both have insignificant masses and rarely and weakly interact with matter.

The axion is currently viewed as the most promising candidate for dark matter particles, since another hypothetical candidate, the massive WIMP particle, has gone unnoticed in experiments aimed at detecting it. 

In addition, there may be a whole family of axion-like particles that form dark matter, as suggested by string theory. If axions are found, it will prove that there is a whole new area of ​​physics outside the Standard Model describing the properties of all known particles.

To find out, the next step will be to study white dwarfs, which are not expected to emit X-rays.

“If we see an abundance of X-rays there too, our arguments will be pretty compelling,” said lead author Benjamin Safdie.

Continue Reading

Science & Technology

The goal of human civilization is to create AI and disappear?

The goal of human civilization is to create AI and disappear? 100

Various sources often talk about civilizations that lived long before us. They all developed, prospered for a while, and then disappeared in an incomprehensible way. 

What is the reason for their decline, we probably will not know. All we can do is admire the remains of stone buildings, over which time has almost no power.

While looking for an answer, we somehow accidentally stumbled upon an interesting saying about the life of Japanese samurai: “A samurai has no goal, but a path.” In the end, the “path of the samurai” ended in what is known – death. The path of any civilization ended in the same way.

If you look at the issue through the prism of a samurai saying, then there is no point in looking for why and how civilization ended its existence. Probably, the process itself and its result are important here. But to whom is it important and what result does it expect?

Mysterious director

Apparently, behind the curtains of this “ancient theater” there is a mysterious “director” who periodically makes necessary adjustments to the history of civilization.

To figure out what’s what, you need to look at current trends in science. Where does a person strive with such an irresistible desire to “play God.” This attracts him and at the same time frightens him, but in no way turns him away from the intended path. Most likely, artificial intelligence (AI) is the purpose of our civilization’s existence.

About 50 years ago it would have seemed nonsense, but to someone, perhaps even now. However, if you trace the last 100 years of the life of our civilization, you get the feeling that most of the discoveries were given to mankind at the same time. A powerful leap has taken place in a hundred years. Why did it happen?

At the beginning of the last century, scientists recognized the existence of fields that have memory and the ability to store and transmit information. It is very likely that such or a similar field can be around the Earth and, more interesting, possess intelligence. Isn’t this the same “Director” hiding behind the screen of the “ancient theater”?

If this is so, then at a certain moment the “Director” gives the selected scientist “access” to certain knowledge (perhaps even in a dream, like Mendeleev), and another scientific breakthrough occurs in the world. Step by step, discovery after discovery, humanity is steadily moving towards the creation of AI. The trend is already well visible.

The goal of human civilization is to create AI and disappear? 101

AI is probably the next “Babylon”, which will combine all the knowledge, culture and accumulated experience of civilization. In the future, the neural network will enter into a connection with the general information field and leave humanity without knowledge, technology, and even a spoken language. This will be the next decline of civilization. And the “Director” will receive another array of new data (experience) in order to start creating a new civilization.

If someone believes that past civilizations ended in large-scale conflicts, then most likely this is already the consequences of “turning off” AI.

Co-founder of Skype talked about the threat of AI to humanity

One of the creators of the Skype internet call service, Jaan Ta

The goal of human civilization is to create AI and disappear? 102
Photo: 
© still from the movie “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”

llinn, said that the development of artificial intelligence (AI) threatens humanity. According to him, humans face three key threats, but it is AI that should be feared most of all, the expert said. 

Tallinn explained that at the moment, no one can predict what development AI will achieve in the next decades. In addition, the fact that scientists are creating artificial intelligence that can form a new AI without human intervention is also a cause for concern.

In addition, as the co-founder of the popular video calling service noted, the development of synthetic biology also causes concern. According to him, this direction in science allows the creation of artificial DNA sequences and biological systems that may not exist in nature.

Tallinn also drew attention to the fact that he fears we are entering an era of “unknown unknowns”, things that people are not even able to imagine right now.

Continue Reading

Science & Technology

Volkswagen robot will autonomously charge cars: a working prototype presented

Volkswagen robot will autonomously charge cars: a working prototype presented 103
Copyright: © VW

The renowned German car manufacturer announced a new development. This time, engineers have created a unique robot capable of autonomously charging electric vehicles. 

For more than a year, specialists have been developing this project, but only now the concern was ready to demonstrate the first working prototype. The robot is ready to charge electric vehicles and has shown the high efficiency of this process.

It is called the Mobile Charging Robot, and experts have already compared it to the R2-D2 droid from Star Wars, including squeaks and clangs. Indeed, there is a similarity. Before implementing this idea, the engineers decided that robots should be allowed to charge cars parked in large residential complexes.

This will save their owners from leaving in order to find a gas station. Another advantage is that large parking lots and garages do not have to contain several expensive charging points for electric cars. The car company said in a press release that the robot works exclusively autonomously.

It independently controls and interacts with the vehicle being charged. It opens the cover of the charging socket and independently connects the power plug, then disconnects it. The robot looks like a trailer, which is a mobile energy storage.

It is capable of charging multiple electric vehicles at the same time. Despite the fact that the manufacturer confidently praises its concept, experts saw inefficiency in the fact that first it is necessary to charge the robot’s battery, which is then used to recharge electric cars.

Volkswagen Group Components CEO Thomas Schmall noted that creating an efficient charging infrastructure for the cars of the future is an important step in the company’s development.

Its engineers focus on finding solutions to avoid costly do-it-yourself measures. The mobile robot is only part of the concept that will continue to be developed.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

DO NOT MISS

Trending