We just dreamt of it before. Those crucial times in school when studying for exams was a tough challenge, especially for biology class, we wished a somewhat chip or a memory card that can be inserted in the brain had existed so tests would be a lot easier. We can say that now we're really living the future, as a group of scientists are currently developing a brain implant that would help enhance the memory.
No need to cheat soon
Theodore Berger, a professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Southern, has been working for the past 10 years on a prosthetic that would mimic how the brain electric signals works.
This device, theoretically that would be in the form of an implant surgically attached in the brain, will enhance the memory of humans. This device will manipulate short term memories to be recognized by the brain as long term ones.
In order to convert short term memories to long term, the brain fires a set of electric signals in the brain that's unique in each individual. Berger and his team of neuroscientists are developing a chip that will mimic the pattern of these electric signals. This chip will somehow work like te brain's hippocampus.
Berger has begun a start up called Kernel, which is backed up by entrepreneur, Bryan Johnson, who sold his payments firm Braintree to PayPal for $800m (£615m) in 2013.
Now, Berger with his start up team has been working on prototypes of this device. They're working on a chip that can be implanted in the brain. The neuroscientists have conducted tests of this chip to animals, rats, rabbits, monkeys, and have seen promising results. They are now preparing to conduct tests in epileptic patients.
According to Berger, in the near future, they will be conducting tests to humans, "we're testing it in humans now, and getting good initial results," Berger told IEEE
Spectrum. "We're going to go forward with the goal of commercialising this prosthesis."
The brain implant, if successful, is a milestone for neuroscience. Apart from students who are too lazy to review lectures, the device will be truly useful for people with mental disorders such as Alzheimer and Amnesia.