DARPA Will Hack Your Brain To Make You Smarter

The US military’s kind-of-top-secret but kind-of-goofy research division known as DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agencyhas just revealed plans to tap into your brain to make you a better person.

While the US does a lot of secret military weapons and research type stuff, these researchers also get in the news a lot thanks to crazy ideas they tinkered with (like trying to weaponize gay by making a pheremone bomb that would make enemy soldiers fall in love with each other) and super crazy ideas they actually developed like smart bullets that can chase you around corners.  Brain hacking is just the latest idea on their plate.

Called Targeted Neuroplasticity Training, the idea is to stimulate peripheral nerves that activate parts of your brain associated with learning, allowing you to learn information faster and more reliably than you would normally.  It’s kind of like Neo downloading plans to fly a helicopter in The Matrix.

Because it’s still a DARPA program a lot of the details are under wraps, except to say that it will be a non-invasive procedure to stimulate these nerves, and the idea is to promote optimal plasticity such as when the brain was first developing, and learning new things was a much easier process.  So you can teach an old dog new tricks, you just need to stimulate his brain and make it think it’s a new brain again.

DARPA is also working on other programs involving the peripheral nervous system to help aid in healing and disease treatment without the use of drugs, but this targeted neuroplasticity training, reassuringly abbreviated as TNT, is a first in trying to not just restore lost functioning, but in advancing capabilities beyond normal levels.

Suppose a simple electrode zapping your neck simply and painlessly could allow your brain to open up and suck in new info like a sponge – what’s the first thing you’d want to learn?