Synthetic brain implants hold out the promise of augmenting the capabilities of the human mind as well as capturing and exporting that state of the mind in sci-fi tech such as the neural lace.
This possiblity is a step closer as shown by Professor Matti Mintz and team at Tel Aviv University. They have recently presented reults to show that a synthetic neural implant can be grafted into the brain of a rat to restore functions the rat had lost. Once implanted the rat proceeded to use the implant to learn new behaviour.
Although the most simple neural functions were targeted, it is a significant step forward and demonstrates that the science is a possibility.
Read the abstract of the paper here: http://www.sens.org/node/2210
Read coverage in International Business Times here: http://uk.ibtimes.com/articles/225407/20111005/robot-rat-robotic-brain-implant-restores-rat-s-mobility.htm