Scientists are coming up with some very crazy experiments lately. Anything involving the human brain is always met with a fair bit of skepticism. However, a new project by Harvard researchers allows humans to control animals with their thoughts. It sounds quite impressive, although animal right activists may have concerns about this project. Regardless, a brain-to-brain interface could have some interesting consequences.
Creating a brain-to-brain interface between humans and animal sound rather cruel, to say the least. Every animal has its own brain and is more than capable of making its own decisions accordingly. Researchers at Harvard University however, feel now is the time to introduce a non-invasive solution to link a human brain with that of an animal. More specifically, a rat, in this particular trial. As the human brain constructs the proper thought, he can effectively control the rat’s tail movement.
From a scientific point of view, this is a major breakthrough very few people thought possible. Creating a telepathic connection between two different brains has never been done successfully prior to this. Brain-to-brain interfaces takes many years of research and development, without any guarantee of success. In the future, such a technology may allow for telepathic links between multiple humans. That being said, such a thought is rather alarming.
Modern sensors are capable of recording thoughts and interpreting than in such a way it can be used to issue “commands.” It is somewhat easier for a computer to figure out what a human is thinking, but things are vastly more complicated when humans need to interpret a computer. Additionally, injecting new thoughts into a human brain is borderline brainwashing, a technique often explored during the World Wars and the Cold War. None of these efforts were successful, though.
Having the power to control a rat’s tail with your mind may not sound all that interesting to a lot of people. However, this demonstrates major progress being made with regards to human-to-animal and brain-to-brain interfaces. Do keep in mind the recipient of the “commands” still needs to be equipped with the proper technology to translate the human brain’s thought into proper information.
Thankfully, this new interface developed by Harvard researchers is non-invasive. Instead, the technology allows researchers to control a specific region of neurons in the rat’s brain through ultrasound signals. While the poor rat may not necessarily appreciate its tail being moved around without being in control of one’s thoughts, it will not cause any harm to the animal either. There will undoubtedly be some backlash from animal activist groups regarding these experiments, though.
For now, the researchers will work on transmitting more complex ideas from humans to rats. Later stages of development may see a connection between two human brains to see how that works. Bidirectional sharing of thoughts and ideas is still a few years, if not decades, away. Furthermore, there are still a lot of ethical dilemmas which need to be taken into account as well. It is an interesting technology, but not one that should be abused for any reason whatsoever.
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