Documenting the Coming Singularity

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Brain incorporates tools into body map - Cyborg adaptations no problem?

Editor's note: Your brain knows where all the parts of your body are at any given moment. This is why you can catch a ball without looking at your hand. There are nerve sensors at your joints that measure angles so that your brain is aware of your body's configuration, moment to moment. This study demonstrates that your brain will incorporate the tools you use into your mental body map, which has implications for the cyborging of your body.

Brain could adapt well to cyborg enhancements: NewScientist - June 23, 2009, by Linda Geddes

The human brain may be able to include cyborg implants in its representation of the body (Image: Jeff J Mitchell / Getty)

When you brush your teeth, the toothbrush may actually become part of your arm – at least as far as your brain is concerned. That's the conclusion of a study showing perceptions of arm length change after people handle a mechanical tool.
The brain might also readily incorporate cyborg additions Рa cyborg arm or other body part Рinto its body schema, says Farn̩, "and possibly new body parts differing in shape and/or number, for example four arms."

The brain maintains a physical map of the body, with different areas in charge of different body parts. Researchers have suggested that when we use tools, our brains incorporate them into this map.

To test the idea, Alessandro Farné of the University of Claude Bernard in Lyon, France, and colleagues attached a mechanical grabber to the arms of 14 volunteers. The modified subjects then used the grabber to pick up out-of-reach objects.

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Unknown said...

how do you donate your body to this cause.