David Eagleman is an adjunct professor at Stanford University, he’s also been a novelist and science advisor for the HBO series Westworld. He’s now the CEO of the Silicon Valley company NeoSensory, which is developing gadgets that send data streams to the brain so people can hear ‘see; and “hear” through their skin.
‘Every moment of your life, your brain is rewiring. You’ve got 86 billion neurons and a fraction of a quadrillion connections between them. These vast seas of connections are constantly changing their strength, and they’re unconnecting and reconnecting elsewhere. It’s why you are a slightly different person than you were a week ago or a year ago.’
(David Eagleman quoted by Steve Paulson in Nautilus, 14 October 2020)
Eagleman believes that one day it may be possible to read a person’s history by mapping out the connections in someone’s brain.
‘The exact distribution of channels, the exact biochemical cascades, all the way down to the nucleus of the cell in which genes are getting expressed. All of these things represent your history in the world. In theory, maybe in 300 years, you could read out somebody’s brain.’
And it turns out that all the new challenges we have all had to deal with during the Covid pandemic have had an upside. Our brains thrive on new sensations and experiences and there have certainly been plenty of those.