zap neurons to fire

NewAmerica

Senior Member
Mandarin
Does "zap" here mean "to bombard with electrical current, radiation, laser beams, gunfire, etc.:
to zap the control circuit"(WRF)?

Thanks in advance

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The first step is detecting neurons’ electrochemical signaling (DARPA, the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, says 1 million neurons at a time would be nice). To do that, scientists at Brown University are developing salt-grain-sized “neurograins” containing an electrode to detect neural firing as well as to zap neurons to fire, all via a radio frequency antenna.

-Scientific American

Source: 3 Brain Technologies to Watch in 2018
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    You have the correct meaning, NewAmerica. Don't worry that it is not exactly like that in the dictionaries (though the definition 'to strike suddenly and forcefully' isn't far off, in my opinion). Zap is a newish word so some usages might not be well documented. Certainly you cannot use zap for all meanings of 'activate' or 'stimulate'.:eek:
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    You have the correct meaning, NewAmerica. Don't worry that it is not exactly like that in the dictionaries (though the definition 'to strike suddenly and forcefully' isn't far off, in my opinion). Zap is a newish word so some usages might not be well documented. Certainly you cannot use zap for all meanings of 'activate' or 'stimulate'.:eek:
    Yup. The size of the device and the fact that it uses an electrode are pretty clear constraints on the meaning :) The word started becoming popular around 1960 ...
     
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