I have recently watched some anime, (yes, anime, probably a huge cause to lots of questions asked on the internet), and it got me thinking. We can intercept nerve signals throughout the body, but could we interpret their task, as to whether they are meant to contract or relax a muscle, and their destination, as to which muscle they are meant to travel a signal to.

Extra Inspiration: I have seen an article by Chris Brooker about the theory of intercepting optical nerves to benefit augmented reality, so it got me thinking, what if we could intercept all nerves in one go, the brain, but I realised, that's a stupid idea, they travel to the brain all over, so the next best location was the Central Nervous System (The Spine).

On top of Anime super inspiration, and some articles which helped further my theory, I thought more and more about how nerves travel around the body as impulses, so I theorised maybe they use different currents or charges to travel to different parts of a body, which brings me to my conclusion, is there anyone who would be willing to carry this experiment out? And then give me the results? If this is true we may be able to make a huge breakthrough in the virtual department, even if incorrect it can still be a starting stone for a new hypothesis.

However this entirely bases on the idea that all nerves start from one point on the cns, however the start to this would be to gain a test subject and patch a circuit into a nerve. on the circuit would be an ammeter and a voltmeter, and then have the subject move the muscles connected to the nerve.

The second step would be to find a lone point in the cns where all nerves touch or cross paths to identify the Sweet Spot (( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) I named it myself) and differentiate different nerves for different purposes.

Keep in mind this would be no small discovery, this would help engineer a better future in the virtual department, however this is only a small part to this, imagine being able to truly see or hear without the help of heavy machinery, or be able to walk with actual legs again, or be able to play catch with family again as this would engineer the greatest part to prosthetic engineering where we could actually move lots of different gears as if we contracted or relaxed a muscle.

If my hypothesis is completely off as my science is incorrect than please let me know. I currently do not have the facilities to go further into this as I am still in High School ((̿▀̿ ̿Ĺ̯̿̿▀̿ ̿)̄), and am busy with studies, but I hope I am correct and thus would have contributed to science which can help thousands of people everyday.

Please contribute to this topic even if it is criticising it.

Thanks, IbnJalal


closed as primarily opinion-based by Remi.b, kmm, David, Bryan Krause, WYSIWYG Apr 20 '18 at 12:18

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ you've done a lot of thinking about that, and the wording is informal, talking about animes, high school. you should prepare yourself to know that this is a relatively formal science forum, where people prize concision and prior research for the wording of questions. sounds like, once you have armed yourself with lots of knowledge you will be contributing to science of many people. $\endgroup$ – com.prehensible Apr 11 '18 at 16:00

I agree with previous comment from com.prehensible but I would like to change the emphasis ever so slightly. Its great that you 1. get inspired by experiences you find in the world 2. you think about them and 3. you reach out to other people to check if your ideas are correct. This is basically how any scientific project starts.

I don't think that an informal tone is detrimental to serious and precise scientific discussions on any topic, quite the opposite, so I wouldn't worry about talking about animes or high school. Ask away and as you talk more and more with people with the same interests your language will automatically change to reflect more precise and specific objects/subjects.

Nonetheless, and to the point of the previous commenter, I'll try, instead of general statements of form, to point out some specific things you might want to look at in order help you think about your question:

  1. A precise statement of your hypothesis is a must. You almost make a precise hypothesis about different charges and currents. A lot is known in terms of neuronal communication, both at the single cell level as at the group level. I would start from the wiki entry on action potentials it might help you understand exactly how neurons "talk" to each other. Also it might be useful to have a more specific insight on how these cells are physically organised. Again the wiki on the CNS is a good place to start.
  2. You should have a specific idea of a particular experiment that would allow to you to test your hypothesis. Thinking about the experiment will require you to know what is possible and what is not. Usually animes, movies, and books are quite a bit more advanced in terms of what is nowadays possible, hence the word "fiction" in science fiction. Thinking of an experiment also allows you to operationalise your hypothesis, which is science speak for deciding exactly what you will measure and how. This will tell you if you can answer your question as you stated it and is super important to plan an experiment.

If you have these 2 things i.e., a good idea and a doable experiment that would answer your question the hard part is done! Well... then you will probably need time and money, but that is a different problem altogether...

Answering your question though, yes, it is possible to interpret nerve signals, both in terms of their targets or downstream areas, as in terms of information content they might relay in order to accomplish a particular task. There is a whole field of Neuroscience that studies neural coding and its trying to solve how neurons transmit messages to each other or how they can encode information in general. However looking at the signals by themselves is usually not enough and people are very careful about the particular behavior that is going on while these signals are being recorded, basically it turns out that one needs context to properly interpret the messages that are intercepted.

Good luck :)


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