Introducing his acceptance to the study of the human brain Jeff Lichtman, a Harvard Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, once asked: “If compassionate aggregate you need to know about the brain was a mile, how far have we walked?” He accustomed answers like ‘three-quarters of a mile’, ‘half a mile’, and ‘a division of a mile’.

The professor’s response? “I think about three inches.”

Last month, Lichtman’s quip made it into the pages of a new report by the Royal Association which examines the affairs for neural (or “brain-computer”) interfaces, a hot analysis area that has seen billions of dollars of allotment plunged into it over the last few years, and not after cause. It’s projected that the common market for neurotech articles — authentic as “the appliance of electronics and engineering to the human afraid system” — will reach as much as $13.3 billion by 2022.

So, admitting our accepted lack of understanding, it seems the brain is a new and cogent borderland for tech-pioneers attractive to reinvent — and conceivably irreversibly access — the way we collaborate with the world.

The Royal Association report speculates:

Mental health altitude could be advised by using interfaces to target accordant parts of the brain, bringing relief to the hundreds of millions common who have depression. Even Alzheimer’s disease, which has proved aggressive to accepted therapies, might be halted or reversed.

Outside of medical use:

People could abide ‘whole brain diagnosis’ to analyze their unique talents and challenges. Today’s ‘brain training’ computer games, whose impact is debated, might give way to demonstrably able ‘brain cleaning’ or ‘mind gym’ sessions to keep minds sharp and creative.

Neural interfaces offer myriad possibilities to enhance accustomed life. We could use our minds to open doors, turn on lights, play games, accomplish accessories or type on computers.

Then there are opportunities to enhance or supercharge the brain itself. Implants, helmets, headbands or other accessories could help us bethink more, learn faster, make better decisions more bound and solve problems, free from biases…

Mood, adeptness and memory could be deeply and confidentially backed up or uploaded to a agenda cloud.

I know, it’s a lot. And I’ve bare the references to telepathy, the abeyant amalgamation of humans with bogus intelligence, and the option to hook your neural interface up to that of addition animal, like a bird.

To a sci-fi nut, this must all sound like manna from heaven. To the rest of us, it’s likely to be a little amazing (to say the least). So, is this a real proposition? Or just the (fairly creepy) wishlist of some over-ambitious Silicon Valley nerds?