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Computer algorithm created to encode human memories

09-29-2015, 08:55 PM #1
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Researchers in the US have developed an implant to help a disabled brain encode memories, giving new hope to Alzheimer’s sufferers and wounded soldiers who cannot remember the recent past.

The prosthetic, developed at the University of Southern California and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre in a decade-long collaboration, includes a small array of electrodes implanted into the brain.

The key to the research is a computer algorithm that mimics the electrical signalling used by the brain to translate short-term into permanent memories.

This makes it possible to bypass a damaged or diseased region, even though there is no way of “reading” a memory — decoding its content or meaning from its electrical signal.

“It’s like being able to translate from Spanish to French without being able to understand either language,” said Ted Berger of USC, the project leader.

The prosthesis has performed well in tests on rats and monkeys. Now it is being evaluated in human brains, the team told the international conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society in Milan.

The project is funded by Darpa, the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is interested in new ways to help soldiers recover from memory loss.

But the researchers say findings could eventually help to treat neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, by enabling signals to bypass damaged circuitry in the hippocampus, the brain’s memory centre.

Sensory inputs to the brain — sights, sounds, smells or feelings — create complex electrical signals, known as spike trains, which travel through the hippocampus. This neural process involves re-encoding the signals several times, so they have a quite different electrical signature by the time they are ready for long-term storage.

Damage that interferes with this translation may prevent the formation of long-term memories while old ones survive — which is why some people with brain damage or disease recall events from long ago but not from the recent past.

The translation algorithm, derived first from animal experiments, has been extended into humans by studying nine people with epilepsy who had electrodes implanted in the hippocampus to treat chronic seizures.

The researchers read the electrical input and output signals created in the patients’ brains as they conducted simple tasks, such as remembering the position of different shapes on a computer screen.

These results were used to refine the algorithm until it could predict with 90 per cent accuracy how the signals would be translated.

“Being able to predict neural signals with the USC model suggests that it can be used to design a device to support or replace the function of a damaged part of the brain,” said Robert Hampson of Wake Forest.

The next step will be to send the translated signal back into the brain of a patient with hippocampal damage, in the hope that this will bypass the trouble spot and form an accurate long-term memory.

The project at USC and Wake Forest is a vivid example of the progress being made in neurotechnology by scientists around the world.

Researchers elsewhere are implanting devices that enable people who are paralysed to carry out simple movements with robotic arms or even their own limbs. But no one else is using computers to manipulate memory signals directly in the human brain.

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09-29-2015, 10:00 PM #2
Robert Baird
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Though this is a good thing for use as suggested - it makes me ask what further uses will be made.
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09-30-2015, 02:19 AM #3
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(09-29-2015, 10:00 PM)Robert Baird Wrote:  Though this is a good thing for use as suggested - it makes me ask what further uses will be made.

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  • Trenton

10-01-2015, 06:14 AM #4
Robert Baird
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This is a very long post from a longer thread which is just one of at least ten which do not include any of what is in my books (Except David Guyatt which I did have).

Allen Barker, PhD Says:

January 24th, 2007 at 11:39 pm

[These are my comments on the article by Sharon Weinberger in the Jan. 14, 2007 Washington Post magazine, titled “Mind Games.” The article is available online at ]http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...01399_pf.html]

I would like to thank Ms. Weinberger for researching and writing this article. The article seems reasonably fair, based on the openly available sources describing research into areas like “voice-to-skull” technologies. That might not seem like much, except that up until now even that has been a very rare thing, indeed — especially published in a mainstream paper like the Washington Post.

As the article points out, such technologies have been researched for many years. The advanced forms are *highly* classified. Given this, any victims of nonconsensual experimentation truly have an uphill battle as far as even getting people to acknowledge what is going on.

Even the state of *open* technology in this area is not widely known. Many ordinary citizens who think about the problem for ten minutes, based on naive views of government and outdated knowledge of 70s-era technology, will tend to dismiss the claims of TIs. Even back in the 70s there was more existing technology than many people are aware of, and consider how much more exists now after all the advances in computers and in other areas. For example, here are a couple of links to some recent articles on open-technology:


These two articles involve RFID chips and neural prosthetics, and describe a level of technology that is beyond what people commonly assume is available as the unclassified state of the art.

Most people also tend not to think like “mind controllers.” That is to their credit in most cases, but we all know that some tyrants — both petty and large — covet nothing more than the ability to control other people’s lives. Just because you and I do not think like that, some people *do* think like that — some people will always want to be the next Stalin. That is why eternal vigilance is necessary to maintain liberty even if there is just a potential threat.

