Re: spines on ice

Anders Sandberg (
Mon, 31 Mar 1997 15:14:50 +0200 (MET DST)

On Mon, 31 Mar 1997, Damien Broderick wrote:

> Interesting. When I published the suggestion, in 1971, that cryonicists
> could freeze severed heads instead of going to the expense and added risk
> of storing the whole body (a process now called `neurological suspension',
> and in which I was anticipated in print by several years), I suggested that
> the spinal cord should also be preserved. It seemed to me then (and still
> does) that a considerable amount of salient information is embodied/encoded
> therein. This would also be relevant, therefore, to upload procedures.

Yes. The spinal cord has a rather stereotypal structure, so most people
involved with neurosuspension (and uploading) just think we could add on a
new spinal cord using some future technology and have the person up and
running. But there seems to be some evidence that even the spinal cord
learns, which means that parts of our motor skills may be present down
there. My guess is that we can create simple pattern generators over time
for certain actions, although control and integration are done in the
brain. Replacing the old spinal cord with a new might affect your motoric,
and your body may feel slightly wrong. I admit that this is just a minor
problem; I would accept being an upload with a slightly unfamiliar body
model which I in time will learn to like, but if we could I think we
should include the spinal cord in the suspension/upload.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y