Through technological augmented, Dr. David Eagleman believes we can expand our sensory channels and gain access to new data streams:
The thing to understand is that your eyes and ears aren’t doing the seeing in the first place. Your brain’s doing the seeing, and the thing to appreciate is that it is locked in silence and darkness in the vault of your skull. So all the brain ever ‘sees’, are electrical signals coursing around in giant populations of neurons…that’s all the brain ever experiences. It’s not seeing the light or the dark out there, or the colours. It’s not hearing the conversations. This is all that the brain is experiencing and nothing more.
But the brain is so tremendously flexible that what it’s really good at doing is saying “okay well, I’ve got these data cables coming in…I don’t know what information is carried on them.” I mean we call those data cables the optic nerve and the auditory nerve, but it doesn’t know what it is. All it sees is this kind of stuff, but it’s really good at extracting patterns, and figuring out what to do with them, and eventually – amazingly – how to have a direct perceptual experience that it constructs about the outside world.
…It turns out that the brain doesn’t care what the peripheral devices are that you plug in. These organs that we know and love like eyes and ears and fingertips – these are plug and play peripheral devices, and you can put anything you want into the system and the brain will figure out how to use it.
We’re really all cyborgs now. Or will be.
Via Daily Grail