My name is Ari Einbinder. This is the journal of my travels into the realm of science and science education.
I've worked at science museums in NY (NYSCI and AMNH) and across Europe. Currently I'm studying "museology" (aka museum studies) at UW in Seattle, WA. I'm also one of Tumblr's Science Section
I discuss anything that fascinates me, but popular topics include evolution, transhumanism (e.g BCI), futurism, psychology, quantum computing, climate change, sustainability, genetic engineering and occasionally politics - to name a few.
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For a quick glance at previous posts, check out the Archive
Visit my website: RealCleverName.com
Had to report on this (x) amazing article (hat-tip: Nicole). I’ve been interested in Brain-Computer-Interfaces (BCI) for awhile, and Brain-Brain-Interfaces (BBI) are newer still. I know a few months ago they had a report about connecting two rats on different continents to help each-other solve mazes, but connecting a human with another species! That’s amazing. The potential is beyond words. Personally, I’m looking forward to the day when I can “plug into” a bird and feel the wind on “my face” as I fly over valley or a city and watch the people below…
Researchers at Harvard University have created the first noninvasive brain-to-brain interface (BBI) between a human… and a rat. Simply by thinking the appropriate thought, the BBI allows the human to control the rat’s tail. This is one of the most important steps towards BBIs that allow for telepathic links between two or more humans — which is a good thing in the case of friends and family, but terrifying if you stop to think about the nefarious possibilities of a fascist dictatorship with mind control tech…
We don’t have the power to move your fingers in a specific way — that would require knowing the brain’s encoding scheme — but we can make them jerk around…
With the EEG equipped, the BCI detects whenever the human looks at a specific pattern on a computer screen. The BCI then fires off a command to rat’s CBI, which causes ultrasound to be beamed into the region of the rat’s motor cortex that deals with tail movement. As you can see in the video above [see the link], this causes the rat’s tail to move. The researchers report that the human BCI has an accuracy of 94%, and that it generally takes around 1.5 seconds for the entire process…
Moving forward, the researchers now need to work on the transmitting of more complex ideas, such as hunger or sexual arousal… Finally, we’ll need to combine an EEG and FUS into a single unit, to allow for bidirectional sharing of thoughts and ideas. Human-to-human telepathy is the most obvious use, but what if the same bidirectional technology also allows us to really communicate with animals, such as dogs? There would be huge ethical concerns, of course, especially if a dictatorial tyrant uses the tech to control our thoughts — but the same can be said of almost every futuristic, transhumanist technology.
I can hardly believe it, but I graduated! I finished my Masters degree in Museology (aka Museum Studies) from the UW and will be job hunting soon for a good fit at a science museum.
My Masters thesis was about Science Cafes, which was a lot fun. Maybe I’ll write up a post or two about that.
Also, now that that’s all over, I hope to start posting here again a bit more regularly. (But can’t guarantee. Summertime in Seattle seems to suck you in!)
So that’s the update, Cheers! =]
Obama is in the news for mixing up star wars and star trek, but the big story is this recent report that scientists were able to connect the brains of two rats so that one could telepathically help answer riddles for the other. Oh, and they were able to do this with pairs of rats on different continents!
Yes, this is real.
…The results of these projects suggest the future potential for linking multiple brains to form what the research team is calling an “organic computer,” which could allow sharing of motor and sensory information among groups of animals…
To test the transmission limits of the brain-to-brain communication, the researchers placed an encoder rat in Brazil… and transmitted its brain signals over the Internet to a decoder rat in Durham, N.C. They found that the two rats could still work together on the tactile discrimination task….
Nicolelis added, “These experiments demonstrated the ability to establish a sophisticated, direct communication linkage between rat brains, and that the decoder brain is working as a pattern-recognition device. So basically, we are creating an organic computer that solves a puzzle.”
"… So, we are creating a single central nervous system made up of two rat brains," said Nicolelis. He pointed out that, in theory, such a system is not limited to a pair of brains, but instead could include a network of brains, or “brain-net.” …
"We cannot predict what kinds of emergent properties would appear when animals begin interacting as part of a brain-net. In theory, you could imagine that a combination of brains could provide solutions that individual brains cannot achieve by themselves," continued Nicolelis. Such a connection might even mean that one animal would incorporate another’s sense of "self," he said…