Rat Minds Connected Over the Internet

Rat Brain Merge

The brains of two rats on different continents have been made to act in tandem. When the first, in Brazil, uses its whiskers to choose between two stimuli, an implant records its brain activity and signals to a similar device in the brain of a rat in the United States. The US rat then usually makes the same choice on the same task.

Miguel Nicolelis, a neuroscientist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, says that this system allows one rat to use the senses of another, incorporating information from its far-away partner into its own representation of the world. “It’s not telepathy. It’s not the Borg,” he says. “But we created a new central nervous system made of two brains.”

Read more at Nature magazine. And check out a video of the rats after the break.

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Building Artificial Neurons

Taking us one step closer to cybernetic brains, a research group has been able to create an artificial synapse (the connections between neurons in our brains). This device should be able to mimic the major features of human memory and can be interfaced with natural neurons. This leads to the possibility of cyborg/augmented brains which contains both natural and electronic parts. Alternatively it could eventually be used for the long coveted ideal of brain uploading. Read more at Machines Like Us.

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