Rats Communicate from Brazil to U.S.

Brain to Brain

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Duke University Medical

Clinical research studies at Duke University Medical Center, led by Professor Miguel A. Nicolelis who is a professor of neurobiology, have successfully proven that rats can communicate when an electrode is implanted in the rats.

One of the encoder rats is located at the University of Natal, Brazil and the decoder rat is located at Duke University. This is medical research that has enormous implications in the future. The professor thinks we may learn to communicate with each other telepathically. It sure would be different if we had no need to talk, just think. This research is reported in the Journal Scientific Reports.

Professor Miguel A. Nicolelis

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Facts of This Medical Research

The research team had discovered in previous studies that the rat brain would adapt easily to input devices outside the body, and they also learned to process infrared light that is invisible, which is generated by artificial sensors. Then, the question became could the brain also “assimilate information input from sensors from a different body”.

Initially, the pair of rats was trained to solve simple problem. When they pressed the correct lever, which was indicated by an infrared light above the lever, they received a reward of water. Then, the scientist connected an array of microelectrodes, which were inserted into the area of the brain that processes motor information. These microelectrodes used in the rodents were about one hundredth of the diameter of a human hair.

Medical Study Procedure

One rat was designated the encoder rodent, and the other rate was the decoder rodent. Therefore, the job of the first rat, located in Brazil, was to press the lever to receive water. The electrical activity from this encoder rat’s brain was translated into a signal, which was received by the decoder rat. This rat pushed his lever, but his lever did not have a light. As there was no light, this rat had to receive and interpret the signal to know which lever to push. The decoder rat chose the right lever, which would be on the left or the right, 70 percent of the time.

In addition, when the decoder rat was incorrect, the encoder rat did not get a full reward. Therefore, the encoder rat actually changed its brain function to make the task easier for the decoder rat. This process is referred to as “behavioral collaboration” between the rats. Clearly, the encoder rat was motivated to get that extra reward. This teaching process took 45 days of training for one hour daily.

One Rat with Electrodes

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Clinical Trial Studies Results

What is the implication of these results? The scientists believe it will be possible to connect literally millions of brains to tackle the same problem, thus sharing a solution. Professor Nicolelis has stated that this idea could extend to humans. He said one day we may be able to communicate with each other through telepathy. The professor further stated, “We will have a way to exchange information across millions of people without using keyboards or voice recognition devices or the type of interfaces that we normally use today. He predicts this happening over the next few decades.

Rats Connected

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The Human Brain

Obviously, the scientist will have to develop non-invasive technology for sharing information between brains. Informed consent is another important aspect as well. Can you imagine how bombarded some people’s brains would be if everyone could communicate withput speaking?World leader or maybe CEOs of big companies would surely get more input than they desire

Future of this Clinical Study

One of the other discoveries in this study was the decoder rat’s brain represented its tactile cortex, not only for his own whiskers, but also the encoder’s whiskers. The rat actually responded to “both sets of whiskers, which means that the rat created a representation of a second body on top of its own." These adaptations have led to a new field of study, named Neurophysiology of social interaction.

The researches plan to record 2,000 brain cell signals at one time. Over the next five years they hope to record electrical brain signals being produced simultaneously for 10-30,000 cortical neurons. If they can accomplish this, they will be able to learn more about neuroprostheses, similar to the Walk Again Project. This project for paralyzed people was founded to restore motor control. This project received a $20,000,000 grant from a Brazil research facility for development of the first exoskeleton that is brain controlled. They will present a demonstration of the technology at the 2014 Soccer World Cup in Brazil

Rats mind-reading technology: Scientists create 'telepathic' connection

Implications of Brain Studies

Do you think that these types of studies will lead to great advancements for human beings to communicate?

  • I think that is very possible, but it will take quite a while.
  • I think it may be possible, but not really probable.
  • I do not think that ever will occur.
  • I think there will be many medical advance, but maybe not in communication between people.
See results without voting

Conclusion

The implications of this work are fascinating. They are very likely to cure paralysis in the decade. The studies on the human brain may lead to a cure for epilepsy and a myriad of other diseases. The other aspects regarding communicating are also fascinating to consider. Scientists are making great strides in understanding the brain and how it functions.

