New researchers are focusing on hacking onto human brain to hardwire some extra sensory abilities that we don’t possess. This could benefit millions of people with sensory disabilities to lead a normal life.
Five for me
You won’t be surprised to hear that we human have 5 senses. It is through these senses we experience the world around us. The taste for pleasure, fragrance for joy, touch for feel, listening for soothing & see to believe. But how cool will it be to taste love? Or see music? Don’t scratch your thoughts. Technically, these cross senses do exist with 4.2% of the population as a rare disorder called as ‘Synesthesia’. These people have cross senses such that one stimulus or cognition pathway might turn on 2 senses. So these people when they hear music they can see it too!
Synesthesia indeed enthralled the science world to induce such a sense in normal human being to enhance his capabilities. However, the bridle shouldn’t be left to fate or involuntary brain. ‘Brain hacking’ is an informal term comprehensive to all such brain function enhancement studies & experiments. But the abilities are not limited to just two senses, but scientists are trying to concatenate technology with the human brain in order to make his sensory abilities superior beyond capabilities.
How cool would it be to add-on senses as and when you like? Scientists are working on bio-electronics that can be incorporated into the human system to enhance his/er abilities. One such study by David Eagleman from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas focuses on helping the hearing impaired population to listen sound through a different route, by tactile sensing. A special transducer (energy converter) called as Versatile Extra- Sensory Transducer (VEST) converts the sound input into vibrations, with ample training it helps the hearing impaired to sense it.
In the University of Wisconsin a different study is in progress, there they are trying to develop technology to see the sound through electronic pulses using an implant placed under the tongue. Artist Neil Harbisson is color blind, but he claims he can see colors as vibration due to a special antenna being implanted on his skull. Many studies are progressing on that background to develop more electronic aids for color blind people. Whereas at the University of California they are trying to combine multiple senses to enhance human ability especially for military purposes.
The once suffered mankind has learned their lesson and now picking up dabs from nature to build a better human. Bionics are the near future of compensating human disability, which might get a facelift later with technological advancements for creating superhuman with multiple sensory abilities. That day, tasting music or hearing touch may not be a great astonishment, rather may be a time pass or even may be the benchmark of the common man!