Two Bodies, One Mind

http://www.healthline.com/health-news/tech-brain-to-brain-interface-lets-rats-in-different-countries-communicate-071213

Written by Rachel Barclay

This is an interesting article about a study that let two rats telepathically send information from across the world with the help of implanted devices in the two rats’ brains. It is very much related to the topic of Technology implemented in the brain. This experiment is the one of the first of many steps to creating cyborgs and utilizing electronic telepathy that may one day be for humans. The possibility of such an invention for humans could change our lives drastically.

For the experiment, scientists implanted an array of electrodes into each pair of mice’s brains. One of the two mice played the “encoder” role while the other played the “decoder.”  Both mice were given a task to be performed and would each receive a reward when it was completed it successfully. The first mouse to be tested was the decoder. From the decoder mouse’s actions, specific brain activity occurred, which was recorded by the electrode array installed in its brain. This then transmitted to the encoder mouse’s brain, which allowed the mouse to complete the activity faster and more accurately than it would have without the telepathic signals. This is a result of the encoder mouse copying the decoder mouse’s brain activity.

What was even more fascinating was that the two mice had the ability to “strengthen the telepathic bond” between them by aligning their senses to each other to transfer information clearer after learning that working together would get them better rewards. The longer the animals worked together, the faster they were at collaborating to solve problems.

This discovery has such great potential for humankind as we are getting closer to advancing prosthetics. ” It suggests that humans might able to not only learn to control a robotic limb, but also remap their brains to receive sensory information from the limb itself.”

Questions:

1. If technological telepathy was possible, how exactly would that change our laws, lifestyles, and methods to learning?

2. What part(s) of the brain actually receives and processes the telepathic signals?

3. What did it feel like to have those transmitted signals come into the mice’s minds? Did the mice feel like they had enough brain power to ignore the incoming signals? Or were they forced upon them so much that they had to obey them?

4. If humans were tested instead of mice, would the information transmitted be in the form of pictures, feelings, and/or words? Did the mice receive feelings or pictures?

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