Do you feel like you learned anything from this hub?

5 out of 5 stars from 9 ratings of Brain Study with Rats

© 2013 Pamela Oglesby

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Comments 46 comments

CurrentScience303 3 years ago from HighPoint, N.C.

I've heard about this! Also, there are plans for {I believe by 2014c.e.??}, to, via an "exoskeleton" (a electrode-body-suit controlled by the mind), have a paralyzed person: walk out unto the football {soccer} field as part of the Opening Ceremonies of the Brazilian World-Cup! Sounds Very Ambitious, for that soon of a demo-date, {I doubt something of that caliber will be even close to a demo, until the year 2020c.e., or beyond}. But: Ambitious to say the least!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Current Science, It very exciting research. I appreciate your comments.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Wow, Pamela, this is almost like sci-fi, but not. How interesting and fascinating. I am reminded of Spock on Star Trek communicating from his brian to another's, except this may one day be reality! Wow, a little scary too.

Voted up +++ and sharing (sharing buttons not showing up at the moment, will return)

Blessings, Faith Reaper


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Really this is incredible. I have always believed that we have just scratched the surface of what human beings are capable of doing. Great job here Pamela. Loved the information.


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Pam. Fascinating and very exciting. I had not heard about this. Thank you for sharing this with us.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

Well, that's the end of telling falsehoods and lies, Pamela. If we begin to communicate just by thinking instead of talking, maybe our communications might be more truthful. It would also be the end of politics as we know it. And 'Enquirer-type' magazines.

Fascinating experiments - thanks for the newsflash. Voted way up!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Billy, I have thought the same thing, bit I haven't noticed any of those skills in my life. I do think they are finally learning amazing things about the brain. Thanks so much for your comments.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

bdeguillo, I am glad you enjoyed the hub, and appreciate your comments.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

drbj, That is so true and you would have to be careful not to have negative thoughts when you were talking to someone through your thoughts. Truthful would certainly be a different role for politicians. Thanks so much for your comments.


Vickiw 3 years ago

Wow, Pamela, this is really interesting information. Sometimes I think it is all too rapid for me to really absorb. We have such brilliant brains at work in the science world today. These developments are just so rapid. I give you kudos for keeping up with it all. Voted up and I


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

vickiw, We really do have brilliant minds at work, and I love learning about their research. The changes are a lot to take in. Thanks so much for your comments.


farmloft profile image

farmloft 3 years ago from Michigan

Very hopeful for exoskeleton! That will be wonderful. The good things that can happen are worth the risk, hopefully.


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 3 years ago from United States

Interesting read, Pamela

We are lucky to have mice as guinea pigs for mankind's survival.

Voted up as interesting, useful.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

This is amazing. I would love to be alive one hundred years from now just to see the technology. This was very interesting Pam. I always appreciate your articles, you bring us the latest scientific news, i like that. Voted up...


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

farmloft, I hope you are right. I think there are a multitude of good things that can result from this research. Thanks so much for your comments.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Ruchira, I had not thought about that, but you are right. I read where the rats brain was more "plastic" that scientist first thought. Since I didn't really know what that meant I did not include that term in my article. I appreciate your comments.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Ruby, I imagine that we wouldn't even recognize the world 100 years from now as to advances in the medical field and in many other ways also. Thanks for your comments.


jainismus profile image

jainismus 3 years ago from Pune, India

Interesting..................


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

Very interesting and intriguing. Not sure I want people reading my thoughts however. As with so many incredible discoveries and inventions, there is the opportunity for abuse.

Great hub, and very interesting!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

jainismus, Thanks for your comment.

Au fait, Yes, I am not sure I would like that either. I do like the fact that they may be able to cure paralysis and maybe other diseases of the brains. Thank you for your comments.


