01 October 2009

17 Healthy Young Men Spent the Night in the Lab . . .

.... In the morning when they awoke, they were "smarter". The young men were experimental subjects in a University of Lubeck experiment to test the effects of interleukin 6 (IL-6) on memory.
In a research report featured as the cover story of the October 2009 print issue of The FASEB Journal, these scientists show that a molecule from the body's immune system (interleukin-6) when administered through the nose helps the brain retain emotional and procedural memories during REM sleep.

"Sleep to remember, a dream or reality?" said Lisa Marshall, co-author of the study, from the Department of Neuroendocrinology at the University of Lubeck in Germany. "Here, we provide the first evidence that the immunoregulatory signal interleukin-6 plays a beneficial role in sleep-dependent formation of long-term memory in humans."

To make this discovery, Marshall and colleagues had 17 healthy young men spend two nights in the laboratory. On each night after reading either an emotional or neutral short story, they sprayed a fluid into their nostrils which contained either interleukin-6 or a placebo fluid. The subsequent sleep and brain electric activity was monitored throughout the night. The next morning subjects wrote down as many words as they could remember from each of the two stories. Those who received the dose of IL-6 could remember more words. __MachinesLikeUs
Augmented reality means a lot more than electronic gadgetry. True reality augmentation goes to the heart of how we invent the world.

If the US Drug Enforcement Administration thinks it has its hands full controlling the marketing of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and crystal meth, just wait until true smart drugs hit the black market. That will be the beginning of an all-pervading revolution.

Believers in Kurzweil's Singularity expect the world to change once machines become smart enough. A much better approach is to help humans to become smarter and wiser simultaneously. Then you can worry about machines.

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2 Comments:

Blogger NakedApe said...

I don't think Kurzweil or his proponents would disagree with you however Kurzweil also expects to see the continuation and acceleration of a merger between man and machine, so the line between biological and non-biological will become more and more obscure. He talks about nanobots in our bloodstream curing disease and making us healthier and smarter. So although man will become more and more intelligent through these processes, a true intelligence explosion will arrive when the first artificial intelligence surpasses man's intelligence and is able to design it's predecessor and so on through a positive feedback loop, uninhibited by the constraints of biology.

Thursday, 01 October, 2009  
Blogger al fin said...

Perhaps so.
To my mind it is a matter of priorities and the proper sequence of doing things.

There are technologies which could create a cornucopia for wiser, more intelligent humans. But the same technologies would be the destruction of dumbed down, idiocratic humans.

Most of the world's humans have an IQ less than 90. The average IQ of humans is decreasing as the future rolls toward us.

An Idiocratic future is not appealing, regardless of how smart the machines may be.

Have you read Williamson's Humanoids?

Thursday, 01 October, 2009  

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