Before science can determine the answer to the question, could you transfer your consciousness to another body, we first need to fully understand what consciousness is. To do this scientists have been researching the complete structure of the brain in an effort to fully understand where our consciousness may reside. Our Brain is where our thoughts are made and memories preserved, making it the most complicated organ known to humans and therefore a good starting place to begin the search for consciousness.
There’s a Lot inside Your Brain
We know that our brains are made up of over 86 Billions neurons which means an incredible amount of connections between these neurons. Neurons in the brain are constantly firing electricity and chemicals to one an other in order to communicate between various parts of the body. Scientists believe that our memories are made up of a very complex pathway of neurons that, when triggered, constantly fire signals in unison, and recall a memory that was stored when those neurons were triggered in that exact same way.
Progress in this field of study is exponential, with us basically having the ability already to stimulate certain neurons and reconstruct a memory from them, all on a computer.
Mapping a Brain May Not Preserve Consciousness
It is widely believed that our consciousness is the very core of who we are and what makes human beings have completely unique personalities. Consciousness is formed throughout our lifetimes as an amalgamation of everything that we are, it is influenced by genetics lifestyle and every single experience throughout our lives that shaped how we grow. As memories and thoughts are all stored in and recalled by the brain it would stand to reason that building a perfect replica of a brain with each pathway and each neuron in the exact same way, then we could recreate the consciousness of one individual.
The Connectome is the First Step
The connectome project is one that will take decades to complete. It involves the mapping of a brain down to the very last neuron. the theory is that once this is complete, this ‘artificial brain’ can send signals to other neurons inside it and through this artificial matrix people could actually begin to download they’re memories, meaning maybe one day we could upload them too?
We are a long way off, but the theory for now is that once we have cracked the connectome, we can begin to upload memories, and once we’ve done this we may be eventually able to locate consciousness and transfer that too.