To develop better brain-computer interfaces, we'll analyze and probe the brain so we can learn to communicate with it electronically. As cyborg technology develops, we'll be able to sustain the brain outside the body, as a brain in a jar; to interface electronics directly with the neurons of the brain. It's all part of the push for virtual reality. One day, we may even be able to siliconize the brain, to perform uploading.
We don't know yet what the technological challenges we have to oveercome before we can hold brains in jars; we guess it will become possible around 2025-2045. We will need to develop the following technologies first:
- Feeding oxygen and nutrients to the brain through artificial blood.
- Transplanting the brain into a jar of sorts.
- Intercepting, intepreting and interfacing sensory inputs and outputs.
- The ability to record signals is a natural predecessor to the ability to produce signals.
- Simulating signals generated by the human body (autoperception) so that the brain doesn't freak out.
How would the brain respond if it didn't sense a heartbeat? How much intelligence lies in in body parts and how much is centralized in the brain? How much does the brain rely on the body?
We'll also have to convince governments to allow brain-body separation, in a situation where this is a reasonable course of action.
The search phrases we are interested in are:
- [Ganglion cell] -- the nerves in the eye that report to the brain along the optic nerve.
- Multi-unit recording -- reading signal from cells.
- [Recording spikes from a large fraction of the ganglion cells in a retinal patch] -- this page talks about recording techniques; The section on "Future directions" is of particular interest to us. Quote: "A multi-electrode array system with 512 channels has been built, showing the scalability of the array technology."
- Transhuman Brain
- Transhuman Body
- Transhumanism Criticisms
- Transhumanism Quotes
- Transhumanist Vision
- Transhumanism Wiki
For further reading
Many works of fiction describe heads without bodies. Public perception might be influenced by popular culture.