Wirehead (science fiction)
Wirehead is a term used in science fiction works to denote different kinds of interaction between people and technology. The typical wirehead idea is that of a wire going into a human's brain and safe amounts of electricity applied to the wire-conductor to directly interact with the brain, or the specific "pleasure centers" of the brain.
- 1 Written fiction
- 2 Film, television, music
- 3 Non-fictional examples
- 4 See also
- 5 External links
- 6 References
Known Space stories
In Larry Niven's Known Space stories, a wirehead is someone who has been fitted with an electronic brain implant (called a "droud" in the stories) to stimulate the pleasure centres of their brain. In the Known Space universe, wireheading is the most addictive habit known (Louis Wu is the only given example of a recovered addict), and wireheads usually die from neglecting themselves in favour of the ceaseless pleasure. Wireheading is so powerful and easy that it becomes an evolutionary pressure, selecting against that portion of Known Space humanity without self-control. Also in this science fiction there is a device called a "tasp" (similar to transcranial magnetic stimulation) that does not need a surgical implant; the pleasure center of a person's brain is found and remotely stimulated (considered a violation without seeking the person's consent beforehand), an important device in the Ringworld novels.
A wirehead's death is central to Niven's Gil 'the Arm' Hamilton story, "Death by Ecstasy", published by Galaxy Magazine in 1969, and a main character in the book Ringworld Engineers is a former wirehead trying to quit.
Niven's stories explain wireheads by mentioning a study in which experimental rats had electrodes implanted at strategic locations in their brains, so that an applied current would induce a pleasant feeling. If the current could be obtained any time the rats pushed the lever, they would use it over and over, ignoring food and physical necessities until they died. Such experiments were actually conducted by James Olds and Peter Milner in the 1950s, first discovering the locations of such areas, and later showing extremes to which rats would go to obtain the stimulus again.
Mindkiller, a 1982 sci-fi novel by Spider Robinson set in the late 1980s, explores the social implications of technologies to manipulate the brain, beginning with wireheading, the use of electric current to stimulate the pleasure center of the brain in order to achieve a narcotic high.
The Terminal Man
In The Terminal Man (1972) by Michael Crichton, forty electrodes are implanted into the brain of the character Harold Franklin "Harry" Benson to control seizures. However, his pleasure center is also stimulated, and his body begins producing more seizures to receive the pleasurable sensation.
Film, television, music
In the 1983 film "Brainstorm" a wireless brain connection machine is made. A character named Hal Abramson abuses the device with a signal of never ending sexual pleasure.
The Outer Limits 1995 TV series
The Centurions (animated series)
In episode 41, "Zone Dancer" of The Centurions animated series, the lead character Crystal Kane is accused of "Zone Dancing" (the series' term for computer hacking) and seen using a "droud" to interface her brain with computer networks in what is probably the first animated representation of cyberspace and virtual reality. The story, written by Michael Reaves, weaves a future noir tale of cyberpunk espionage, cloning and private-eye procedural, all set in the universe of the animated series and makes copious references to William Gibson's Neuromancer. There is even a Zone Dancer named Gibson and, in what may be an homage to Larry Niven's Louis Wu, a cyberneticst named Dr. Wu.
The title character of the television show House is a physician who suffers from chronic pain. In the episode "Half-Wit", House seeks a medical procedure to stimulate the "pleasure center" of his brain.
Russian rap artist, known for thematic music about Japan, technology and cyber punk.
After the 1949 Nobel prize was awarded to António Egas Moniz for the procedure of lobotomy, a more precise method of destroying brain structures was pursued. In the year 1955 the placing of wires into the mentally ill patient was performed by Dr C.W. Sem Jacobsen. Dr S. Sherwood also performed wire implantation.. In the year 1961 five patients had wires implanted to treat their mental illness and a precision leucotomy was performed for favorable results.
Silver and copper electrodes were found to be toxic to brain tissue.
Dr. Robert Galbraith Heath placed electrodes in his subjects' brains in the 1950s to try to treat their mental illness. Dr. Heath wrote several papers on his work of stimulating the various regions of the brain.
Dr. Carl Wilhelm Sem-Jacobsen "Depth-electrographic stimulation of the human brain and behavior; from fourteen years of studies and treatment of Parkinson's disease and mental disorders with implanted electrodes,"
José Manuel Rodriguez Delgado also placed electrodes in his patients' brains. He called his inventions a "stimoceiver" and a "chemitrode".
