Uploading data to the brain

Learning a language with one click?

November 29, 2016

What if you can upload a language package to your brain in a few seconds or teach a person how to play tennis by a single click? There exists a growing body of literature on how to read the brain or 'decode' neural information. However, writing to the brain or 'encoding' information in neuronal networks has been left sterile. In this project, experiments in rodents are proposed to upload a navigation map to a rat's brain, or transfer post-learning knowledge of a particular behavioral task from one animal to another by using multi-electrode extracellular recording and neuronal microstimulation in real-time. If successful, 'The Matrix' will no longer be a sci-fi movie.

The ‘Experiment!’ funding initiative by the Volkswagen Foundation addresses researchers in science and engineering as well as in the life sciences including behavioral biology and experimental psychology, who want to put a potentially transformative research idea to the test. They are given the opportunity to demonstrate preliminary evidence for a concept’s potential during an exploratory phase, which is limited to 18 months and up to 100,000 Euro. One year after receipt of a grant the project development will be reconsidered at the Foundation’s 'Forum Experiment!' www.volkswagenstiftung.de/experiment.

In the fourth call of this initiative, 18 out of a total of 544 project proposals were approved, including the exciting project of Hamed Bahmani from the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, for which € 87,000 will be provided.

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