Neural Interfaces

Neural Interfaces are technological devices that connect directly to a biological subject's brain for purposes of alteration/enhancement of brain functions and/or extracortical communication. The term includes both invasive and non-invasive BCIs and NCIs.

Research into neural interfacing has historically targeted repairing and improving processing of sensory modalities, cognitive and psychomotor functions by providing direct neural link communication with augmentations. Thanks to the remarkable cortical plasticity of the brain, signals from implanted prostheses can, after adaptation, be handled by the brain like natural sensor or effector channel. In general, modern neural interfaces involve bidirectional communication pathways between neural systems and computer chips.

Neural Control Interfaces

See main page: Neural Implants

Neural Control Interfaces (NCI), also colloquially known as neural implants are invasive computing devices that connect directly to a biological subject's brain – usually placed on the surface of the brain, or attached to the brain's cortex. Unlike BCIs, primary function of which is to bridge a subject's brain with an extracorporeal device or network, NCIs are usually designed to primary function as self-contained systems.

Brain implants electrically stimulate, block or record (or both record and stimulate simultaneously) signals from single neurons or groups of neurons (biological neural networks) in the brain. The blocking technique is called intra-abdominal vagal blocking. This can only be done where the functional associations of these neurons are approximately known. Because of the complexity of neural processing and the lack of access to action potential related signals using neuroimaging techniques, the application of brain implants has been seriously limited until recent advances in neurophysiology and computer processing power.

Brain-Computer Interfaces

Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) is a biotechnological interface providing a direct communication pathway between an enhanced or wired brain and an external device. In general, BCI technology acts as an I/O apparatus in which brain activity is used to interface with a computer or an extracorporeal electronic device. Brain-Computer Interfaces found their widespread usage in direct control systems and virtual reality immersion technology. Since most modern BCI technology is bidrectional, widespread usage of BCI technology has lead to numerous public concerns over ethical usage of such devices, culminating in Nations Declaration of Cognitive Liberties, also known as Reykjavik Convention.

Brain-to-Brain Interfaces

Brain-to-Brain Interface (B2Bs, BTBIs) are a subset of BCI systems which allow for direct transfer of information between the brain of one animal and the brain of another animal. In general, I/O apparatus developed in the context of Brain-to-Computer, permits us to construct networks in which endpoints are individual brains, in such a way, brain-to-brain interfaces (BTBIs) can form a biological computer, or brain-net, constructed using animal brains as its computational units.
Ethical concerns of B2B techonology are a myriad, raising considerable concerns on the topics of identity, normality, authority, responsibility, privacy, justice, and autonomy, which has lead to widespread imposition of strict regulations on high bandwidth BTBI technology. It has been determined that operation of high bandwith brainnets (HBBN) poses a significant risk to autonomy of the user, and can lead to significant, largely irreversible impact to the user's psyche. Moreover, distribution of high bandwidth B2B technologies has lead to the emergence of first hivemind entities.

Related Entries

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Fields of Research Artificial IntelligenceNeural InterfacingAugmentations
Concepts Technological Singularity
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