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The Future of the Mind

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The Future of the Mind

The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind
NOW A #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER"Compelling....Kaku thinks with great breadth, and the vistas he presents us are worth the trip"--The New York Times Book ReviewThe New York Times best-selling author...
NOW A #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER"Compelling....Kaku thinks with great breadth, and the vistas he presents us are worth the trip"--The New York Times Book ReviewThe New York Times best-selling author...
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    "Compelling....Kaku thinks with great breadth, and the vistas he presents us are worth the trip"

    --The New York Times Book Review

    The New York Times
    best-selling author of PHYSICS OF THE IMPOSSIBLE, PHYSICS OF THE FUTURE and HYPERSPACE tackles the most fascinating and complex object in the known universe: the human brain.

    For the first time in history, the secrets of the living brain are being revealed by a battery of high tech brain scans devised by physicists. Now what was once solely the province of science fiction has become a startling reality. Recording memories, telepathy, videotaping our dreams, mind control, avatars, and telekinesis are not only possible; they already exist.

    THE FUTURE OF THE MIND gives us an authoritative and compelling look at the astonishing research being done in top laboratories around the world--all based on the latest advancements in neuroscience and physics. One day we might have a "smart pill" that can enhance our cognition; be able to upload our brain to a computer, neuron for neuron; send thoughts and emotions around the world on a "brain-net"; control computers and robots with our mind; push the very limits of immortality; and perhaps even send our consciousness across the universe.

    Dr. Kaku takes us on a grand tour of what the future might hold, giving us not only a solid sense of how the brain functions but also how these technologies will change our daily lives. He even presents a radically new way to think about "consciousness" and applies it to provide fresh insight into mental illness, artificial intelligence and alien consciousness.

    With Dr. Kaku's deep understanding of modern science and keen eye for future developments, THE FUTURE OF THE MIND is a scientific tour de force--an extraordinary, mind-boggling exploration of the frontiers of neuroscience.

  • From the book

    Houdini believed that telepathy was impossible. But science is provingHoudini wrong.

    Telepathy is now the subject of intense research at universities around
    the world, where scientists have already been able to use advanced sensors to
    read individual words, images, and thoughts in a person's brain. This could
    alter the way we communicate with stroke and accident victims who are
    "locked in" their bodies, unable to articulate their thoughts except through
    blinks. But that's just the start. Telepathy might also radically change the way
    we interact with computers and the outside world.

    Indeed, in a recent "Next 5 in 5 Forecast," which predicts five revolutionary
    developments in the next five years, IBM scientists claimed that we will
    be able to mentally communicate with computers, perhaps replacing the
    mouse and voice commands. This means using the power of the mind to call
    people on the phone, pay credit card bills, drive cars, make appointments,
    create beautiful symphonies and works of art, etc. The possibilities are endless,
    and it seems that everyone-- from computer giants, educators, video
    game companies, and music studios to the Pentagon-- is converging on this

    True telepathy, found in science-fiction and fantasy novels, is not possible
    without outside assistance. As we know, the brain is electrical. In general,
    anytime an electron is accelerated, it gives off electromagnetic radiation. The
    same holds true for electrons oscillating inside the brain, which broadcasts
    radio waves. But these signals are too faint to be detected by others, and
    even if we could perceive these radio waves, it would be difficult to make
    sense of them. Evolution has not given us the ability to decipher this collection
    of random radio signals, but computers can. Scientists have been able
    to get crude approximations of a person's thoughts using EEG scans. Subjects
    would put on a helmet with EEG sensors and concentrate on certain
    pictures-- say, the image of a car. The EEG signals were then recorded for
    each image and eventually a rudimentary dictionary of thought was created,
    with a one- to- one correspondence between a person's thoughts and the EEG
    image. Then, when a person was shown a picture of another car, the computer
    would recognize the EEG pattern as being from a car.

    The advantage of EEG sensors is that they are noninvasive and quick.
    You simply put a helmet containing many electrodes onto the surface of the
    brain and the EEG can rapidly identify signals that change every millisecond.
    But the problem with EEG sensors, as we have seen, is that electromagnetic
    waves deteriorate as they pass through the skull, and it is difficult to locate
    their precise source. This method can tell if you are thinking of a car or a
    house, but it cannot re- create an image of the car. That is where Dr. Jack Gallant's
    work comes in.


    The epicenter for much of this research is the University of California at
    Berkeley, where I received my own Ph.D. in theoretical physics years ago. I
    had the pleasure of touring the laboratory of Dr. Gallant, whose group has
    accomplished a feat once considered to be impossible: videotaping people's
    thoughts. "This is a major leap forward reconstructing internal imagery. We
    are opening a window into the movies in our mind," says Gallant.

    When I visited his laboratory, the first thing I noticed was the team of
    young, eager postdoctoral and graduate students huddled in front of their
    computer screens, looking intently at video images that were...

About the Author-
  • MICHIO KAKU is a professor of physics at the City University of New York, cofounder of string field theory, and the author of several widely acclaimed science books, including Hyperspace, Beyond Einstein, Physics of the Impossible, and Physics of the Future.

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    Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind
Michio Kaku
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