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This Is Your Brain on Schwarzenegger

posted by Mark on November 21st, 2008

It looks like the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Total Recall wasn’t too far off base. Scientists at Arizona State University have developed a technique that uses ultrasound — you know, the thing you use to see babies before the stork comes — to stimulate and manipulate circuits in the brain. In doing so, they’ve provided us with not only a potentially powerful, noninvasive treatment for brain diseases like Alzheimer’s, but also, as lead investigator William “Jamie” Tyler points out, a sci fi lover’s wet dream:

One might be able to envision potential applications ranging from medical interventions to use in video gaming or the creation of artificial memories along the lines of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character in Total Recall. Imagine taking a vacation without actually going anywhere?

Perhaps envisioning the sea of nerds lining up outside his lab to implant wedgie-free memories of high school, Tyler hedged his comment:

Obviously, we need to conduct further research and development, but one of the most exhilarating prospects is that low intensity, low frequency ultrasound permit deep-brain stimulation procedures without requiring exogenous proteins or surgically implanted medical devices.

Pray that they perfect this technology before you finish school so that you can implant memories of the periodic table, the Pythagorean theorem and the dates of every battle in the Civil War.

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  • Peter

    “Low-frequency ultrasound?”