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What is Neurotechnology?

Neurotechnology is any technology used to analyze, measure, diagnose, modify, treat, and enhance the brain, mind, and consciousness with the use of various types of devices and therapies. This includes EEG (electroencephalography), fMRI, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), neuro-pharmaceuticals, brain-computer interface (BCI), virtual reality-based therapies, and neurofeedback. It is also any technology used to facilitate mind therapies, such as devices to monitor and enhance meditation and sleep. Up and coming technologies include cell therapies and genetic therapies.

Traditionally, neurotechnology is thought of as a method of treatment for some sort of disorder, dysfunction, or disease. However, many use and develop neurotechnology to enhance a mind that is considered completely normal and healthy. The key concept behind this mind/brain enhancing technology is neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity refers to the ability of the brain to "rewire" or adapt, grow, and change in response to experiences and learning. The brain creates new connections and those connections become stronger and permanent with repeated training and experiences. Neurohacking refers to the process of "rewiring" or "re-engineering" our minds to perform and function better than before.

In some ways, one could consider ancient philosophers and teachers such as Socrates, or the Buddha as the origins of neurotechnology or “neurohacking”. Socrates sought to expand the thinking and views of his students (and about anyone he met on the street) in order to enhance their minds and perceptions, and the Buddha hacked his own mind through various experiences which pushed the boundaries of his mind, his consciousness, and his views of life. Both sought to shatter old views and ideologies for a better mind, and greater happiness. Both Socrates and the Buddha sought a type of awakening of the self and the mind. Although Buddha’s teachings are on a more spiritual path, Socrates and his student, Plato, sought to enlighten society, and to shatter the illusions of their perceptions.

The future of neurotechnology will approach needs and wants ranging from increasing intelligence, increasing happiness, improving interpersonal relationships, attaining enlightenment, and even uploading knowledge and erasing undesirable memories from our minds.

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