Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) January 14, 2014 – Many Americans know DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) in relation to the development and deployment of the Internet. Now, they may have something for veterans dealing with TBI.
“Researchers for the U.S. military are asking for help to find innovative ways to decode and analyze brain neural signals to allow people with TBI to recover some or all of their memories. The program, based on the familiar computer terminology of RAM (random access memory), is also referred to as RAM, meaning Restoring Active Memory,” outlined Austin traumatic brain injury lawyer, Brooks Schuelke with Perlmutter & Schuelke, LLP. There are approximately 1.7 million Americans diagnosed with TBI each year.
The idea behind the RAM program is to promote models of complex hierarchical memories and investigate neurobiological and behavioral differentiations between memory functions by using a device capable of being implanted in the brain. This method would be used to recover memories, as opposed to natural training and learning.
“This scenario is not as far-fetched as one might think,” said Schuelke, “Brain-computer interface devices already exist and are used to control prosthetic limbs. The RAM program aims to enhance the interface abilities of an existing device and use it to recover memories.”
The main aim for now is for DARPA to put out a call for proposals that contain a way to develop a model of various neurobiological mechanisms that can handle human memory, develop an actual device that may be implanted in the brain, and map animal complex memories as a foundation to create computational models to restore memory.
Those choosing to submit a proposal must deal with the technical area first. How that is accomplished would be up to those wishing to participate in this research, but their model must distinguish neural activity (information) that may be converted to long-term memories and recalled at any time. Area two has to outline attempts to evolve real-time performance of an implantable probe prototype neural device that uses a computational model to return memories. The probes would ideally be wireless and stimulate and record brain activity. Proposals must be submitted to DARPA by January 9th, 2014, at which time, several contracts are likely to be awarded.
“This is a real step forward in the evolution of dealing with TBI, a silent and often misdiagnosed injury,” Schuelke indicated. “Any further advancement to allow veterans and others to retrieve lost memories, as a result of concussions or other head trauma, would allow them to have hope once again.”