Mixing brains and computers

A recent BBC News Scotland story reports:

Researchers have moved closer to making silicon chips which could one day be used to repair damaged tissue in the human body. Edinburgh University has developed a technique, which allows neurons to grow in fine, detailed patterns on the surface of tiny computer chips.

Once the engineering problem of melding computer and brain has been addressed – not an easy task – we’re left with issues surrounding the software-mind interface. Is this second task impossible? Our understanding of micro-cognition is well advanced but quite limited. In my own research, for example, I’ve built mathematical abstractions of neuron-like processing units, but in what sense do these abstractions reflect the ‘real’ process in the human brain? Is a photograph of a person even slightly a person?

“It is going towards the realms of science fiction – there is a definite Incredible Hulk feel about it.”

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Edinburgh, East and Fife | Computer chips may ‘repair’ nerve

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Ian Hocking

Writer and psychologist.

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