MadSci Network: Neuroscience

Re: Could it be possible to upload

Date: Mon May 8 04:51:19 2000
Posted By: Steve Marvell, Independant Researcher
Area of science: Neuroscience
ID: 957270599.Ns

As far as I see it, there are various aspects of flying:

1. There are some automatic processes which are borne of practice. These 
will be the "techniques" of flying which you don't really think about. 
Remember when you learned to drive how much you had to think about 
changing gear? This is motor learning, and probably resides in the cerebellum.

2. There is the obvious "knowledge" about the layout and function of a 
helicoptor. Without this, it would be very difficult to do things like, 
start the engine.

3. There has to be some aspect of skill which only comes from 
"experience". Unlike the automatic proceses, this area skill will be 
associated with knowing what to do certain situations, a very concious 

4. Finnally, there may be some physical constraints. It's just possible 
that Trinity may have not have the hand-eye or hand-foot co-ordination. 
With all the skill in the world, if you can't get the message to your 
hands fast enough or accurate enough, you' just not going to be able to 
manage it.

So, in order to "upload" a skill, we have to overcome these shortfalls in 
the host.

1,2 & 3 are matters of the brain, but I think that 4 is, at least 
partially, a matter of the body. I could be wrong on that that bit though.

So, how do we upload something into the brain?

As you may or may not know, the brain is a network of neurons connected to 
eachother communicating via electro-chemical reactions. The map of these 
neurons is constantly changing as is the strength of the connections 
between the neurons.

In order to upload a skill, we would have to 

a) have a technique for altering connections in the brain

I suppose we just have to use our imagination here.

b) a knowledge of which bits to changes

We know that certain functions of the brain happen in certain regions. For 
instance, the hypothalamus looks after our "automatic" processes. Another 
region will hold a certain amount of knowledge and another long term 
memory. So, it should be possible to identify which regions of the brain 
need to change. The human brain is pretty consistant between people, so it 
can't be impossible.

If we had studied brains before and after flight training, we may know 
which connections need to be changed. 

So yes, that might just work.

Another plan would be to wire in a some chips. This chip would act like 
part of the brain and interact with it in the normal way. This would solve 
our location problem and our upload method problem.

In summary, if the peraon is actually physically capable of performing the 
task in hand, then I see no reason why we should not be able to upload the 
skill and experience in some scary way.

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