Two new studies have been made, showing that monkey brain networking is possible, along with those of rats. Certain advances have been made in linking a human mind to a computer database, but researchers claim that this could bring an entirely different way we approach mind networking.
Perhaps made more famously by the concept of co-operating cyborgs, which rarely ends well in science fiction, the practical uses and medical advancements in neurology could be endless.
To start, researchers have connected the brains of three monkeys through wiring and interfacing that made communication possible. Together, the monkeys were given control of a virtual arm displayed on a screen in front of them and required to perform a specific task. One animal controlled direction of up and down, another controlled left or right movement while the third was responsible for potential movement, such as back or forth.
Through the brain network linked among all three, the monkeys were successful in properly communicating among each other where they wanted to go and what they wanted to reach. When provided with rewards for their achievement, the efficiency substantially increased.
Over time, they managed to coordinate the action and movement of the single arm perfectly by communicating through the “brainnet”.
A similar, separate study was condoned on rats, where two of the rodents were linked together. Through electrical impulses, it enabled them to do things such as predict rain with a 41% accuracy, while a rat alone had a much lower percentage, and learn tricks.
One rat was trained to perform specific task while the brain activity was monitored. The second rat learned the same tricks much faster through the “brainnet” by directly sending the electrical impulses from one brain to another.
Researchers state that this is a big step in the development of treatments for several neurological problems. Patients suffering from stroke, epilepsy or other brain disorders could be properly healed through connecting them to impulses from a healthy brain.
The method could one day be non-intrusive, thus different from the brain implants we know to be used today.
The study can also find a use in technology and offer patients different, better control on prosthetic limbs. Perhaps a link between the brain and the new limb could help train it for improved and faster control.
The results bring hope in several areas of medicine, even if further research is needed. It could revolutionize treatments and perhaps cure brain disorders we now believe to be incurable.
Image source: thestack.com