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Upgrade Your Memory With a Surgically Implanted Chip

Brain prostheses for the computer in your skull.

relates to Upgrade Your Memory With a Surgically Implanted Chip
Illustration: Jinhwa Jang for Bloomberg Businessweek

In a grainy black-and-white video shot at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, a patient sits in a hospital bed, his head wrapped in a bandage. He’s trying to recall 12 words for a memory test but can only conjure three: whale, pit, zoo. After a pause, he gives up, sinking his head into his hands.

In a second video, he recites all 12 words without hesitation. “No kidding, you got all of them!” a researcher says. This time the patient had help, a prosthetic memory aid inserted into his brain.