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Aleksandrs Cudars

April 08, 2013

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  1. While [the traditional concept of] a cyborg has included artificial

    mechanical limbs, embedded chips and devices, another interesting concept is the exocortex, which is a brain-computer interface.
  2. In theory, the exocortex would be a computer-like processing system

    that would co-exist with and enhance the power of the human brain.
  3. An exocortex is a theoretical artificial external information processing system

    that would augment a brain's biological high- level cognitive processes.
  4. An individual's exocortex would be composed of external memory modules,

    processors, IO devices and software systems that would interact with, and augment, a person's biological brain.
  5. Typically this interaction is described as being conducted through a

    direct brain-computer interface, making these extensions functionally part of the individual's mind.
  6. Specific applications In 1981 Steve Mann designed and built the

    first general purpose wearable computer. Later on he became one of the early pioneers in using wearable computers for augmented and computer-mediated reality. Although he does not refer to it as such, his personal wearable computer could be considered an exocortex. Running applications like the remembrance agent[2] on his wearable computer enhances his natural mental capabilities.
  7. Current applicability In November 1998 the specific term exocortex was

    coined by researcher Ben Houston. Houston coined the term to refer concisely to tightly-coupled cognition-level brain-computer interface technologies in the spirit of Licklider's and Engelbart's original visions.
  8. Future prospects If one widens the definition of an exocortex,

    one can see that computational elements are already used as supporting elements of biological brains, and growing dependence on parts of the Internet that serve cognitive functions has brought what could be considered a proto-exocortex into existence. Wikipedia itself is an example, as technological interfaces enable inter-brain co-operation on high-level cognitive tasks.
  9. Future prospects Currently, true exocortices remain speculative. The main issue

    is that the required underlying technology is yet to be produced by the scientific research fields of (1) cognitive neuroscience, (2) computational neuroscience and (3) neural engineering.