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Interspecies Telepathy: Human Thoughts Make Rat Move 2013-04-09 0:00
Telepathic control of another person’s body is a small step closer. By linking the technologies of two brain/computer interfaces, human volunteers were able to trigger movement in a rat’s tail using their minds.
Recently, researchers linked the brains of two rats so that they worked together to accomplish a task. Such techniques are unlikely to be applied to humans any time soon because they require invasive surgery to implant electrodes into the brain.
Now Seung-Schik Yoo of Harvard Medical School in Boston and colleagues have created a system that connects a human to a rat via a computer, without the need for the human or the rat to have brain implants.
The human volunteers wore electrode caps that monitored their brain activity using electroencephalography (EEG). Meanwhile, an anaesthetised rat was hooked up to a device that made the creature’s neurons fire whenever it delivered an ultrasonic pulse to the rat’s motor cortex.
When monitoring the human’s brain activity, the researchers looked for a specific EEG pattern known to correspond to visual stimulation. As the volunteers watched a strobe light blinking on a computer screen, the EEG wave synchronised to match the frequency of the strobe (see the "SSVEP" line on video, above).
But when they switched to concentrating on moving the rat’s tail, the change in their focus disrupted the EEG, triggering a signal to be sent to the computer. The computer translated this signal into an ultrasonic pulse, which stimulated the rat’s motor cortex, causing its tail to move. Using this system, all six of the volunteers were able to trigger movement in the rat’s tail with little difficulty.
Yoo says it should be possible for two humans to use a similar system in the foreseeable future. Such a system could, for instance, be used to help a paralysed person relearn to use their limbs by having their therapist initially move them with their mind.
But Ricardo Chavarriaga at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne and others say that while the experiment is an interesting application of the two technologies, linking them together does not reveal much about the ability to link two brains.
Because the rat was anaesthetised to isolate the effect of the intervention, he says it is not clear that the experiment realistically models what would happen if a conscious brain was stimulated this way.
Obama Arms ISIS-Linked Militants, Pushes Gun Control On Very Same Day 2015-10-07 6:19
President Obama authorized a shipment of guns to the Syrian opposition, a.k.a. ISIS-linked militants, on the exact same day he demanded more gun control in response to the Oregon shooting.
Even more shocking, Obama did the very same thing after the 2013 D.C. Navy Yard shooting.
The president approved the re-arming of the Syrian opposition, which predominantly consists of ISIS and its ...
'No Borders' Activist Gang Raped by Migrants, Pressured into Silence to not 'Damage Causeâ€™ 2015-10-07 6:37
Colleagues are alleged to have said that reporting the crime would set back their struggle for a borderless world.
The ‘No Borders’ activist had dedicated a month of her life to helping migrants. Her group was stationed between Italy and France in Ponte San Ludovico in Ventimiglia when the atrocity occurred, according to reports from local papers La Stampa and Il Secolo XIX, ...
Muslims Declare Jihad on Dogs in Europe 2015-10-07 3:18
A Dutch Muslim politician has called for a ban on dogs in The Hague, the third-largest city in the Netherlands.
Islamic legal tradition holds that dogs are "unclean" animals, and some say the call to ban them in Holland and elsewhere represents an attempted encroachment of Islamic Sharia law in Europe.
This latest canine controversy -- which the Dutch public has greeted ...
Islamic State 'blows up Palmyra arch' 2015-10-06 21:37
Palmyra's Arch of Triumph was built by the Romans in the second Century AD
Islamic State militants in northern Syria have blown up another monument in the ancient city of Palmyra, officials and local sources say.
The Arch of Triumph was "pulverised" by the militants who control the city, a Palmyra activist told AFP news agency.
It is thought to have been ...