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jeffolie

"...transfer your 'software' (your mind) into upgraded hardware."

Human memory is distributed throughout the brain. Transferring the mind will require leaps of understanding the human brain and mind. Iassac Asimov fictionalized a man made "posivetronic brain" in the 1950s.

Imaging Study Reveals Competition Between Brain's Memory Centers


Memory centers in the brain may interact like kids on a seesaw, new research indicates. When test subjects performed learning tasks that called on two different types of memory, brain imaging revealed that heightened activity in structures responsible for one form of recall accompanied a corresponding reduction of activity in a region that controls the other form. One of these centers was dominant very early in both tasks, suggesting it may play an important role in learning of either kind. A report detailing these findings appears today in the journal Nature.

In one experiment, Russ Poldrack of Massachusetts General Hospital and colleagues had study participants learn to associate cards bearing a set of symbols to a specific weather pattern while they underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). A prompt either told subjects what the relationship was, which required their declarative memory for facts alone, or instructed them to guess the connection first, which invoked their nondeclarative memory for experiences. The first task raised activity in subjects' medial temporal lobes and lowered it in their basal ganglia, whereas the second task had the opposite effect. "The idea that these systems may compete with each other was suggested by animal research," Poldrack says, "and we wanted to see if this takes place in humans as well."


A second experiment looked at participants' brains for a longer period of time as they performed the guessing-first task. Here the researchers found that the medial temporal lobe alone was active at first, but the basal ganglia quickly took over. Scientists have traditionally thought of the hippocampus, which resides in the medial temporal lobe, as important for declarative memory only, says lead investigator Mark Gluck of Rutgers University. This result, he asserts, supports his theory that the hippocampus takes part in all learning and controls how the brain processes new information. --JR Minkel

GK

Reverse engineering of the human brain might be possible by the 2020s, at least in terms of computational density currently possible relative to the computational density of the brain. In fact, some supercomputers are already approaching this level, so it is merely a matter of waiting until modern supercomputers can fit into a space the size of a human brain, through continual advancements in computational density.

As far as downloading thought, that is more speculative of a prediction.

jeffolie

PROOF OF GOD (LOL)

The ultra conservative religious right wing in the US would jump for joy if some human could create an intelligent, advanced more than humans creature. The current religious theory is that evolution is modified by outside intelligence(God). This is labelled INTELLIGENT DESIGN. Designing people politically is anti-science science. What funny irony - proof of the possibility or the actual existence of God. This reachs for metaphysical cosmology.

GK

Religion (Hinduism in particular) has had some thought about the prospect of accelerating intelligence and the singularity. Read about the 10 incarnations of Vishnu.

The problem with most religions has been that they assume humans are the end of evolution, or even the goal of evolution. Humans may be the most intelligent beings at the moment, but they are merely the latest step among hundreds of steps. Increasingly intelligent species' have evolved in increasingly shorter times, and beings more intelligent than humans could be descended from us. We would be to them as apes are to us..

To assume that humans are somehow special, is assuming too much.

jeffolie

I am not an expert on religion. But to the best of my limited knowlege, the issue of assuming humans are the end of evolution is not addressed. Religions existed before evolution, so the primary religious texts do not touch on the next, more intelligent creature.

Vishnu (IAST viṣṇu, Devanagari विष्णु, with honorific Shri Vishnu; śrī viṣṇu, श्री विष्णु ), is a form of God, in Hinduism. For Vaishnavas, He is the Ultimate Reality or God, as is Shiva for Shaivites. In Trimurti concept (sometimes called the Hindu Trinity), He is the second aspect of God (the others being Brahma and Shiva).

Known as the Preserver, He is most famously identified with His avatars, or incarnations, especially Krishna and Rama. He is also frequently referred to as Narayana.

For the followers of Vaishnavism, known as Vaishnavas, He is the Ultimate Reality and not just one form of God. Smartas, who follow Advaita philosophy, believe that deities such as Vishnu or Shiva are various forms of one ultimate higher power ("Brahman"), which has no specific form, name, face or features. Vaishnavism however believes that God can transcend all personal characteristics yet can also have personal characteristics for the grace of the human devotee. Personal characteristics are considered an aid for the devotee to focus on God. It also believes that it is not necessarily wrong to view a form of God as long as it is recognized that God is not limited to a particular form. Nonetheless, there are many Vaishnava sects, most notably Vadakalai Iyengars, who believe that Vishnu's actual form is not beyond human comprehension, and that His form is exactly as shown in pictures and idols.

Vaishnavite Hindus also worship Vishnu in an abstract form (i.e., God with vague form) as a saligrama stone. Use of the saligrama is similar to the use of lingam, a form of Shiva.

Hindus believe that Vishnu incarnates periodically for the establishment and protection of righteousness, good dharma and destruction of evil adharma; see avatar for more information.


GK

About the ten incarnations of Vishnu, halfway down the article. Notice the increasingly more advanced beings incarnated, over shorter and shorter intervals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avatara

Fewlesh

All these food innovations are exponentially expanding our wastelines!

I predict we will be 1450 lbs by 2050!

We are going to need other accellerating medical innovations to keep them small!

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2362369

I know which trend is winning out!

On a note about brain scanning. It is very likely that your alert consciousness won't transfer over during the scanning process. You would die in your frame of reference, but a new frame of reference would pop up to contain all your memories and accumulated knowledge. To the outside world, it would seem as if you didn't die, but to your frame of reference it would.

Fewlesh.

jeffolie

HAL, HAL, HAL let me in.

nuclearphysicist

I think that most modern scientists have things all wrong when it comes to the origin and evolution of human beings. The truth is that we all started out as disembodied intelligences looking for someplace to go and something to do with ourselves. Therefore, becoming disembodied beings is not the goal of our existence.

God (i.e., someone who had already finished the journey that we are now taking) created bodies of spirit for our intelligences, began our process of detailed higher-level instruction, and then implemented a plan for us to come to this Earth where our intelligences/spirits were given mortal physical bodies and our memories of past knowledge and experiences were disconnected from our physical minds. This was done to advance our experience and learning opportunities for finding out more about who we really are and to test our ability to follow a time-tested plan for achieving happiness and ultimate fulfillment in the universe.

The final act in the evolution of human beings is physical death followed by a fusion of our intelligences/spirits with immortal physical bodies that are capable of much greater freedom of movement and accomplishment within this and other universes.

Evolutionary biologists are wed to a theory that doesn't wash with the known scientific laws of probability and entropy. They will never truly understand human beings until they accept the fact that human beings are more than just a chance conglomeration of the physical elements that make up our physical world.

As a scientist, I am often met with disparaging comments for what I know to be true. And, there will probably be those on this blog who will ridicule what I have posted. But, it is high time that scientists got out of the rut that they have been in for the last hundred years and face the fact that our world and the living creatures that dwell on it are much more than what we can see, hear, feel, touch, taste, and measure.

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