- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Pentagon researchers are attempting to create technology seemingly out of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1990 science-fiction classic “Total Recall.”

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) used its recent “Demo Day” to highlight the Restoring Active Memory (RAM) program. The goal of the project is to develop a fully implantable neural-interface into a recipient’s brain to strengthen memory.

Military officials say the technology, which is advancing, will be of great assistance to service members who suffer from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The condition has afflicted more than 270,000 military personnel since 2000.

“We’re opening the door to the possibility,” Dr. Justin Sanchez, the director of the agency’s biological technologies office, told Tech Insider on Tuesday. “We’re trying to understand what does it mean to interface with the nervous system? Do we have the technologies to understand what the brain is telling us?”

Dr. Sanchez told the website that electrical signatures created by the brain tell researchers whether a person’s memory will be strong or weak. Implants would, for all intents and purposes, give TBI sufferers an assist at the crucial moment when a memory is accessed.

“We can actually deliver direct stimulation to the brain in order to facilitate memory formation and recall,” the doctor added. If you had a traumatic brain injury and lost the ability to form and recall memories, if you had a medical device that could help you with that, it can be transformative.”

DARPA’s research will use human clinical efforts and animals studies to bring RAM to fruition. Its website says all researchers are informed by members of an independent Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) panel.

“Communications with ELSI panelists supplement the oversight provided by institutional review boards that govern human clinical studies and animal use,” the website states.

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