Roberta99 profile image

Roberta99 3 years ago

This is a very interesting hub. I think it will be very interesting to see the future advances.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Roberta, Thank you so much for your comments.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 3 years ago

Yes, I learned a great deal from your hub. I have faith in the future of medicine and see a time when we are able to reverse and cure crippling diseases. As far as communicating without actually speaking is concerned, I think we already do that! Voted up, interesting and awesome.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Pop, I think you may be right about communication, at least to some extent. I look forward to medicine curing crippling diseases also. Thank you for your comments.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa

Amazing! This info provokes excitement as well as fear. In the hands (brains) of evil people 'telepathic' connections could have disastrous results.

But if this could lead to a cure for epilepsy and a myriad of other diseases, the pros would surpass all cons.

Definitely 5 out of 5 stars for this hub, Pamela :)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Marti, Those are the same emotions I experienced when researching this article. I agree that the pros beat the cons. Thanks so much for your comments.


glendoncaba profile image

glendoncaba 3 years ago from Somewhere in the hubverse

Your vote options need to accommodate: I think it is possible because of the capacity of the human brain and is already happening.

Remember that there are pre industrial cultures where people can tell you what is happening miles away and nothing magical just the power of the brain.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

glendoncaba, That vote option is a good suggest. Thank you for your comments.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

You have really written an interesting article here. I love keeping up with what is happening with research in regards to human interest. Wow, how fascinating this study is and I hope that it proves helpful in solving paralysis. Voted up.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Dianna, I hope so too.I'm glad you enjoyed the article. Thank your so much for your comments.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida

With so many advances in science just in the last 30 years, it is just a matter of time till this is possible. And from your article, it seems sooner than later. What a life changing new tool this will be. This was quite an interesting article, Pamela.

Voted up++++

Sending Angels to you today :)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Patricia, It does seem that things are moving very quickly. Thank you so much for the comments and the angels. God bless you.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Pamela,

This type of scientific experimentation is exciting when thinking about the possible applications someday. This made me think of the Star Trec series and the Borg who were all linked together as one mind unit. Isn't it funny how science fiction writers often envision things far in advance of what is discovered later to be possible or even true. Flying in space, black holes etc, come to mind. UUI votes and will share.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Peggy, It is amazing how sci fi writers do write the future quite often. The new discoveries are amazing. Thanks so much for your comments.


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California

This was a fascinating experiment, and the potential benefits of this research are incredible. Thanks for sharing it here.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Deborah-Diane, I agree completely. Thanks so much for your comments.


Amber Allen profile image

Amber Allen 3 years ago

Hi Pamela

So much of our communication is non verbal and often what we say and what we communicate through our body language are two totally different things. I wonder whether telepathy would be able to pick and relay the non verbal messages.

This was a very interesting article and the applications of this technology could be of huge benefit but I'm not really sure that our brains could work in unison to solve a problem. Just getting three people to agree what to have for lunch is a huge achievement!!

Amber:)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Amber, I think you may be right about working in unison, however, this is a huge advance and I think it may lead to some amazing technology. Thanks so much for your comments.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

What a fantastic article; sorry I missed it. Passing it on for others who may have missed it! ^+


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 2 years ago from United States Author

Jackie, I was quite fascinated when I read about this technology and really wanted to share it. Thanks for your comments and the share.


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 2 years ago from Brazil

I absolutely believe this is possible. If you read Napoleon Hill's work, he touches on this subject when he speaks about Andrew Carnegie.

Your first commentor said it wasn't possible to have that demostration at the World Cup yet it did happen.


Relationshipc profile image

Relationshipc 2 years ago from Alberta, Canada

It's quite amazing at how much there is we still don't understand, and how much we are still finding out about this life. This is why I don't understand how so many people can be close-minded to new theories and possibilities.


SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image

SANJAY LAKHANPAL 2 years ago from Mandi (HP) India

This research would unravel several mysteries in parapsychology too, which has so far been referred to as pseudo science.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 2 years ago from United States Author

Blond Logic, I believe that we are going to see many remarkable advancements in the future that we haven't even considered at this time. This experiment is fascinating to me. I agree with your comments and appreciate them.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 2 years ago from United States Author

Relationship, It truly is amazing to see new technology unfold and who knows where it will all end. I don't understand why people aren't a bit more open minded to the possibilities either. I very much appreciate your comments.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 2 years ago from United States Author

Sanjay, Yes, I think that is true. Thank you for your comments.

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