In the last few decades, several technologies have been suggested by the researchers and neurologists to enhance the cognitive function of the human brain. As time passes, many traditional practices like tea, caffeine, nicotine, amphetamines, and narcolepsy drug like Modafinil have been tried for cognitive function of our brain but the tech-driven world can play a larger role in this.
With the evolution of the artificial world, we are not far from merging our brains with the machine. The Brain-machine interface (BMI) is a technology that allows us to convert our thought into action without physical movement. Imagine paralyzed but conscious patients; how easy it will be for them if they get a glass of water or medicine or favorite book from the shelf just by the use of their imagination? Can BMIs help us in achieving this luxury?
Potential of BMI is yet to be fully realized but in future, BMI will help in changing human psychology and curing mental disorders like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, psychosis, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and many more.
Myth: Is it possible to enhance our Brain at any age?
It is always a matter of controversy whether brain cognitive ability declines with age but research in the field of neuroplasticity has proved that brain cognitive ability can be enhanced at any age. Neuronal connections of the brain change through experience and neuroplasticity can rewire the brain by generating new neurons or by making new neuronal connections. Previously, it was assumed that as we grow older, the development of the brain becomes fixed but now we know our brain keeps transforming itself.
Algorithms of BMI
The Brain-machine interface enables a connection between machine (especially computers, chips, or robots) and neurons that detect brain signals and translates those signals into rapid action or converts the thoughts into reality without the involvement of our voice command or physical movement. This activity can be measured by ElectroEncephaloGraphy (EEG). A brain-computer interface is a system that measures the activity of our central nervous system (CNS) and converts our thoughts into action that helps in restoring and improving the natural response of CNS.
Pros and cons
Many human activities like speech and movement will be supported by BMI technology in the future. It improves the ability to control our emotions and mental state of an individual by stimulating nerves and muscle cells. The Brain-Machine Interface can enhance the memory and efficiency of the brain many folds than the natural level and can restore the normal functionality of the brain.
Many futurists and scientists like Elon Musk, Fabien LOTTE, and Frederic Gilbert have acknowledged that one day we will achieve superhuman intelligence that will connect the best brains of the world in a single network. Our intelligence and memory will be no more of our own and it will be able to connect an individual brain with anyone in this world through chip and computers. Further, it will also help in sharing and receiving the data. We can even achieve 1000X times IQ than that of Einstein and Newton at any age.
In contrast to the benefit of mankind, BMI can have a lot of negative side effects also. In the future, it will be possible to hack a brain. Further, we still don’t know completely how our brain will behave in a hybrid system with a machine. Before implementing these technologies it is important to understand the human nervous system so that a well-calibrated approach can be employed for integrating the brain with the machine.