The total cons about making a Nerve Gear[Midnight Bullshittery]

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by Hisoka, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. Hisoka

    Hisoka Black VIP Dark Green VIP Black VIP Young Knight Seasoned Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2015
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    110
    Gender:
    Male
    I heard and read about people thinking that the Nerve Gear is possible.
    This has been in my mind since it has been mentioned in the shoutbox. We treated it as a joke. But I guess a little bit of basic lessons about how EM waves(in case you don't know, "Electromagnetic waves"), though I'm quite a beginner myself.
    So...from where do I start?
    Electromagnetic waves(or EM waves, for short) are the combination of electric fields and magnetic fields(pretty obvious), variable in the time and having a typical wave-like movement. So far so good, right.
    EM waves have two particular values: wavelength and frequency.
    Based on those two values, the EM waves are distributed throughout this line called "electromagnetic spectrum"(don't need to link it. Google it)
    Let's talk about those values of the EM waves, shall we?
    Let's start from the wavelength. The wavelength is the length of the wave(duh). Means that is the value that defines the distance between the start and the end of a wave. Beware. Not for its actual length, but the distance between the peaks that define the wave.
    Next is the frequency. Frequency, in our case, is the value obtained by calculating the ratio between the speed of propagation of EM waves in vacuum space and the wavelength of the EM wave we have.
    The higher is the value of the frequency, the lower is the wavelength's.
    Ok. Math done. Let's go back to the electromagnetic waves.
    EM waves emit radiations, no matter what. But don't panic. Not yet.
    There are two type of radiation: Ionizing radiation and non-ionizing radiation. I do hope you did your homeworks, because I'm not going to spend 5-10 mins explain those two.
    Short story, EM waves up to the ultraviolet(including the latter as well) emit ionizing radiation. Anything below it is non-Ionizing.
    Now. Let's talk about the Nerve Gear.
    Based on what I read about the Nerve Gear, it is a helmet that reads the brain's electrical signals throughout the emissions of microwaves.
    Ok. Stop. Shall we talk about the microwaves, shall we?
    Microwaves are EM waves that emit non-ionizing radiation. So far so good, right?
    But, as far as we have progressed with microwaves, it's still a no go. Why? Remember what is currently the main function of the microwaves in commercial use?Good.
    Another point to notice: Microwaves operate on wavelengths from one meter to one millimeter, at the frequency range of 300 MHz-300 GHz(source: Wikipedia)
    Now...the neurons have a diameter that goes from 4 to 100 micrometers...not to mention, the ions that are involved in the synapses are way smaller.
    So...what's the point on what am I saying?
    The point is that microwaves cover a large area, if they can actually scan a brain(don't put your head in a microwave oven. It doesn't scan your brain. It burns it. Literally). Inside that area, however, there are already hundreds of electrical signals, each one different from the other.
    Well. I guess that's it for part 1.
    If you want to point out an error or add something else to the topic, comment down here below.
    For now, I'll just take a nap...
    For part 2...you'll have to wait for a while...maybe.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  2. SockMonster

    SockMonster

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Please reformat your post. It's extremely difficult to read.

    Brain waves are the result of the collective changes in ion concentration in the neurons. The only reason this works is because the neurons in the cerebral cortex are aligned in the same orientation and behave in a relatively synchronous way and their summed up potentials give us the peaks and troughs we see on an electroencephalogram.

    When we're awake, these waves have a short amplitude and high frequency (neurons in the brain aren't behaving as synchronously) but as we fall into deep sleep these waves increase in amplitude and decrease in frequency (neurons in the brain become more synchronously).

    The problem with using this to interpret thoughts is that although it can provide us with real time information (good temporal resolution) it cannot pinpoint where in the brain the activity is generated since it only measures collective neural activity (poor spatial resolution).

    We can consider other technologies such as fMRI which can narrow down activity to perhaps layers of neurons (good spatial resolution) but it's typically used to provide snapshots and at best provide changes in activity for perhaps a couple of seconds (poor temporal resolution).

    That is, we have technologies we currently have generally have good temporal resolution but poor spatial resolution or vice versa whilst nerve gear would require something with amazing temporal and spatial resolution.

    Another limitation of using brain waves is that they cannot tell us what the individual is thinking (just gives us information on which regions of the brain are active) whilst nerve gear would require a machine which can interpret thoughts and translate them to IGN movement with enough precision to produce speech, movement, etc. intuitively. Nerve gear would need to simulate sensory experiences whereas these technologies are for reading brain activity, not manipulating them. Then there's all that 'the brain is plastic and everyone's brain is different' stuff and considerations for safety, etc.

    I just don't feel like nerve gear will ever be a thing now or ever. Sure there are technologies like controlling a mouse with a brain or prosthetics which rely on neuron stimulus but those are extremely crude and for the most part unintuitive to operate (though I don't know about this stuff so I might be wrong).

    Feel free to add or correct anything since it's been awhile since I've done any neurosci.
     
    Hisoka likes this.
  3. Hisoka

    Hisoka Black VIP Dark Green VIP Black VIP Young Knight Seasoned Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2015
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    110
    Gender:
    Male
    Thank you for adding that part as well, @SockMonster . I totally forgot about it. I should have considered that when I mentioned synaptic activity. Really appreciate the intervention :)
    Anyway, here's part two of my Midnight Bullshittery.
    "So what's the problem, then?", you might say. "Let's use EM waves that can read a focused area that is the synaptic area"
    That means you have to move along with the spectrum...until you reach the EM waves that have a wavelength comparable to the size of an atom...but you also reached the area covered from higher frequency waves, the ones emitting ionizing radiation.
    So what? What's the point again?
    Let me explain something about ionizing radiation. As the name implies, those type of radiation causes the atoms to ionize. Mostly because they're given a very good amount of energy. Enough energy to take electrons from the atoms.
    This has no effects on short exposures of course.
    But let's talk about longer exposures. Consider prolonged exposures that are comparable to the average gameplay length.
    Compare that to the exposures to x-rays during an X-ray exam. And include the side effects of radiation exposures of this calamity. No need to add more
    I guess that's it for my Midnight bullshittery.
    Eventually, I'll add updates about this topic if I find more about the topic. Stay tuned for more.