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posted by martyb on Saturday July 15, @01:39PM   Printer-friendly
from the just-think! dept.

DARPA has announced the winners of six contracts related to neural engineering:

Here's a brief snapshot of the teams chosen and the focus of their work (for additional details, refer to the NESD factsheet):

  • Brown University team led by Dr. Arto Nurmikko will seek to decode neural processing of speech, focusing on the tone and vocalization aspects of auditory perception. The team's proposed interface would be composed of networks of up to 100,000 untethered, submillimeter-sized "neurograin" sensors implanted onto or into the cerebral cortex. A separate RF unit worn or implanted as a flexible electronic patch would passively power the neurograins and serve as the hub for relaying data to and from an external command center that transcodes and processes neural and digital signals.
  • Columbia University team led by Dr. Ken Shepard will study vision and aims to develop a non-penetrating bioelectric interface to the visual cortex. The team envisions layering over the cortex a single, flexible complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) integrated circuit containing an integrated electrode array. A relay station transceiver worn on the head would wirelessly power and communicate with the implanted device.
  • Fondation Voir et Entendre team led by Drs. Jose-Alain Sahel and Serge Picaud will study vision. The team aims to apply techniques from the field of optogenetics to enable communication between neurons in the visual cortex and a camera-based, high-definition artificial retina worn over the eyes, facilitated by a system of implanted electronics and micro-LED optical technology.
  • John B. Pierce Laboratory team led by Dr. Vincent Pieribone will study vision. The team will pursue an interface system in which modified neurons capable of bioluminescence and responsive to optogenetic stimulation communicate with an all-optical prosthesis for the visual cortex.
  • Paradromics, Inc., team led by Dr. Matthew Angle aims to create a high-data-rate cortical interface using large arrays of penetrating microwire electrodes for high-resolution recording and stimulation of neurons. As part of the NESD program, the team will seek to build an implantable device to support speech restoration. Paradromics' microwire array technology exploits the reliability of traditional wire electrodes, but by bonding these wires to specialized CMOS electronics the team seeks to overcome the scalability and bandwidth limitations of previous approaches using wire electrodes.
  • University of California, Berkeley, team led by Dr. Ehud Isacoff aims to develop a novel "light field" holographic microscope that can detect and modulate the activity of up to a million neurons in the cerebral cortex. The team will attempt to create quantitative encoding models to predict the responses of neurons to external visual and tactile stimuli, and then apply those predictions to structure photo-stimulation patterns that elicit sensory percepts in the visual or somatosensory cortices, where the device could replace lost vision or serve as a brain-machine interface for control of an artificial limb.

Also at DARPA.


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  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 15, @01:56PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 15, @01:56PM (#539546)

    another pudding pop in my anus

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 15, @02:39PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 15, @02:39PM (#539552)

    I have so little hope for any bio projects these days, the culture is just so toxic (NHST, p-hacking, file-drawer, etc). It would probably just be better to give the money to the machine learning community to attack from that direction.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by kaszz on Saturday July 15, @11:48PM (2 children)

    by kaszz (4211) on Saturday July 15, @11:48PM (#539699) Journal

    If anyone has any doubt as to where this is going I think it's pretty obvious now. The powers that are is in on engineering a brain-machine interface. If AI and power tensions are taken into account this could cause a very dim future. A mix of Matrix-Borg reality may just be what you will be required to join.

    • (Score: 2) by Yog-Yogguth on Sunday July 16, @01:13AM (1 child)

      Agreed.

      Pretty sure the examples in TFA and everything like it aren't the sticks but the carrots. Poisoned narcotic carrots but carrots nonetheless.

      Our present is already very dim in a lot of ways. We're still alive though so we dodged at least one big bullet so far ...if it wasn't more diversionary theatrics on a grand scale, a "good cop bad cop" routine featuring "Mr. Hillary Lightâ„¢ & the Goldman Sachs" to spiffy up the stale script a little or enough (disappointed again, no winning going on, as usual, and no actual alternatives).

      "I wish I knew the one who knows" —Voivod
      (lyrics [genius.com] with some smaller errors, track [youtube.com] with album cover)

      --
      Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Sunday July 16, @02:43AM

        by kaszz (4211) on Sunday July 16, @02:43AM (#539757) Journal

        I noticed another piece of coincidences from 1913 in regards to the tail that wags the dog:
          * President Woodrow Wilson takes office 1913-03-04
          * Rockefeller Foundation created 1913-05-14
          * Federal Reserve System created 1913-12-23

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