Hacking Information Processing Problems In Human Brains

A long while ago I remember being introduced to the idea that we do not sense the world directly because we actually experience the results of sensory data being turned into information.

The cells in the ear that turn mechanical vibration into electrical signals are just the beginning of a chain of circuits of neurological processing steps that turn those signals into what we perceive as stereophonic sounds. Sounds are what those neuro circuits create for us.

Similarly the signals from cells in your eyes’ retina that turn light and colour into  electricity and chemistry aren’t vision – there is more processing going on before we get the ‘visuals’ that we think we see with our eyes.

And when something goes wrong with that processing we get strange effects. Dyslexics see some things, letter shapes, differently from the rest of us. Synesthesia  causes people to taste colours and see sounds.

Recent research shows that tinnitus may be a product of altered processing that might be amenable to repair. Now I read about how chronic pain may also be approached in the same way.

“researchers at the UNC School of Medicine showed they could target one brain region with a weak alternating current of electricity, enhance the naturally occurring brain rhythms of that region, and significantly decrease symptoms associated with chronic lower back pain”

Makes me wonder what other processing alterations could be done to repair or even enhance the basic human brain / mind system. That it can have an effect is pretty much recognized by now as this Reuters article “Do-it-yourself brain stimulation has hidden risks” shows.

 

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About xamble

Most things I do involve computers. Nowadays that sounds stupid to hear because everyone uses computers. Except I was saying that before the IBM PC came on the scene. (hint: my first programs were entered on punch cards in an IBM-29) Now I mostly use them. Mostly to provide a community service in my small town. Because I could when it was asked and still can. And I'm a wannabe writer. Various books in various states of incompleteness. A few short stories. Might do more of that.
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