Real Clever Science

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 editors.

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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Tue Mar 5

Speaking of “Jedi Mind-Meld”

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.

RCS Highlights:

…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…