Surg Neurol Int, Official publication of Surgical Neurology International
I think from physiological standpoint, this is eventually possible. The scientist who was involved in monkey head transplant (in 1970s) and spinal cord linkage believes that it is extremely hard (if not impossible). However, the problems that rise from such surgery are more fundamental than whether we can do it or not. Imagine that the we can overcome the impossibilities and we can do this. What would be the personal image that the new being will have of itself? would he/she feel that it is the same person on a new body? I think the answer is that the brain can adapt to that. There are folks who have transplants of body parts that are visible. They do not fundamentaly change. I think in the case of some trauma that would cause the body not to be able to support the brain’s viability, this type of transplant could be potentially useful. However, when one ages, the situation changes in a different way. What looks more interesting to me is that the main issue here is the transfer of information (as it contained by the processing brain) to the new being. Is it worth to keep an aging brain, even if the new body is young? Biological systems, have wear and tear. There is a time that any biological system has to die as it starts to disintegrate. In case of the brain, we know that in our life time, we suffer neural loss and diminished functionality of our brain. Is it worth to keep a decaying biological system in charge of information processing? I think not, as the aging brain becomes more faulty and error prone. However, it would be interesting to transfer the contained information to a system that can preserve the information…sort of a backup let’s say….better than that would be to extract the useful information across many of these backups and encode them in something like genes for example. At the end, we are not blank slates. That way, we may have the chance to accelrate the information transfer rate to the next generation.
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