New York, April 10
Scientists have for the first time linked the brains of a human
and a rat, enabling the man to use just his thoughts to wiggle the
This is the first case of a brain-to-brain interface between
species, and the first example of a noninvasive brain-to-brain
interface, researchers claimed.
Earlier this year, scientists had linked together the brains of two rats.
This first known instance of a brain-to-brain interface apparently helped the rodents share data to accomplish certain
tasks, even across intercontinental distances, LiveScience reported.
the latest experiment, researchers from Harvard Medical School employed
noninvasive techniques to link the brains of a human and a rat. The man
had electrodes stuck onto his scalp that picked up brain-wave activity.
rat was placed in a machine that focused ultrasound pulses through its
skull to its brain, and was anesthetised so that it would not wriggle
its head during the experiment.
The volunteer had a video screen placed in front of him that displayed a flickering pattern of light.
If he paid attention to the screen, his brain waves would synchronise with the strobe light.
the man focused on the flickering pattern, that action signalled the
ultrasound to stimulate the part of the sleeping rat's brain responsible
for moving its body. In response, the rodent flicked its tail.
interface was accurate 94 per cent of the time, with a time delay of
only about 1.6 seconds from the moment the man initiated his intent to
the rat tail's wiggling."This is the first noninvasive attempt to
achieve a brain-to-brain interface," researcher Seung-Schik Yoo, a
neuroscientist and bioengineer at Harvard Medical School, told the
Yoo noted that brain-machine interfaces are getting
increasingly advanced over time, enabling people with paralysis to
control robot arms.
In the future, interspecies brain-to-brain interfaces could help search-and-rescue operations, Yoo
The study was published in the journal Plos One. — PTI