An exocortex is a theoretical artificial external information processing system that would augment a brain’s biological high-level cognitive processes. An individual’s exocortex would be composed of external memory modules, processors, IO devices and software systems that would interact with, and augment, a person’s biological brain. Typically this interaction is described as being conducted through a direct brain-computer interface, making these extensions functionally part of the individual’s mind. Individuals with significant exocortices could be classified as cyborgs or transhumans.

Cortex (Latin: bark) is used in neuroscience for the outer bark-like layer of the brain that is the site of most sophisticated cognitive information processing. It was coined in allusion to the neocortex (literally ‘new bark’), the newest part of the mammalian brain (in evolutionary history), believed to be responsible for the highest human cognitive abilities including conscious thought, spatial reasoning, and sensory perception. Thus the terminology suggests a progression from reptilian thought (the older parts of the brain) through human (neocortex) to high-level human or even supra-human cognitive processing capabilities (exocortex).

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