Theodore Berger and team, who I’ve been following since describing their work in More Than Human, achieved success earlier this year in recording a rat memory during encoding, and playing it back to the rat later.
This is a very very very early step towards being able to encode our memories digitally, outside of our brains, and potentially even transfer them from person to person. It’s on the path towards Matrix-style transfer of skills. The first applications will be for those who’ve suffered memory damage through aging, senility, disease, or brain damage. But eventually (perhaps in decades), it has the power to enhance our cognitive abilities.
With a flick of a switch and a burst of electrical activity, rats have been given access to lost memories. The concept might one day help people with brain damage remember how to perform everyday tasks.
Theodore Berger at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues, used electrodes implanted within the hippocampus to record patterns of brain activity while rats learned how to operate a sequence of levers to gain a reward.