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A rat completed trained tasks and would transmit the answer to another rat

Duke University scientists have brought us a step closer to telepathy by training connected rats in a laboratory setting.

The Duke team, led by neurobiologist Miguel Nicolelis, were able to wire the brains of two rats together and allow them to send information this way in order to complete desired tasks.

Here's how it works: two rats were trained to press one of two levers when a certain light was turned on. One rat was considered the "encoder" while the other was the "decoder."


In the experiment, the two rats were connected via tiny electrodes once they were trained to understand the task. The encoder was able to see the particular light flash on and was responsible for hitting the correct lever. The decoder, which could not see the lights flash, had to hit the correct lever based on the signal transmitted from the encoder (which came from the electrical activity in the encoder rat's brain).

To make sure the results showed that the decoder was actually making decisions based on the encoder's brain activity, the researchers also hooked the decoder up to a computer to receive similar stimulation. The results were very alike.

According to results (when the decoder was connected to the encoder), the decoder hit the correct lever about 64 percent of the time, but sometimes as high as 72 percent. The study said this was much more accurate than if the decoder had done this by chance.


A second experiment tested to see if the encoder could send the decoder information about touch. To do this, both rats were trained to stick their noses through an opening and use their whiskers to identify the opening as wide or narrow. If it was wide, the rats had to poke a computer port on their right. For narrow, to the left.

After training, the rats were once again hooked up, and when the encoder rat chose the correct port, it was sent to the decoder rat. The decoder rat then chose the correct port 60 to 65 percent of the time.

To make it a little more interesting, the team then offered the encoder rat an additional treat if the decoder rat made the correct decision. This upped the encoder rat's accuracy, and even made the signal in its brain clearer.

This study was published in Nature.

Source: Nature



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Not Telepathy....
By TheEinstein on 3/4/2013 8:56:24 AM , Rating: 3
Just a functional brain to brain landline. The system is not even wireless! Bah!

Dial-up is so 1990's




RE: Not Telepathy....
By retrospooty on 3/4/2013 9:25:36 AM , Rating: 2
Your decoder rat called... He said to tell you "EEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAA"


RE: Not Telepathy....
RE: Not Telepathy....
By retrospooty on 3/4/2013 9:56:10 AM , Rating: 2
LOL... That is exactly what I was thinking about. Later in that episode Kramer asks if he got any messages. Elaine says yes, and gets close to his ear as if to whisper and then yells. "EEEEEEAAAAAAAAA"


RE: Not Telepathy....
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 3/4/2013 10:26:32 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I was looking for THAT particular clip, but this was the first one I could find in a pinch :)

But you're right, Elaine "delivering" the messages was pure gold as Kenny would say :)


RE: Not Telepathy....
By retrospooty on 3/4/2013 10:43:54 AM , Rating: 2
Even funnier was this exchange... After already giving out Elaine's # for his faxes...

KRAMER: Listen. Heads up, Elaine. I'm gonna have to stop by later and pick up a fax.
ELAINE: I don't have a fax machine.
KRAMER (to Elaine) Are ya sure you don't have one? Because there's a lot of stuff in my apartment I've never seen.
ELAINE: Then maybe you have a fax machine.
KRAMER: You just blew my mind.


RE: Not Telepathy....
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 3/4/2013 10:56:25 AM , Rating: 2
I still think that two of the funniest "phone" moments on Seinfeld were:

1) Jerry pwns the telemarketer who doesn't like people calling him at home
2) When Kramer calls Puddy about the in-shower disposal, and Puddy is just staring off into space on the couch before the phone rings and answers it.

I don't know why, but that just cracks me the hell up every single time :)


RE: Not Telepathy....
By retrospooty on 3/4/2013 12:05:37 PM , Rating: 2
LOL So many insane moments like that.

Kramer and Newman making Sausages in Jerrys kitchen and that goofy jingle playing in the background is one that stick in my head.


sensationalist titles
By invidious on 3/4/2013 10:16:38 AM , Rating: 4
The title makes it seem like the story is about scientists discovering that rats do this naturally. When the story is clearly about scientists enabling the rats to communicate telepathically. I hate "journalists".




RE: sensationalist titles
By invidious on 3/4/2013 11:06:24 AM , Rating: 3
This is the first time my disgruntled ramblings about titles has ever been addressed. Thanks Tiff.


Ta-da!
By Motoman on 3/4/2013 11:17:06 AM , Rating: 3
Rat #1: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Rat #2: Yes.




Pinky...
By Zyph on 3/4/2013 3:56:59 PM , Rating: 3
Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?'

Uh, I think so, Brain, but where will we find a duck and a hose at this hour?




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