In evaluating technologies, then, one has to have some idea about how such technologies might be abused. Various conditioning effects, for example, can be used to influence people using only fairly low levels of technology and surveillance. Influencing operations do not require 100% total control over a person (that is a common straw man argument, in fact). Even if the influencing does not work as planned, it can nonetheless constitute torture to a nonconsensual subject.

Below are a few general comments on parts of the article.

In the article, Gloria Naylor’s book is compared to a 1957 book by Evelyn Waugh in which a character is “gaslighted” with voices to his head as well as “performances” designed to be meaningful only to him. I am not going to comment on Waugh or the character in his book, but this does give me an opportunity to point out part of the long history of mind control technologies and operations.

The year 1957 was during the height of MKULTRA mind control experimentation. A reading of the limited, surviving, redacted financial records gives a picture of how widespread the program was, as well as how it was covertly funded through “cutouts.” It is commonly believed that MKULTRA was mainly about LSD testing, but there were literally hundreds of subprograms which investigated just about every conceivable way to manipulate and influence human beings. This included things like remote polygraphs and electronic influencing and control.

One major goal of MKULTRA was to find ways to discredit people. That much is explicitly documented. One way to discredit a person was to drop them acid in public, but there are many other ways. Certainly dropping acid to unwitting people was tested on nonconsensual citizens, and it is reasonable to assume that many other techniques were similarly tested.

Besides just the capability for “street theater” performances, what voice-to-skull technologies existed back in 1957?

In the late 50s Ewen Cameron was already experimenting with what he called “psychic driving.” He would tape-record interviews with his patients and then play parts of those tapes back to them, repetitively. He used speakers in the ceilings, pillow speakers, and even speakers in football helmets that the patients could not remove in order to constantly bombard his “patients” with voices. He is known to have experimented with mimicking the voices of people familiar to the subjects, as well as with using multiple voices to exploit possible effects of social influencing such as “peer pressure.” This research was funded by the CIA under MKULTRA. So the idea of beaming voices at people for mind control was not new to people in the clandestine world of mind control, even back in the late 50s.

Another late-50s voice-to-skull technology is the tooth implant. This is really rather simple technology, despite some people’s unwarranted skepticism. All it takes is a small radio receiver and a piezoelectric vibrator for bone-conducted audio. There is a patent for such a device which was submitted to the patent office in the late 50s. That particular patent also makes use of facial nerves in addition to bone conduction (which was already prior art at the time).

Experiments were also conducted to try to replicate the radio reception that some people naturally experienced due to certain fillings in their teeth, though what resulted from such investigations is not well-documented. I am *not* saying that a tooth implant was used in any particular case, but that the technology has existed for a very long time. It is a possibility that at least deserves consideration in certain cases, rather than completely dismissing a priori the entire hypothesis that external (or exogenous) voices were ever inflicted on a person.

Back in the 50s hypnosis was a major focus of mind control research. It is a commonly-held belief that people cannot be hypnotized against their will or made to do things under hypnosis which they wouldn’t ordinarily do, but the belief is not true; it is false. Although not *everyone* can be hypnotized against their will or made to do things that they would not ordinarily do, some people are highly susceptible to hypnosis and hence are highly vulnerable. Given that, consider how much more effective hypnosis against a susceptible individual would be if the hypnotist had 24/7 voice contact with that subject in order to constantly reinforce the “training” and to issue commands.

The hypnosis research under programs like BLUEBIRD and MKULTRA in the 50s also made use of technology. There was research into how radio waves of various sorts affected hypnotic susceptibility. There were literally experiments into hypnotizing people and installing posthypnotic commands which could be activated over the telephone. This was not just a Hollywood movie; it is documented to have been tested on actual human subjects. Another area which was researched by the CIA was the use of hidden subliminals in music to enhance hypnosis. This use of auditory subliminals to transmit hidden signals is similar to more modern techniques such as the Russian “acoustic psycho-correction” technology and the Lowery “silent sounds” technique (where a high-frequency audio carrier tone is voice-modulated). The FBI was reported to have investigated using the Russian technology to send the fake “voice of God” to Koresh at Waco, so clearly the FBI knows that such things exist. The Russian technology was acquired in the 90s by a Richmond, Va. company.

