fireworks in naples, implants may restore capacity for memories

Fireworks in Naples by Oswald Achenbach

Fireworks in Naples by Oswald Achenbach. 1875. Oil on canvas.

Memory Implants

Theodore Berger, a biomedical engineer and neuroscientist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, envisions a day in the not too distant future when a patient with severe memory loss can get help from an electronic implant. In people whose brains have suffered damage from Alzheimer’s, stroke, or injury, disrupted neuronal networks often prevent long-term memories from forming. For more than two decades, Berger has designed silicon chips to mimic the signal processing that those neurons do when they’re functioning properly—the work that allows us to recall experiences and knowledge for more than a minute. Ultimately, Berger wants to restore the ability to create long-term memories by implanting chips like these in the brain.

Their title to the article is probably a little misleading. They are not implanting memories, an ethical minefield, they are restoring the brain’s ability to store long-term memories.

Vienna, Austraia - Spanish Riding School

Vienna, Austraia – Spanish Riding School. This is the school where they teach  Lipizzan horses the the haute école or “high school” movements of classical dressage. As I remember, Disney made a very sentimental movie about them. I found this picture among some Creative Commons photos and cleaned it up in PS. I thought the depth, perspective and the contrast of the dirt floor with the classical architecture was interesting.