This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Neural Prosthetics Essay

2165 words - 9 pages

Memory Storage Requires Neuronal Remodeling
In introducing the term synapse, a researcher by the name of Charles Sherrington speculated that synaptic alterations might be the basis of learning and memory storage, anticipating an area of research that to this day is one of the most intensive efforts in all of neuroscience (Alberini, 2011). Modern ideas about neural plasticity have their origins in the theories of Donald Hebb, who proposed that when a pre-synaptic and a post-synaptic neuron are repeatedly activated together, the synaptic connection between them will become stronger and more stable in order to form long term memories. Ensembles of neurons, or cell assemblies, linked via synchronized activity of these Hebbian synapses, could then act together to store long-term memory traces. It was this idea that would eventually be confirmed in various brain tissues, including the hippocampus. Most current theories of the cellular basis of learning and memory storage focus on plasticity of the structure and physiological functioning of synapses (Bays, Wu, & Husain, 2011).
Synaptic changes that may store information can be measured physiologically. The changes could be pre-synaptic, post-synaptic, or both. Such changes include greater release of neurotransmitter molecules and/or greater effects because the receptor molecules become more numerous or more sensitive. The result of such changes would be an increase in the size of the post-synaptic potential. Changes in the rate of the inactivation of the transmitter, through reuptake or enzymatic degradation, could produce a similar effect (Alberini, 2011).
Synaptic activity could also be modulated by inputs from other neurons causing extra depolarization or hyper polarization of the axon terminals and changes in the amount of neurotransmitter released. Long-term memory storage may require changes in the nervous system so substantial that they can be directly observed by the use of a microscope. Structural changes resulting from use are apparent in other parts of the body. For instance, exercise changes the mass and/or shape of muscles and bone. In a similar way, new synapses could form or synapses could be eliminated as a function of training (Alberini, 2011).
Simply put, memory storage is the more or less passive process of retaining information in the brain, whether in the sensory memory, the short-term memory, or the more permanent long-term memory. Each of these different stages of the human memory function as a sort of filter that helps to protect the individual from the flood of information that confronts them on a daily basis, avoiding an overload of information and helping to keep them sane. The more the information is repeated or used, the more likely it is to be retained in long-term memory. Due to the extensive research done in the 1950s and 1960s, it has since become clear that long-term memories are not stored in just one part of the brain, but are widely distributed...

Find Another Essay On Neural Prosthetics

Scientists claim that water = H2O. Suppose that a neuroscientist claimed that pain = the firing of c-fibres. How would a functionalist argue against the neuroscientist's claim?

937 words - 4 pages different bodily make-up who, lacking c-fibres that when pinched, still writhes and groans as a reaction to the inflammation of cavities on his feet. Lewis states that we cannot doubt that this Martian is in pain, though identity theory claims that he cannot be, considering he does not have c-fibres.The prosthetics or “p-fibres” argument creates a situation where a person’s neural c-fibres have been replaced by prosthetic p-fibres

Seeking Admission to Boston University Essay

1006 words - 5 pages hope to utilize the state-of-the-art Aphasia Resource Center as a graduate student. During my undergraduate career, the majority of academic emphasis has been on working with children in schools. It will be rewarding to interact with an adult and geriatric clientele as well. I am interested in conducting research at the Speech Lab under the direction of Professor Frank Guenther. The possibility that I could participate in designing neural

10 Years Beyond: The Role of Biomedical Computing in Future Health Care

1097 words - 5 pages mark regions of diagnostic images that might have a specific abnormality to alert Physicians. These systems use neural networks that learn and improve when provided with more information. A centralized database of case studies will allow not only more data for CAD programs to base their decision on but also expedite the development of new and improved programs. Availability of more information will help increase scrutiny on predictions of

Support The Frightfullly Hopeful Future of Technological Singularity

1237 words - 5 pages day live forever. He also suggests humans will have the ability to download information into our brains creating this sort of “super intelligent” race. With the merger of machines and humans already underway via transplants and intelligent prosthetics, it is hard to imagine technology slowing down or becoming stagnant. Biologist Kevin Warwick, a professor of cybernetics at Reading University in England, is currently conducting successful

A Look at Gene Therapy

1697 words - 7 pages therapy with cochlear implants. Scientists have seen success in guinea pigs, they were able to deliver protein to stimulate nerve growth, instead of delivering through a viral vector it was delivered through the impulses of the implant, which allowed the DNA to slip in. The cells started to produce neurotrophin and auditory nerves began to regenerate. According to Gerald Loeb, a neural prosthetics researcher, "this cleaver approach has been the

