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DARPA Wants To Hack Your Brain

posted Feb 24, 2015, 7:17 PM by Ellen Pearlman


As part of their new, warm and fuzzy hacker aesthetic DARPA is, among other things, recruiting women as directors, like 2012 hire Arati Prabhaker who of course happens to directly liaison with President Obama’s cybersecurity initiative. They even have a YouTube website link for their “Top Ten DARPA Videos" emulating news feeds - kind of cuddly and Teddy Bear like. 

On April 1 2014, DARPA announced the Biological Technologies Office, discretely adding the “New technology office will merge biology, engineering, and computer science to harness the power of natural systems for national security.” They are also so warm, fuzzy and open they are swimming in the sharing economy stating that “Multimedia content posted on may be reused without additional permission according to the terms of the DARPA Usage Agreement, available at: - Tweet @darpa.” 

They appear to be  throwing money around big time for research and investigations that can “reduce early risk” a wide open categorization designed to catch all and anything that trolls through their filtering net. 

Now they are on the move this time with your, mine and everyone’s brain data.Dr. Phillip Alvelda a Program Manager is in charge of developing a working “cortical modem.” This means a direct neural cortical interface (Brain Machine Interface or BMI) that allows visual information to display without a negotiating device. Interestingly enough, research on Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs) began in the 1970s with research at UCLA followed by a grant from DARPA. This supposedly takes off on the work of Karl Disseroth and his work on optogenetics, or manipulation of memory through light and aims to work on the genetic alteration of DNA in one’s neurons. Planet 3D already looked into Optogenetics with this post here.


This cortical modem would be as big as two stacked nickels and cost about $10, enabling a visual display through a direct connection to one’s visual cortex otherwise known as a direct neural interface (DNI) chip. Right now research is being done on zebrafish who have a piddling 85,000 neurons. Ultimately the goal is to replace virtual and augmented reality displays by piping in content right to your cortical sphere - which means no waiting on lines.

Project manager Dr. Justin Sanchez is working on mind-controlled prosthetics and urges individuals to “come to DARPA and change the world”.


Dr. Justin Sanchez of DARPA - I can’t believe its not butter - its your brain!


Dr. Sanchez - DARPA just wants to hack your brain!!!! Let’s party! Yeah!!!

Dr. Sanchez must be doing something right, because he was awarded $70 million dollars to do just that - leading back to my original observation that the money tap is flowing. The research is also for investigating DBS, or “deep brain stimulation’ for a variety of combat and brain related injuries. His project is actually called “Systems-Based Neurotechnology and Understanding for the Treatment of Neuropsychological Illnesses.

Oddly enough, investigations on Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs) began in the1970s with research at UCLA, quickly followed by a grant from DARPA. Just like the NSA has been a connected node since practically the dawn of the Internet, DARPA has been playing the brain game for a long time.


Two wild and crazy guys having a DARPA financed prosthetic drink. This is a good thing. Much better than the vodka swilling Russian Santa robot called Axino previously mentioned here