Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Mind Reading

PostedFebruary 21, 2016

Download File (mp3)

Anchor Lede: Brain trauma, from injury or disease, can cause people to forget things that happened only moments before. One engineer thinks he can help…by generating those memories through computer chips.

Randy Atkins: Memories are created in a part of the brain called the hippocampus, says Ted Berger, a biomedical engineer at the University of Southern California.

Ted Berger: It’s responsible to taking short-term memory codes and converting them into long-term memory codes, and then they’re shipped to other parts of the brain for storage.

Randy Atkins: Berger is analyzing those codes as they change.

Ted Berger: And then we form a mathematical model of what that transformation is like.

Randy Atkins: The goal is to make computer chips that create long-term memories. It’s already been demonstrated in animals, and...

Ted Berger: …if this works, it’s the kind of thing that we could generalize to other parts of the brain for other kinds of problems.