Neuroscientist Kenneth Hayworth believes that he can live forever, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports. But first he has to die.
“The human race is on a beeline to mind uploading: We will preserve a brain, slice it up, simulate it on a computer, and hook it up to a robot body,” he says. He wants that brain to be his brain. He wants his 100 billion neurons and more than 100 trillion synapses to be encased in a block of transparent, amber-colored resin — before he dies of natural causes.
Among some connectomics scholars, there is a grand theory: We are our connectomes. Our unique selves — the way we think, act, feel — is etched into the wiring of our brains. Unlike genomes, which never change, connectomes are forever being molded and remolded by life experience. A human connectome would be the most complicated map the world has ever seen. Yet it could be a reality before the end of the century, if not sooner, thanks to new technologies that “automate the process of seeing smaller."
Hayworth has founded the Brain Preservation Foundation, which offer a cash prize for the first individual or team to preserve the connectome of a large mammal. A dependable brain-preservation protocol is possible within five years, Hayworth says. “We might have a whole mouse brain preserved very soon.”