Friday, March 21, 2003

Black-box testing your brain

New Scientist

"The world's first brain prosthesis - an artificial hippocampus - is about to be tested in California."

This is the result of black-box testing the hippocampus--the part of your brain that encodes "experiences so they can be stored as long-term memories". It has proven to be elusive to its exact workings, but by treating it as a black-box and mimicking its response to inputs, scientists were able to devise a mathematical model that they could program onto a chip which could replace a malfunctioning hippocampus.

Some of the ethical issues are discussed in the article as well.

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