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> Expanding the nervous system to accelerate cognition
Bionetwork
post Feb 04, 2012, 10:13 PM
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Is it theoretically possible to expand the nervous system to accelerate intelligence and enhance memory? Perhaps by cloning and growing the brain, which is then integrated into the original host. Has anyone published anything on this topic?
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lucid_dream
post Feb 05, 2012, 05:18 AM
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neural grafting is used to treat Parkinson's disease, so yes, we can add tissue to the brain. But growing it in the manner that you suggest, to accelerate intelligence, is not yet possible, to my knowledge. The connectivity of the brain is vastly complex and intricate, and just adding more to the brain without specifying wiring will likely be problematic for integration. If you find anything interesting, let us know.
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Bionetwork
post Feb 05, 2012, 11:08 AM
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QUOTE(lucid_dream @ Feb 05, 2012, 08:18 AM) *

neural grafting is used to treat Parkinson's disease, so yes, we can add tissue to the brain. But growing it in the manner that you suggest, to accelerate intelligence, is not yet possible, to my knowledge. The connectivity of the brain is vastly complex and intricate, and just adding more to the brain without specifying wiring will likely be problematic for integration. If you find anything interesting, let us know.


Thank you for your reply. I am looking into speculative and hypothetical theories. Obviously, we cannot grow brain tissue today. It'll be decades before less complex organs can be grown and used as substitutes for the originals. It is, however, fascinating to contemplate future implications of artificial increase of human cognition. If intelligence could be accelerated and expanded by integrating additional tissue (after all, isn't it how our brains grew via natural evolution?) then could we grow brains the size of cars or buildings, provided there is an additional energy input?
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some kid
post Feb 07, 2012, 11:49 AM
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QUOTE(Bionetwork @ Feb 05, 2012, 11:08 AM) *

QUOTE(lucid_dream @ Feb 05, 2012, 08:18 AM) *

neural grafting is used to treat Parkinson's disease, so yes, we can add tissue to the brain. But growing it in the manner that you suggest, to accelerate intelligence, is not yet possible, to my knowledge. The connectivity of the brain is vastly complex and intricate, and just adding more to the brain without specifying wiring will likely be problematic for integration. If you find anything interesting, let us know.


Thank you for your reply. I am looking into speculative and hypothetical theories. Obviously, we cannot grow brain tissue today. It'll be decades before less complex organs can be grown and used as substitutes for the originals. It is, however, fascinating to contemplate future implications of artificial increase of human cognition. If intelligence could be accelerated and expanded by integrating additional tissue (after all, isn't it how our brains grew via natural evolution?) then could we grow brains the size of cars or buildings, provided there is an additional energy input?


I guess... but it sounds impractical. (Brains as big as a car) We could in theory do many things. We could perhaps fiddle with myelination to increase signal speeds. We could fiddle with the genome possibly, and as you've said grow brain tissue. Maybe we could inject some sort of supplement into the womb to influence intelligence. It's crazy stuff... not to mention a bit scary actually.
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moha
post Nov 28, 2013, 12:38 AM
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This idea assumes that the brain is modular. Most theories assume that intelligence, like any other mental function, is distributed all over the brain. I personally think that half of the brain, if not more, is just memory. The rest are input and output neurons + whatever parts create sensations and emotions (that would be the limbic system). I don't even think that there is something like intelligence: rationality is, as far as I am concerned, just, a form of emotionality.
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Sebastian44
post Nov 03, 2015, 04:35 AM
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This isn't an answer but a related topic, but in "spiritual" communities there's reference to "chakras" and "kundalini" along the spinal column, which can be "awakened". I've experimented with the methods and theorized that this may refer to expanding and strengthening neural connections within the nervous system outside of the brain, providing more circuitry for neurological functions. Let me know what you think.
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