Advanced experiments performed on mice and monkeys revealed that their brains can be linked in order to create a “problem-solving” organic computer.
Two separate experiments have succeeded to connect brains of two classes of animals that managed to control actions with their collective mind, offering high hopes to the concept that brain to brain interfaces will be possible for humans somewhere in the near future.
A group of scientists at Duke University has managed to wire and bring together the powers combined of brains in adult rhesus macaque monkeys, to form a network or better said a “brainet”. The combo proved to be successful, as each individual subject was given partial control over a virtual arm they were be able to observe on a screen. The animals worked together and managed to synchronize their brain activity in order to guide the arm of an avatar meant to allow them reach for a virtual ball.
Powers combined indeed offers great results, as one monkey alone was unable to move the arm in 3D but a group of subjects working together has managed to go through with the entire procedure. The monkeys were connected to a computer and not to one another in this first experiment.
A second trial lead the team to try something more daring, as they wired the brains of four rats together and to a computer as well, allowing the animals to send neural signals to each other.
The team equipped the animals with multi-electrode arrays in various regions, in order to capture and transmit their brain activity. Rats were capable of recognizing patterns in brain activity and a breakthrough “brain-to-brain interface” was eventually established.
The electrodes inserted into the brain were used to stimulate motor activity on the one hand and to record the movements on the other. The first experiment consisted of electrical impulses sent to one rat, while the others synchronized neural behavior in symmetry with the first one. The ultimate experiment consisted of impulses administered to an entire group who was rewarded afterwards provided they could unite their brain activity.
The successful research can shed light over a very delicate matter, namely disabled people. Researchers state that a future application may help neurologically disabled people improve their motor skills and live a better life. Where a single brain cannot perform a single task, outside help from another brain can take the lead and complete the mission. Mind control is a very delicate and nuanced matter, but applied in the name of human progress, it can do wonders. Brain-to-brain interfaces can also be used in more advanced experiments, in order to make people better and more efficiently connected to each other. Harnessing the power of collective thought and leveraging it to enhance performance is the definition of human progress.
Image Source: testtube.com