neuraugment, v.

Credit: Illustration by Jacey

Full entry. All quotations shown.

Pronunciation: Standard Treaty [ˈnʊɹɑɡmɛnt], N Earth Eng [ˈnɝɑɡmɛnt]

Forms: neuraug, neurog

Etymology: <English neural augmentation any technological enhancement to the human brain (21st cent.), <ancient Greek νεῦρον nerve (see neuro- comb. form) + -al suffix and <Old French aumentacion, see AUGMENT, v. Compare neuraugmentation n., neuraugmented or neurogged adj.

1. trans. To enhance the function of the brain through biomechanical implants of any type.

2098 3 January: Dr Sharma proposes to, in her words, “neuraugment” the civilian public. She acknowledges that previous attempts to do so have gone awry, but insists that her method is safer and less obtrusive than any of her predecessors'. “Initially, I wanted to help people who were unable to retain information,” she says. “But this could be so much more. It could help us learn each others' languages.”

2108 G. RODRIGUEZ Parenting in the New Century: It's all the rage among the rich and famous to neuraugment themselves and even their young children. Youngsters with perfect pitch and eidetic memories are common in the climate-controlled enclaves of the Pacific Northwest. I once met a six-year-old who had read Madame Bovary in the original French. Her review? “Boring.” Oh, to be six and feel such crushing ennui.

2132 L. JOHNSON North American Educators' Quarterly (Dry season): Many teachers who can't afford to neuraugment themselves have trouble connecting with a generation of students for whom it is the norm, and there has been much discussion of the future of public education.

2147 Shermer Morning News 30 April: Ms Alcantara has refused to neuraugment herself, saying: “I don't trust it. How do you know what they're really putting in you? I don't need anybody else in my head.” She is now heading the Natural Brain movement.

2. trans. To join with one or more individuals through a type of neuraugmentation allowing instant mental communication, see NEURALINK, n.

2120 seoul.times 15 March: Dr Park and his collaborator Dr Leary propose to improve upon Dr Sharma's methods. “It's great, what she did,” Park says. “Incredible, really. But we can do so much more. Why stop at neuraugmenting one brain?” Leary picks up right where Park leaves off: “Why not neuraugment two brains, or more than two? Think of the computational power we could access through our neuralink.”

2158 politics/anon 9 September: The United Galactic Treaty — a grand name for what's barely more than a dozen Earth nations and a space station that got a wild hair to design its own flag — well, anyway, the Treaty's going to recruit citizens by offering to neuraugment them for free if they'll join up. The whole thing's doomed if you ask me, as they can only link three or maybe four people at a time without one of them crashing.

2163 Galactic Treaty Daily 2 July: Tragedy has struck aboard the Jespersen, where five young recruits who agreed to neuraugment have suffered aneurysms.

2169 Galactic Treaty Daily 28 December: “It is completely safe to neuraug two people,” the doctor insists. “Some people have the constitution — we don't know why just yet — that allows them to neuraug three people. I am confident that more is possible, but the safety of our patients is always our first concern.”

More free sci-fi stories from Futures

2225 A. CHEN Sex and Love in the Neuraugmented Age: Georgia, who has asked that I change her name to protect her privacy because her parents do not approve of her lifestyle, neuraugmented four other people, and she loves them all. “I couldn't live without them,” she tells me. “It sounds so lonely.”

2284 L. MARTINEZ Collected Correspondence: He left me a diamond ring on the kitchen counter, attached to a note that said: “I read people used to give these to each other back in the days of civil marriage licences and reading vows and everything — thought it was cute. Neurog me?”


neuraugmented, freq. neurogged, adj. Possessing brain enhancements; intimate with or inseparable from another person, either literally or figuratively linked via neuraugmentation.

2150 ANONYMOUS Yakt 2 August: All these neuraugmented jerks think they're better than us.

2237 R. RAI Stars Among the Stars 12 February: “I hate these parties,” the actress sighs, taking a sip of champagne imported from the surface. The party is silent except for the clink of glasses. We are the only two people speaking aloud. “Everyone's so neurogged and full of themselves. Or full of each other, I guess. I just want something real, you know?”

2278 Galactic Treaty Daily 17 May: The staff members agree among themselves that the Secretary General and the Chair of Military Operations are so neurogged that approaching one of them is essentially the same as approaching both of them, but this was not always the case.

neuraugmentation, n. Any technological enhancement to the brain.

2136 K. NSONWAH A Natural and Technological History of the Brain, epilogue: Dr Sharma has been reclusive in her retirement, but she graciously invited me into her home to speak with me. She offered me tea in her tidy succulent garden, and she was so welcoming that I could not resist asking a personal question. “Is it true you've never had any neuraugmentation?” I said. Dr Sharma shrugged. “I never felt the need. Aisha has a perfect memory,” she said, speaking of her partner of decades. “So if I forget something, I just ask her. As for the neuralink, oh, I don't know.” She paused to adjust her shawl. “It's nice, don't you think? Talking?” Footnote 1