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Nerve impulse amplifiers

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  1. Dec 15, 2003 #1
    Can any biology-savvy people comment on the viability of implants which boost the nervous signals to muscles, effectively making someone superhuman in strength and endurance? I can see how someone with these implants may end up killing themselves from over-exertion, but would something like this work theoretically, at least on a temporary basis?

    How would this be implemented? Would it be through a spinal cord implant, a change in blood chemistry or many local implants at major muscle groups?

    Would whether the person ends up killing themselves with these implants depends on how far he or she pushes it? Presumably, if the muscles know they are being overworked by amplified nerve impulses, they will adapt and grow stronger. But if the person overdoes it, they won't adapt fast enough.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2003
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  3. Dec 15, 2003 #2

    Monique

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    It is not about the strength of the nerve signal, but it is about the strenght and composition of the muscle.. this has to be build up with time and cannot be boosted with amplifyer implants :)
     
  4. Dec 15, 2003 #3
    Okay...my biology knowlege is very rusty, but aren't both the nerve impulse and the muscle composition the factors here? So the nerve impulse to lift a 5kg mass is less than the nerve impulse to life a 10kg one. Or for the same nerve impulse strength, a larger muscle will have an easier time lifting a heavier weight than a small muscle.

    Under some circumstances (like being awash with adrenaline) a weak muscle can also perform on par, temporarily, with a strong one. Can these effects be artificially replicated without using drugs?
     
  5. Dec 15, 2003 #4

    Monique

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    You are right, a higher frequency of a nerve signal means a stronger impuls and thus more force. But I guess a healthy body should have the means to induce the right impuls.

    I am not sure though. The implant might work in flash work, like those weightlifters lifting those heavy bars above their head. But for long term labour the implant will only be more a hassle than a gain.
     
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