Scientists give rat brains ability to communicate across continents

Earlier this month we told you about an experiment that gave lab rats the ability to sense infrared light. Now, in a new development from the very same lab, researchers have been able to give rats the ability to establish brain-to-brain communications via electronic cables. 

In a paper published by the journal Scientific Reports, scientists were able to connect one rat's brain in the U.S. to another's in Brazil, allowing for the transfer of sensory information. The test used one rat as an encoder of a specific reward command, and the other as a decoder of that same command, effectively proving the viability of cross-continental brain-to-brain communications.

And while the experiment may seem like something from a sci-fi horror story, lead researcher Professor Miguel Nicolelis from the Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina believes this development will be replicated with humans in the near future. Nicolelis told the BBC, "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… I truly believe that in a few decades… we will know what it is to communicate in that way." 

So whether you call it a hive mind or bionic telepathy, it appears there may indeed come a time when humans exchange messages brain-to-brain across the globe as easily as we send email today, assuming this research continues on its current path. You can see a brief demonstration of the experiment in the video below. 

Via Scientific Reports and BBC

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