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Can cryogenics (freezing at death) preserve memories or consciousness?

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That’s one of those wild New Age/New Tech hopes:

Some cryogenics researchers are looking at methods of freezing the brain’s memory apparatus in the hope of reviving it one day and saving it as an artificial intelligence.

he idea, sponsored by 21CM, is to eventually preserve memories for future immortality by killing a person under controlled circumstances and preserving the connectome, as researchers Ken Hayworth and Robert McIntyre told Jaekl …

The next step in the proposed techo-immortality would be to upload the brain’s memories into a computer. It’s not impossible in principle because neurons can work with electrical currents in prostheses; if so, electrically based systems might work with neurons …

A much bigger issue is the Hard Problem of consciousness. Assuming, as a thought experiment, that a person’s lifetime of memories could be frozen and thawed in this way, what use would it be if no consciousness is associated with it?

News, “Does freezing the brain’s “connectome” offer a hope of immortality?” at Mind Matters News

The question cryogenics of the connectome raises is, can we freeze and then recover consciousness itself as opposed to simply saving imprints of a person’s memories?

Dr. Frankenstein is now taking your calls.


You may also wish to read: Can human minds be reduced to computer programs? In Silicon Valley that has long been a serious belief. But are we really anywhere close?

and

Why our minds can’t really be uploaded to computers. The basic problem is that human minds aren’t “computable.” Peter and Jane are not bits and bytes.

One Reply to “Can cryogenics (freezing at death) preserve memories or consciousness?

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    There’s a ladder of weaker to stronger examples, but the last step is uncharted.

    Weaker examples: Sleep and anesthesia. Obviously our consciousness is still running, and the synchronizing waves are running even stronger in sleep.

    Stronger examples: Animals that can freeze and unfreeze, like tardigrades and some frogs and toads. They resume life with seemingly all memories intact. Do they resume consciousness? We can’t ask them, but it seems likely.

    So the next step is unknown until we take it. Some rich people have apparently been quickfrozen, but stories seem to imply that the freezers don’t work well, and none of them have been brought back.

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