- 1953 "Induced paroxysmal electrical activity in man recorded simultaneously through subcortical and scalp electrodes" 
- 1955: The patient, a 27-year-old housewife "Stimulation of the amygdaloid nucleus in a schizophrenic patient" by Robert Galbraith Heath
- 1963: "Electrical self-stimulation of the brain in man" by Robert Galbraith Heath.
- 1972: A 24-year-old man with temporal lobe epilepsy, identified as patient "B-19". "He was permitted to wear the device for 3 hours at a time: on one occasion he stimulated his septal region 1,200 times, on another occasion 1,500 times, and on a third occasion 900 times. He protested each time the unit was taken from him, pleading to self-stimulate just a few more times..." 
- 1986: A 48-year-old woman with chronic pain. "The patient self-stimulated throughout the day, neglecting personal hygiene and family commitments."
- 1986: To treat patients suffering from pain due to cancer Dr Young and Dr Brechner made a study of electrical stimulation of the brain.
- 2012: Cathy Hutchinson who is paralyzed had one hundred electrodes placed on the surface of her brain. With this brain–computer interface she is able to control a variety of devices.
- 2013: A 49-year-old, right-handed woman had multiple electrodes placed in her brain for epilepsy. She reported an orgasmic ecstasy following the stimulation of the left hippocampus.
- 2016: The New England Journal of Medicine describes a growing do-it-yourself (DIY) medical engineering culture that includes DIY transcranial direct-current stimulation 
- José Manuel Rodriguez Delgado
- Robert Galbraith Heath
- James Olds
- Wilder Penfield
- Carl Wilhelm Sem-Jacobsen (1912–1991)
- Brain–computer interface
- Brain implant
- Brain stimulation reward (BSR)
- "Click" adult/erotic comic by Milo Manara
- Cortical stimulation mapping
- DBS Deep brain stimulation
- Drug addiction
- Electrical brain stimulation
- The Experience Machine
- Neuromodulation (medicine)
- Nucleus accumbens
- Pain and pleasure#Deep brain stimulation
- Pleasure center
- RNS Responsive neurostimulation device
- Transcranial pulsed ultrasound
- 16 second YouTube graphic of an idealized working DBS
- Patient with wired brain At time index 1:24, a black and white YouTube video of Dr Robert Galbraith Heath and a patient with DBS wires embedded in their brain.
- Time Magazine February 2011
- The Perils of Deep Brain Stimulation for Depression. Author Danielle Egan. September 24, 2015.
- Brain Implants: Spinning the Trial Results to Protect the Product. Author Danielle Egan. January 14, 2018.
- [non-primary source needed] Horn A, Kühn A (2015). "Lead-DBS: a toolbox for deep brain stimulation electrode localizations and visualizations". NeuroImage. 107: 127–35. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.12.002. PMID 25498389.
- "THE PLEASURE CENTRES" McGill University
- Olds J, Milner P (Dec 1954). "Positive reinforcement produced by electrical stimulation of septal area and other regions of rat brain". Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology. 47 (6): 419–27. doi:10.1037/h0058775. PMID 13233369.
- Olds J (1958). "Self-Stimulation of the Brain". Science. 127 (3294): 315–324. doi:10.1126/science.127.3294.315.
- Faria MA (2013). "Violence, mental illness, and the brain - A brief history of psychosurgery: Part 3 - From deep brain stimulation to amygdalotomy for violent behavior, seizures, and pathological aggression in humans". Surg Neurol Int. 4: 91. doi:10.4103/2152-7806.115162. PMC 3740620. PMID 23956934.
- Haas, LF (January 2003). "Hans Berger (1873-1941), Richard Caton (1842-1926), and electroencephalography". J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatry. 74 (1): 9. doi:10.1136/jnnp.74.1.9. PMC 1738204. PMID 12486257.
- "THE TECHNIQUE AND APPLICATION OF ELECTRO-ENCEPHALOGRAPHY" William Grey Walter. PMID:21610936 PMCID:PMC1088109
- "Stimulation of the human cortex and the experience of pain: Wilder Penfield's observations revisited" Laure Mazzola, Jean Isnard, Roland Peyron, François Mauguière . October 2011. doi.org/10.1093/brain/awr265
- "In Memoriam: Reginald G. Bickford"
- "Invasive Studies of the Human Epileptic Brain: Principles and Practice" edited by Samden D. Lhatoo, Philippe Kahane, Hans O. Luders. Page 10 of chapter "History of Invasive EEG".
