A group of scientists from Duke University in North Carolina, USA, have linked together the brains of three monkeys. Using their collective brainpower, the animals were able to control an avatar arm together.
Miguel Nicolelis, professor of neurobiology and biomedical engineering at Duke University and lead researcher on the project, is a pioneer in the field of mind-controlled prosthetic limbs and exoskeletons. He believes his latest research points towards a future of organic computing and collective communication bordering on telepathy.
“Essentially we created a super-brain,” Nicolelis said. “A collective brain created from three monkey brains. Nobody has ever done that before.” Preempting negative reactions to his work, he added, “We’re conditioned by movies and Hollywood to think that everything related to science is dangerous and scary. These scary scenarios never crossed my mind and I’m the one doing the experiments.”
Anders Sandberg, a neuroethics researcher at the University of Oxford, lauded Nicolelis’ work, saying, “People have claimed digital telepathy in various cool demos, but it’s mostly been total hype,” he said. “I’m quite impressed by this. It has a high ‘gosh’ factor.”
Nicolelis and his team performed a similar feat involving the brains of four rats, during which they synchronised their neuronal activity and collaborated to solve a simple weather forecasting problem that alone was beyond them.
Thank you The Guardian for providing us with this information.