A recent Technology Review article, Big Brain Thinking, describes Stanford neuroscientist Bill Newsome’s quest to gain approval to implant an electrode in his brain to better understand human consciousness. Newsome want to implant an electrode in the area of the brain known as “MT”; he will then be able to report on what he is aware of when that brain area is stimulated. He has conducted similar experiments on non-human primates, but of course they aren’t able to describe what they experience.

Newsome isn’t certain he’ll get approval for this experiment. He notes that even if this procedure isn’t extremely risky, conducting the experiment might encourage other researchers to attempt more dangerous procedures.