The Department of Defense has committed $40 million of funding for the development of Restoring Active Memory (RAM) brain implants — a “very small, implantable, wireless neural interface device,” the Wire reports. DARPA is interested in the project as a way to help military personnel restore their memory after they suffer brain injuries in combat. DARPA has also been highly involved in the efforts to map the human brain, which many neuroscientists are now calling misguided and possibly harmful to future scientific efforts.

DARPA’s statement details their hopes for the project:

The start of the Restoring Active Memory program marks an exciting opportunity to reveal many new aspects of human memory and learn about the brain in ways that were never before possible. Anyone who has witnessed the effects of memory loss in another person knows its toll and how few options are available to treat it. We’re going to apply the knowledge and understanding gained in RAM to develop new options for treatment through technology.

Of course, it’s hard to not read into the sinister possibilities for a government-funded brain implant, but it’s also hard to argue against tools that combat brain injury and disease. (Photo: Scipro/Science Photo Library)