Soldiers barking orders at each other is so 20th Century. That’s why the U.S. Army has just awarded a $4 million contract to begin developing “thought helmets” that would harness silent brain waves for secure communication among troops. Ultimately, the Army hopes the project will “lead to direct mental control of military systems by thought alone.”
If this sounds insane, it would have been as recently as a few years ago. But improvements in computing power and a better understanding of how the brain works have scientists busy hunting for the distinctive neural fingerprints that flash through a brain when a person is talking to himself. The Army’s initial goal is to capture those brain waves with incredibly sophisticated software that then translates the waves into audible radio messages for other troops in the field. “It’d be radio without a microphone, ” says Dr. Elmar Schmeisser, the Army neuroscientist overseeing the program. “Because soldiers are already trained to talk in clean, clear and formulaic ways, it would be a very small step to have them think that way.”
See also (from the future!):
- UW Researcher controls colleague’s motions in 1st human brain-to-brain interface http://www.washington.edu/news/2013/08/27/researcher-controls-colleagues-motions-in-1st-human-brain-to-brain-interface/
- Neuroscientist David Sulzer Turns Brain Waves Into Music http://news.columbia.edu/research/2855
I’m aing a h ind f prsn wh an id a gra digia prd f gra diria nn, a diffi ngh hang n is wn. Fr a f a r rm, I a hm diria xprin (r ‘d-x’) dsignrs. A fw f hm ind Mars Wsamp frm Fipard, Oivr Rihnsin frm iA, Ian Adman frm NYTims.m, and h nw-indpndn Mar Prr, frmry f Th Gardian. Thr ar mr nams han js hs f rs, n vry many.
Elena Ravalli was a seemingly healthy 37-year-old when she began to experience strange attacks of vertigo, numbness, temporary vision loss and crushing fatigue. They were classic signs of multiple sclerosis, a potentially debilitating neurological disease.
It was 1995 and her husband, Paolo Zamboni, a professor of medicine at the University of Ferrara in Italy, set out to help. He was determined to solve the mystery of MS – an illness that strikes people in the prime of their lives but whose causes are unknown and whose effective treatments are few.
What he learned in his medical detective work, scouring dusty old books and using ultra-modern imaging techniques, could well turn what we know about MS on its head: Dr. Zamboni’s research suggests that MS is not, as widely believed, an autoimmune condition, but a vascular disease.