RE: trends in brain imaging

From: mez (
Date: Sat Jan 20 2001 - 16:45:45 MST

> 1) What exactly do you want to know?
> 2) Why do you want to know?

I am exploring the possibility of non-invasive direct brain / computer
interfaces. I'm also exploring invasive techniques, of course, but
since those have the barrier to entry of brain surgery (or
nanotechnology), likely adoption seems much lower.

And of course, as I believe John Clark was hinting, I would like to
know the trends in technology for non-destructive uploading.

So far in my research, the best bet I've seen for relatively near-term
non-invasive brain / computer interfaces is EROS (Event Related
Optical Signaling) which relies on the scattering of infrared light by
active neurons to build a relatively spatially and temporally fine map
of brain activity.

Unfortunately that spatial resolution, while reasonbly good compared
to other imaging techniques, is till on the order of millimeters.
That may work for very crude interfaces like brain controllers, but
not for more sophisticated uses.

Thus far I have not seen even wild speculation about non-invasive
techniques that can provide resolution on the order of a few thousand
neurons or less.

Thus my current data suggests that highly advanced neural interfaces
(and uploading) will require invasive technologies.

If anyone is aware of technologies that may provide this without
invasion of the brain, I'd love to hear abou them.

Ramez Naam

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