Dr. Theodore Berger, of USC Viterbi School of Engineering, created an external hippocampus (artificial) that has been successful in laboratory rats. Berger describes the experiment in The Journal of Neural Engineering, 2011: “A primary objective in developing a neural prosthesis is to replace neural circuitry in the brain that no longer functions appropriately. Such a goal requires artificial reconstruction of neuron-to-neuron connections in a way that can be recognized by the remaining normal circuitry, and that promotes appropriate interaction. In this study, the application of a specially designed neural prosthesis using a multi-input/multi-output (MIMO) nonlinear model is demonstrated by using trains of electrical stimulation pulses to substitute for MIMO model derived ensemble firing patterns. Ensembles of CA3 and CA1 hippocampal neurons, recorded from rats performing a delayed-nonmatch-to-sample (DNMS) memory task, exhibited successful encoding of trial-specific sample lever information in the form of different spatiotemporal firing patterns. MIMO patterns, identified online and in real-time, were employed within a closed-loop behavioral paradigm. Results showed that the model was able to predict successful performance on the same trial.” Journal of Neural Engineering, vol. 8, no. 4, 2011. Title: William Blake, “The Tyger,” Songs of Experience, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1991 (originally published, 1789) Image: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/99/Hippocampus.gif

“…burnt the fire of thine eyes?”