Could we ever map a complete human connectome? Well, scientists have done it for a roundworm. They’ve done it for small parts of a mouse brain. A very rough, large-scale map of connectivity in the human brain is already available, though nothing like a true map of every idiosyncratic neurone and synapse in a particular person’s head. The National Institutes of Health in the US is currently funding the Human Connectome Project, an effort to map a human brain in as much detail as possible. I admit to a certain optimism toward the project. The technology for brain scanning improves all the time. Right now, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is at the forefront. High-resolution scans of volunteers are revealing the connectivity of the human brain in more detail than anyone ever thought possible. Other, even better technologies will be invented. It seems a no-brainer (excuse the pun) that we will be able to scan, map, and store the data on every neuronal connection within a person’s head. It is only a matter of time, and a timescale of five to 10 decades seems about right.
Of course, nobody knows if the connectome really does contain all the essential information about the mind. Some of it might be encoded in other ways. Hormones can diffuse through the brain. Signals can combine and interact through other means besides synaptic connections. Maybe certain other aspects of the brain need to be scanned and copied to make a high-quality simulation. Just as the music recording industry took a century of tinkering to achieve the impressive standards of the present day, the mind-recording industry will presumably require a long process of refinement.
FK – Will ‘people’ who’ve been downloaded into their own ‘realities’ be allowed to create sentient beings to co-exist with them, expecting them to be their slaves and torturing those who don’t go along with the game plan?
Has this already happened?
Hell-bent : Younger Christians may be ditching doctrines of fire and brimstone – but will Christianity ever get rid of hell entirely?
FK – Another good one from the same site: