Culture Magazine

Direct Brain-to-Brain Communication in Rats?

By Bbenzon @bbenzon
Reported in the NYTimes:
In an experiment that sounds straight out of a science fiction movie, a Duke neuroscientist has connected the brains of two rats in such a way that when one moves to press a lever, the other one does, too — most of the time.
The neuroscientist, Miguel Nicolelis, known for successfully demonstrating brain-machine connections, like the one in which a monkey controlled a robotic arm with its thoughts, said this was the first time one animal’s brain had been linked to another.
The question, he said, was: “Could we fool the brain? Could we make the brain process signals from another body?” The answer, he said, was yes.
He and other scientists at Duke, and in Brazil, published the results of the experiment in the journal Scientific Reports. The work received mixed reviews from other scientists, ranging from “amazing” to “very simplistic.”
I note that it wasn't simply a matter of sending signals from one brain to the other. Some learning was involved. You can find the original research HERE.

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