The Experience of Phantom Limbs

1846 words - 8 pages proprioceptive illusions and ever changing distorted images, can bring about acute onset tabes that leads to the feeling of being on “a ship in heavy seas” (68). The jury is still out on whether or not phantoms can be termed good or bad, but it seems they allow those with prosthetics to keep the limb alive, active and well; a necessary part to recovery. Pain may accompany phantoms; generally these are dull or ‘ordinary’ types of pain, but they can

From Toys to Practicality: Brain Computer Interface Technology

2664 words - 11 pages , technologies of VR offer situations that allow improvements on BCI learning, in addition to the study of, brain reactions and the neural processes involved (Hay, 2012; McGrath, 2011). Videogame's and VR technologies can be strong BCI companions. Studies have demonstrated how BCIs offer suitable interface devices for gaming and VR applications. The R&D community widely concurs that VR is an efficient and promising means of studying and advancing

When the Bubble Burst

1539 words - 6 pages By the time I arrived state side from my second tour in the Middle East the housing bubble had already burst. I noticed a drastic change in the way that many of my friends and family were living. Several of my friends that worked in real estate had sold their boats and seconds houses. My own stock portfolio had lost a third of its value. My sister and her husband had defaulted on their home mortgage leaving them scrambling for a place to live. I

phase diagram

4456 words - 18 pages Introduction: Chemical equilibrium is a crucial topic in Chemistry. To represent and model equilibrium, the thermodynamic concept of Free energy is usually used. For a multi-component system the Gibbs free energy is a function of Pressure, Temperature and quantity (mass, moles) of each component. If one of these parameters is changed, a state change to a more energetically favorable state will occur. This state has the lowest free energy

Revolutionary Work of Art

1890 words - 8 pages Walter Benjamin emphasizes in his essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility” that technology used to make an artwork has changed the way it was received, and its “aura”. Aura represents the originality and authenticity of a work of art that has not been reproduced. The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican is an example of a work that has been and truly a beacon of art. It has brought a benefit and enlightenment to the art

Enlightenment Thought in New Zealand Schools

1594 words - 6 pages In this essay I will be looking at how the political and intellectual ideas of the enlightenment have shaped New Zealand Education. I will also be discussing the perennial tension of local control versus central control of education, and how this has been affected by the political and intellectual ideas of the enlightenment. The enlightenment was an intellectual movement, which beginnings of were marked by the Glorious Revolution in Britain

Similar Essays

Advances In Prosthetics Essay

1473 words - 6 pages Advances in Prosthetics A prosthetic is an artificial device that replaces a missing body part lost through trauma, disease, or congenital conditions. Prosthetics are becoming revolutionized to encourage amputees to pursue their highest ambitions. The technologies are progressing in prosthetics to make amputees lives more functional and the prosthetics life like. Prosthetic care goes back to the fifth Egyptian Dynasty. The basics of

Neural Engineering Essay

617 words - 2 pages will certainly be many new practical applications emerging over the next few years. bibliographyDonoghue, J. P. “Connecting Cortex to Machines: Recent Advances in Brain Interfaces.” Review. Nature Neuroscience vol. 5 no. (Suppl., November) pp. 1085–1088 2002Patil, P. G. , J. M. Carmena , M. A. Nicolelis , and D. A. Turner. “Ensemble Recordings of Human Subcortical Neurons as a Source of Motor Control Signals for a Brain-Machine Interface.” Neurosurgery vol. 55 no. (1, July) pp. 27–35 2004Schwartz, A. B. “Cortical Neural Prosthetics.” Annual Review of Neuroscience vol. 27 pp. 487–507 2004

The Use Of Robotics In Modern Prosthetics

1763 words - 7 pages of the examples that show how the field of prosthetics is constantly evolving. While the challenge seems impossible, remarkable progress has been made over the past few decades and researchers throughout the world are working to make prosthetic limbs as close to the real thing as possible.The Braingate Corporation has also been working on a neural interface system and has succeeded in having a patient control a robotic arm to drink from a glass of

The Development Of Biomedical Implants And Prosthetics

1465 words - 6 pages world around us. Advancements in biomedical science have allowed us to alter this perception. Starting from the creation of the prosthetic limb people who have lost their motility and dexterity were able to regain their abilities. But it doesn’t stop there, recent and future developments have created bionic and alternative prosthetics that have allowed for improved physical abilities and aesthetic appeal. Technology has allowed us new means of