News Stories

Mind Reading

If rats can do it, we should be able to do it too.

A new computer program helps humans to do it. A new video game headband allows a person to use his mind to wag at rat's tail.

To send his command, he looks at a strobe light flickering on a computer screen, and a set of electrodes stuck to his scalp detects the activity in his brain. A computer processes and relays the electrodes' signal to an ultrasound machine over the rat's head, which delivers low-energy ultrasound pulses into the its brain, stimulating its motor cortex--the area that controls its movements. The pulses are aimed at area the size of a grain of rice that controls the rat's tail. It starts to wag.

It works more than 94% of the time: Whenever a human looks at the flickering lights, the rat's tail almost always starts to wag just over a second later.

Young writes: "The volunteer is basically flicking a switch in the rat's brain between two positions--move tail, and don't move tail. But it is still an impressive early example of something we will see more of in coming years--a way to connect between two living brains."

The next question is: Will someone be able to control US one day, using a computer? It would be far more subtle than the ranting and raving that dictators have used in the past--in fact, most of us probably wouldn't even know it was happening (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to BOTH of these these incredible shows).



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