New technology lets humans control animal brains wirelessly

This is proof we already live in a dystopian world.


Neuroscientists from Zhejiang University, China, have developed a technology that allows humans to control rats using the brain-brain interface. Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) have been around for a while, allowing humans to send an instruction to a computer using only their minds.


This works by taking an electroencephalogram (EEG) cap which picks a neural activity from inside and training a computer to recognize the signals from the brain. These patterns are then converted into an action of some kind.

BCIs work best when the user is thinking about binary choices like navigating. It also works well when the user thinks of making a move. This could be of great help for people with disabilities or paralysis.

Once BCIs were established, it was possible to set up an interface with a brain to control and use a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to convey signals to a receiving brain.

What's new with the latest study is the use of similar technology to connect a human brain with an animal's brain. Dubbed "rat cyborg," the researchers had to use an EEG cap on a human to detect instructions for movements and send the signals directly to the brain of the rat.

After the researchers trained the rats, the stimulation signals to motor movements, the simulation signals could be sent with any wires using Bluetooth and the rats would follow the directions.

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