---------- Forwarded message ----------

Apparently so...


   The world's first brain-to-brain connection has given rats the power to 
communicate by
   thought alone.

   "Many people thought it could never happen," says Miguel Nicolelis at Duke 
   in Durham, North Carolina. Although monkeys have been able to control robots 
   their mind using brain-to-machine interfaces, work by Nicolelis's team has, 
for the
   first time, demonstrated a direct interface between two brains – with the 
rats able to
   share both motor and sensory information.

   The feat was achieved by first training rats to press one of two levers when 
an LED
   above that lever was lit. A correct action opened a hatch containing a drink 
of water.
   The rats were then split into two groups, designated as "encoders" and 

   An array of microelectrodes – each about one-hundredth the width of a human 
hair – was
   then implanted in the encoder rats' primary motor cortex, an area of the 
brain that
   processes movement. The team used the implant to record the neuronal 
activity that
   occurs just before the rat made a decision in the lever task. They found 
that pressing
   the left lever produced a different pattern of activity from pressing the 
right lever,
   regardless of which was the correct action.

   Next, the team recreated these patterns in decoder rats, using an implant in 
the same
   brain area that stimulates neurons rather than recording from them. The 
   received a few training sessions to prime them to pick the correct lever in 
   to the different patterns of stimulation.

************* Regards, Dave Palmer <dpal...@magicdave.com <mailto:dpal...@magicdave.com>> ************
As much as the author would like to spend precious minutes of the
rapidly-dwindling time remaining in his life responding to your kind and
thoughtful letter about how he is going to spend eternity in a lake of
fire being eaten by rats, he regrets that he is unable to do so, due to
the volume of such mail received.
*********************** http://www.magicdave.com <http://www.magicdave.com/> ***********************


To contact the list owner: mailto:skeptic-requ...@lists.johnshopkins.edu <mailto:skeptic-requ...@lists.johnshopkins.edu>


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