Brain Implants: Become a Borg or Get Healthy?by Isabella Mori | February 27, 2007
Brain implants, or neural implants, have been around since the 1940’s. They can allow people who are paralyzed, deaf or blind to function again. Such an implant is a type of biomedical prosthesis that circumvents areas in the brain which are dysfunctional, perhaps as a result of a stroke or head injuries. Brain implants create a bridge between neural systems and computer chips. Other medical research involves drug delivery via neural implants.
Brain implants also have the capacity to be used in more sinister ways.
Why is that?
Neural implants are used to remotely control the brain, and at least theoretically, they could be implanted without someone’s knowledge. Of course that is a remote possibility in countries that have tight controls on operations; I would not be too surprised, however, if it turned out that neural implants are being experimented with in countries that are much looser about patientsâ€™ rights.
The New Scientist reports that brain implants have been used to “mind read” monkeys. Supposedly, the implants were able to accurately predict 67% of the time where in their visual field trained monkeys were planning to reach.
In another study, a young man was able to move video icons just by using his imagination.
According to one source, controversial Finnish doctor Rauni-Leena Luukanen, the Washington Post reported that Prince William of England received an implant at the age of 12 so that if he were ever kidnapped, he could be traced. Of course, this does not sound unlikely; however, I was not able to find confirmation of that report.
What the Washington Post did report is that CityWatcher.com, a Cincinnati company that stores surveillance camera footage, implanted two of its employees and its chief executive with a microchip (on a voluntary basis) so they can enter a secure building that no one else can enter.
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