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  • In the movie Self/Less, which hits theaters July 10th, Sir Ben Kingsley transfers his

  • consciousness to Ryan Reynold’s body in an effort to stay alive forever, and effectively

  • become immortal in a process calledshedding’. Which sounds pretty awesome – I mean who

  • wouldn’t want more time to accomplish their dreams and goals in a younger body of your

  • choice? Try being a professional athlete or solve the world’s greatest problems. But

  • is shedding actually plausible? Could you really be immortal in this way?

  • First, we need to understand how memories are stored. Your brain is a three-pound lump

  • of fatty tissue that contains about 86 billion brain cells called neurons. By passing electricity

  • or chemicals between them, neurons can send signals to each other. Most neuroscientists

  • believe memory is stored as a network of neurons that form links with each other and all fire

  • at the same time. Each time a memory is recalled, the same network of neurons fires together.

  • In fact, scientists have shown that if you stimulate certain parts of the brain with

  • electricity, you can cause an individual to recall certain memories - for example, the

  • smell of burnt toast.

  • So to download a memory, we could simply track which neurons are activated when youre

  • thinking about it. And, as we explained in a previous video, scientists have already

  • done this. By using computers to match these patterns of firing neurons with real images

  • or scenes, we can already read people’s minds to a limited degree.

  • Many scientists believe it should one day be possible to create a kind of map of all

  • the neurons in the brain and the connections between them: this map would be called a “connectome.”

  • Both the United States and the European Union have launched major research programs with

  • this goal specifically in mind, much like the organizations in Self/Less. This task

  • will likely take decades, but once it’s done, scientists should be able to build a

  • computer model of the connectome, a kind of virtual brain that would be able to send signals

  • between neurons through artificial synapses.

  • So if downloading memories is possible, what about uploading? That too is becoming a reality

  • thanks to a technique called optogenetics. This involves injecting specific neurons with

  • DNA from algae that causes them to produce a light-sensitive protein on their cell surface.

  • When light is shone into the brain, it stimulates the protein and activates only those neurons

  • that express it. In this way, scientists can artificially activate groups of neurons associated

  • with particular memories.

  • All this may sound pretty scary, and may make you think that a scenario like that found

  • in Self/Less can’t be far off. But there a few reasons to relax.

  • Our brains are unbelievably complex, perhaps too complex to copy. The number of synapse

  • connections is a thousand times bigger than the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy.

  • On top of that, your brain is constantly remodeling itself, creating new connections and letting

  • old ones expire. It’s a reflection of who you are at this specific moment in time, and

  • it took your entire lifetime to create.

  • A copy of your mind would be just an imitation. And the second it started integrating new

  • thoughts, memories and experiences, it would become someone else. Which, in a way, helps

  • us appreciate how unique we truly are. But with increasingly sophisticated technology,

  • who knows what the future may hold! Perhaps a world like Self/Less isn’t too far away.

  • Be sure to check out Self/Less which is in theatres July 10th - well be there and

  • are excited to hear what you all think.

  • You can click on the screen or use the link in the description to get a sneak peek of. And subscribe, for more weekly science videos.

In the movie Self/Less, which hits theaters July 10th, Sir Ben Kingsley transfers his

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B1 中級 美國腔

你能把你的意識轉移到另一個身體嗎? (Could You Transfer Your Consciousness To Another Body?)

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    簡宇謙 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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