The point is that these techniques and technologies have existed in various forms and have been researched and tested for literally decades. The new technologies just open up even more potential for abuses of human rights (as well as any positive applications that the technologies might enable if they were to be used to actually help people). Human beings and governments have long conspired to harass certain individuals; only the methods change over the years. COINTELPRO, for example, has a long history going back many years.

In addition to comparing Naylor’s book with Waugh’s book, the article also compares TIs to people claiming to have been abducted by aliens. I do not want to get too much into that because the TI who was quoted as saying it would keep them “marginalized and discredited” was right. Even just mentioning the subject tends to bring in the space-alien connotations and associated ridicule. One main and obvious difference that seems to somehow get “overlooked” is that mind control operations are real. They have, for example, been investigated by Congress and are known to have been conducted by the CIA et al. In that way the issue of mind control is completely and utterly different from alien abductions.

Interestingly, though, the Air Force is known to have used UFOs as a cover story to distract from investigations of its classified aircraft flights. A similar use of UFOs as purposeful disinformation to discredit investigations into classified mind control experimentation cannot be dismissed. Consider, for example, the documents relating to Project Pandora at the DOD’s FOIA reading room, especially the 469-page Project Pandora Operational Procedure document.


Now Project Pandora, as the Washington Post article mentions, was an investigation into the use of microwaves to influence human behavior. That is solid, real, and scientific. The document above describes, for example, experiments with monkeys trained to work on tasks and then subjected to performance-degradation due to intentional microwave exposure. It describe studies of sailors exposed to microwaves. It includes results related to the effects of microwaves on EEGs and on heart rates in rabbits. Then guess what follows, in the Project Pandora Operational Procedure document?

What follows is a full-blown Majestic-12/Roswell UFO disinformation story. Yes, this “serious” government FOIA document discusses the supposed finding of space-alien bodies at Roswell. Really. The pages have written on them that they cannot be authenticated as an official government document, but what are they doing there in the first place? They do not have any relevance to microwave research, and the time period is not even the same.

It is curious to note what comes right *after* the Roswell space-alien part of the Pandora document: the transfer of the Pandora Project to the US Army in 1970, and 1977 Congressional inquiry letters into whether Pandora research included areas of “what is popularly known as ‘mind control.’” This clumsy use of Roswell space-alien disinformation is almost breathtaking for its brazenness. One statement that does appear in the Operational Procedure document is the following (from the minutes of a meeting in 1970):

2. Definitive research in this area will also require work with human subjects, and ethical procedures for working with humans may conflict with security needs.

As one final note on alien abductions, I should point out that some of the people claiming to be alien abductees could actually be mind control victims, either purposely deceived with psyops exploiting (and/or inculcating) that belief system or else people who simply misperceived what really happened to them.

Following the comparison of TIs with alien abductees, the Post article proceeds to quote professional psychiatrists. The professional psychiatrists, as expected, assume a priori that all TIs are delusional and therefore are sick and in need of care. This is not a scientific attitude, but then again psychiatry has major components which are strictly political rather than scientific. Since the technology undeniably exists, and since documented mind control operations and mind control experimentation victims undeniably exist, logic demands that at least the *possibility* of exogenous harassment should be considered in any given case. Indeed, people subjected to severe harassment can suffer severe psychological *consequences* — just like PTSD victims and victims of physical torture — but these are the effects (sequelae) of actual harassment. What the DSM manual unscientifically (they admit as much in the DSM) classifies as “schizophrenia” is really a cluster of cases with roughly similar symptoms. It is actually made up of several distinct sub-clusters, corresponding to different causes. One such sub-cluster includes people who truly have been harassed and persecuted — often by people who know quite well what the DSM labels as mental illness.

Of course it is not politically acceptable to admit that people — citizens — truly are harassed and persecuted in the United States. To admit that would require some action to stop it, and would focus attention on the perpetrators of such abuses. But then again, psychiatrists have participated in all of the historically documented mind control programs. And not just any psychiatrists, but the leading psychiatrists of their day. As a profession, psychiatry is in deep denial about its complicity with these abuses. As a profession (a supposed “healing” profession) it will not face up to even its documented involvement in mind control research. It will not acknowledge the documented victims of such programs and try to heal the damage that it helped to inflict on them. So, in this case, the profession of psychiatry has a serious conflict of interest.

In ending this commentary, I would like to again thank Ms. Weinberger for her relatively fair article on the TIs and their plight. I hope that the article will spur serious investigations into the allegations of TIs and will help lead to greatly increased oversight of the black-budget, special access programs where such technologies and techniques are being developed and researched.