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Scientists create an ‘organic computer’ by interconnecting rats’ brains


Miguel Nicolelis, neurobiologist at Duke University Medical Center has been able to successfully create a ‘Brainet’ by interconnecting brains of four rats with the help of his team.

This ‘Brainet’ has been created by wiring together the brains of the four rats with the help of microscopic electrodes that were implanted directly to the cortex region of the rodent’s brains. After the being interconnected, each rat was able to exchange information with the other rats in real-time.

Collectively using the ‘Brainet’, the rodents were able to successfully solve computational problems such as image processing, storing, and recalling information. They were even able to predict precipitation.

The research team also networked the brains of two groups of monkeys that were made to sit in separate rooms and shared the neural waves. The monkeys were then allowed to control the arm of a virtual monkey displayed on a screen. One monkey controlled one direction of travel while the other controlled the movement on a different axis. Together, the monkeys were able to coordinate and control the arm of the virtual monkey on screen.

The ‘Brainet’ helped rodents predict the chance of rain with an accuracy of 41 percent, better than what a single rodent could manage. Nicolelis believes that their research could help in the development of devices that will be capable of restoring normal life to a patient with severe brain disorder. He and his team are currently working on finding a noninvasive ways to interconnect human brains.

Source: Engadget

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