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Telepathic rats communicate via computer

A lab at Duke University has taken us one step closer to mind-melding, using rats.

A lab at Duke University has taken us one step closer to mind-melding, using rats. Researchers trained a rat in Brazil to earn a reward. Next they attached that rat's brain to another rat in at Duke University through the always versatile Internet. The rat at Duke knew what to do with no training.

"The rat in North Carolina wasn't reading the mind of the rat in Brazil, it was more of a binary signal," says Slate Tech blogger Will Oremus. "So if the rat in Brazil pressed the lever on the right, a certain type of electrical signal would be sent to the brain of the rat in North Carolina and it learned to interpret that signal."

While we may still be a long way off from mind reading, the ability to send a simple signal from one brain to another brain, or from a brain to a computer is now here and could have vast applications for the medical field as well as other industries.

For example, last December a lab in Pittsburg helped a paralyzed woman feed herself chocolate with a robotic arm using similar technology, according to Oremus.

To hear more about the brain to computer communication, click on the audio player above.

 

 

About the author

Will Oremus is a tech blogger for Slate.

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