The Pentagon is currently developing “Brain Chips” that they hope will treat soldiers returning from the field with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). That alone is enough reason to justify this research and development. The broader scope lies in the public sector. This technology could significantly impact how regular people are treated for depression, suicidal tendencies, and a myriad of other mental health issues. OK, the image above is probably a little much and brain chips probably won’t look like that.
With $12 million (and the potential for $26 million more if benchmarks are met), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, wants to reach deep into your brain’s soft tissue to record, predict and possibly treat anxiety, depression and other maladies of mood and mind. Teams from the University of California at San Francisco, Lawrence Livermore National Lab and Medtronic will use the money to create a cybernetic implant with electrodes extending into the brain. The military hopes to have a prototype within 5 years and then plans to seekFDA approval.
“DARPA is looking for ways to characterize which regions come into play for different conditions – measured from brain networks down to the single neuron level – and develop therapeutic devices that can record activity, deliver targeted stimulation, and most importantly, automatically adjust therapy as the brain itself changes,” DARPA program manager Justin Sanchez said.
There are a variety of different ways people are going to interrupt this emerging technology. Some will likely see it as an advancement in improving the populace’s lives and health, while others will see this as yet another intrusion into our lives and privacy (more Edward Snowden NSA stuff). However you see it, there’s no arguing that technology is moving more rapidly than ever. Perhaps faster than some would like. What do you think about these “Brain Chips”? Would you want brain chips implanted in your head? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. Our social media links are to the left of your screen.
Source: Defense One