Man wiggles rat's tail, using just his thoughts
New York (PTI): Scientists have for the first time linked the brains of a human and a rat, enabling the man to use just his thoughts to wiggle the...
New York (PTI): Scientists have for the first time linked the brains of a human and a rat, enabling the man to use just his thoughts to wiggle the rodent's tail. This is the first case of a brain-to-brain interface between species and the first example of a non-invasive brain-to-brain interface, claimed researchers. Earlier this year, scientists had linked together the brains of two rats. This first known instance of a brain-to-brain interface apparently helped the rodents share data to accomplish certain tasks, even across intercontinental distances. In the latest experiment, researchers from Harvard Medical School employed non-invasive techniques to link the brains of a human and a rat. The man had electrodes stuck onto his scalp that picked up brain-wave activity. The rat was placed in a machine that focused ultrasound pulses through its skull to its brain and was anesthetised so that it would not wriggle its head during the experiment. The volunteer had a video screen placed in front of him that displayed a flickering pattern of light. If he paid attention to the screen, his brain waves would synchronise with the strobe light. When the man focused on the flickering pattern, that action signalled the ultrasound to stimulate the part of the sleeping rat's brain responsible for moving its body. In response, the rodent flicked its tail. The interface was accurate 94 per cent of the time, with a time delay of only about 1.6 seconds from the moment the man initiated his intent to the rat tail's wiggling.