DARPA is now developing a brain implant that will help soldiers boost memory as well as potentially help with any PTSD they could suffer during deployment. DARPA’s Restoring Active Memory project, or RAM, is aimed at restoring memory to returning soldiers who have had major brain injuries. A whopping 300,000 soldiers return from the battlefield with some sort of brain injury and these implants could help them regain a normal life — not to mention the thousands of soldiers suffering from PTSD.
To start, DARPA is working to figure out how neurons in the human brain actually encode memories—a daunting task in and of itself. Once those processes have been mapped out, scientists would then work to create computer models to mimic how the brain functions, with the end goal of being able to implant devices that could trigger those processes if neurons, or the connections between neurons, get damaged.
“As the technology of these fully implantable devices improves, and as we learn more about how to stimulate the brain ever more precisely to achieve the most therapeutic effects,” Justin Sanchez, DARPA’s biological technologies program manager, told Popular Science at the conference. “I believe we are going to gain a critical capacity to help our wounded warriors and others who today suffer from intractable neurological problems.”
This tech has applications beyond use with the military if DARPA is successful as not only soldiers suffer from PTSD but many victims of violent crimes do as well. The continued research and development should be interesting to watch develop and we’re hopeful it leads to real world applications or even spawn newer technologies.
What do you think of the DARPA brain implant project RAM? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.Source: Defense One
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