If you could have a device implanted in your brain that could bring instant nirvana at the press of a button, would you want it? Daily Beast says it’s coming and has neuroethicists in a bind:
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Last week, a team of researchers developed a new implant that has the ability to wirelessly deliver drugs directly into the brain with the press of a button, like changing the channel on a TV.
No wider than a strand of human hair, the device combines brain implants with a remote control drug delivery system. With the ability to genetically modify individual neurons, the implant inevitably calls up dystopian fictions from the likes of Vonnegut’s Harry Bergeron or Huxley’s Brave New World.
To demonstrate the amount of control this device is capable of, investigators made mice walk in circles by injecting a morphine-like drug directly into their ventral tegmental area (VTA), a brain region responsible for motivation and reward.