Researchers Demo Short-Term Memory Restoration Tech Under DARPA Program

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Researchers at the University of Southern California and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have demonstrated a proof-of-concept system designed to restore and improve memory function in humans as part of a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program.

DARPA unveiled in November 2013 the Restoring Active Memory program that aims to address the effects of brain injury among service personnel through the development of a closed-loop, implantable neural technology that works to restore normal memory function, the agency said Wednesday.

The study published in the Journal of Neural Engineering showed a 37 percent improvement in episodic memory function among neurosurgical patient volunteers through the use of a system that works to facilitate encoding of short-term memories through patterned electrical stimulation derived from the patients’ neural activity or codes.

Researchers developed the technology based on a multi-input multi-output, spatiotemporal model.

They constructed the MIMO-based model using surgically implanted electrodes in patients to track and analyze neural activity in the hippocampus’ sub-regions, CA1 and CA3, associated with memory function during image-recall tests.

DARPA noted the MIMO-based model works to predict the transformation of neural firing patterns between the two sub-regions during memory formation.

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