- "Electroencephalographic rhythms from the depths of the frontal lobe in 60 psychotic patients" 1955.https://doi.org/10.1016/0013-4694(55)90035-3
- "ELECTROGRAPHIC DEPTH RECORDINGS FROM THE BRAINS OF PSYCHOTICS" January 1962. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-6632.1962.tb50130.x
- "CONTROLLED MULTIFOCAL FRONTAL LEUCOTOMY FOR PSYCHIATRIC ILLNESS" H. J. Crow, R. Cooper, and D. G. Phillips. 1961. PMCID: PMC495397. PMID: 13882422
- Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry. 1961.
- "Report to the people" by Governor C. Elmer Anderson. The Winthrop News. October 1st, 1953
- "Depth distribution of normal electroencephalographic rhythms." 1953. PMID:13037901
- "Correlation of rhinencephalic electrograms with behavior: A Study of Humans Under the Influence of LSD and Mescaline" 1957 https://doi.org/10.1016/0013-4694(57)90084-6
- "Depth-EEG of Two Schizophrenic Patients Under Marsilid-medication" 1960. J.B. Lien. DOI:10.1159/000131248
- "Exploration du cerveau humain par électrodes profondes" 1961. Michel Ribstei. doi.org/10.1016/0013-4694(60)90025-0
- "Functional and Stereotactic Neurosurgery author E.I. Kandel. year 1989. Page 133."
- "Effects of Electrical Stimulation of the Human Cerebellar Cortex" Journal of Neuropathology & Experimental Neurology, Volume 2, Issue 2, 1 April 1943, Pages 203–204. doi.org/10.1097/00005072-194304000-00010
- [Functional and Stereotactic Neurosurgery author E.I. Kandel. year 1989. Page 133. https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-1-4613-0703-7#about]
- "For the mentally ill Pacemakers regulate the brain" Newspaper "The Spokesman Review" May 8, 1977.
- "Depth-electrographic stimulation of the human brain and behavior" 1968
- HEATH, RG; PEACOCK SM, Jr; MILLER W, Jr (1953). "Induced paroxysmal electrical activity in man recorded simultaneously through subcortical and scalp electrodes". Transactions of the American Neurological Association. 3 (78th Meeting): 247–50. PMID 13179226.
- Heath RG, Monroe RR, Mickle WA (1955). "STIMULATION OF THE AMYGDALOID NUCLEUS IN A SCHIZOPHRENIC PATIENT". American Journal of Psychiatry. 111 (11): 862–863. doi:10.1176/ajp.111.11.862. PMID 14361778.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- Heath R.G. (1963). "Electrical self-stimulation of the brain in man". American Journal of Psychiatry. 120 (6): 571–577. doi:10.1176/ajp.120.6.571. PMID 14086435.
- "Erotic self-stimulation and brain implants". 2008-09-16.
- Moan C.E., Heath R.G. (1972). "Septal stimulation for the initiation of heterosexual activity in a homosexual male". Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry. 3: 23–30. doi:10.1016/0005-7916(72)90029-8.
- Young Ronald F (1986). "Electrical stimulation of the brain for relief of intractable pain due to cancer". Cancer. 57 (6): 1266–1272. doi:10.1002/1097-0142(19860315)57:6<1266::AID-CNCR2820570634>3.0.CO;2-Q.
- "Paralyzed woman uses mind-control technology to operate robotic arm" by Scott Pelley CBS News May 16, 2012.
- Surbecka Werner, Bouthillierb Alain, Khoa Nguyenc Dang (2013). "Bilateral cortical representation of orgasmic ecstasy localized by depth electrodes". Epilepsy & Behavior Case Reports. 1: 62–65. doi:10.1016/j.ebcr.2013.03.002. PMC 4150648. PMID 25667829.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- Greene JA (2016). "Do-It-Yourself Medical Devices — Technology and Empowerment in American Health Care". New England Journal of Medicine. 374 (4): 305–308. doi:10.1056/NEJMp1511363. PMID 26816009.
- "Reviewed Work: Depth-Electrographic Stimulation of the Human Brain and Behavior by C. W. Sem-Jacobsen "
- Book reference