One rat brain 'talks' to another using electronic link

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posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 12:14 AM
Getting The Message

reply to post by Phage

"Ominous" is in the mind of the beholder, but the potential for mischief in the case of direct brain-to-brain communication is nothing new in fiction or here on ATS.

Regarding the use of the word "communication", it's a very broad term which has a variety of specific meanings depending on context or specialty, but fundamentally involves a transfer of information at some level:

Wikipedia: Communication communication

"Information" is likewise a very broad term which can be affected by context:

Wikipedia: Information information

In the barest sense, if some form of information has been transferred from one entity to another in some manner, whether in the form of a single energy state transition at a subatomic level or in the form of Tolstoy's War and Peace via the printed word, communication has occurred.

Sorry if all those cites come across as pedantic, but if we're working under different definitions, we'll tend to get our signals crossed.

Ratted Out

As for how all that applies to the experiments in question, I would first like to emphasize that years of ATS membership have made me quite a skeptic myself, so I'm definitely not suggesting anything wrong with allowing for the possibility that the researchers used improper methodologies, misinterpreted their findings, misrepresented their findings or that the whole thing may just be one big lie.

One never truly knows.

With that disclaimer in mind, if what the researchers are claiming is, in fact, what they observed, then the evidence of some form of communication is actually rather strong. Even if it's just getting one rat to press a lever at the right time, let alone the right lever, that requires communication.

For that matter, a light flashing on or off is, itself, a form of communication. If it conveys information of some kind, however, crude, that's what it is.

Your own assertions about the use of classical condition techniques assume communication as well, since a stimulus is itself a form of communication, hence my vociferous objections to asserting communication is not occurring.

Reading Minds

In any case, I do think referring to the activities of the BTBI as "telepathy" is not supported by the evidence. However, the evidence for effective electronic interfaces with brains is voluminous and supported by decades of experiments, not just this one.

Of greatest interest to me in this case is the authors' inference that the rats' behavior may involve neuroplastic adaptation through the BTBI, because that mechanism would compensate to some extent for the individual variations you've mentioned between different brains. The need for such a mechanism has posed one of the greater challenges in developing direct-brain interfaces so far.

On that, I would like to point out that neuroscience has already identified a great deal of similarities among brains, including where various activities occur (such as sensory perception, motor control, etc.) and the significance of different kinds of signals detected by electrodes. While "decoding" them is still a very nascent combination of art and science, there has been progress with that as well.

So in a sense, a couple of rats learning to work together via an electronic direct-brain link is actually unremarkable from a neuroscience point of view, but does have broad implications and -- as you have suggested -- on a larger scale, potentially profound ramifications.

(Oh dear. It appears I've reverted to my rather infamous penchant for gratuitous verbosity. Abandon all hope.
edit on 3/3/2013 by Majic because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 12:32 AM
reply to post by Majic

(Oh dear. It appears I've reverted to my rather infamous penchant for gratuitous verbosity. Abandon all hope. )

Actually, once I got into the groove, I rather enjoyed it. Except for the dictionary part, that is.

Ok. Dictionary definition of communication applies. Even a form of cooperation if you want to go that far. However there was no volition involved in either case and the communication was strictly one way (the feedback being nothing more than an additional reward). Neither rat knew the other was there. The encoder only knew that by pushing a lever it would get a treat and that sometimes it would get a second treat (couldn't quite figure out why though). The decoder only knew that when it got a funny feeling and then pushed a lever it got a treat.

Conditioned responses elicited by a brain interface. Call it communication because the stimulus was produced by the encoder rats if you must. I don't think the feedback reward applies.

edit on 3/3/2013 by Phage because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 12:57 AM
Its Own reward

If we can agree that the transfer of stimuli through the BTBI constitutes communication, I can also agree that the interpretation of how the decoder rat's alleged feedback affected the behavior of the encoder rat is definitely debatable.

It could be argued that the results reported here could have been obtained if prerecorded signals from encoder rats had been used to guide the behavior of the decoder rats. Qualitative and quantitative observation of the behavior of the animals reveals that this is not at all the case. In both motor and tactile BTBI sessions we observed drastic changes in the behavior of encoder and decoder rats as soon as they started to work as part of a dyad.

The authors seem rather convinced of this and provide some evidence to support it, but it's not clear to me how or if they properly allowed for the effect of not getting an extra reward, in and of itself, changing the behavior of the encoder rat.

In other words, a rat will naturally tend to respond differently to one reward versus two, and I'm not sure the researchers adequately differentiated between the natural response versus BTBI feedback.

Then again, I may have missed it in all those pulse trains.

posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 01:34 AM
reply to post by Phage

For motor and sensory functions quite specific locations. Cognitive functions seem to be more widely dispersed and variable. Brains scans show that when a particular person thinks "apple" a particular region of the brain goes to work. Does the same effect happen with all people? The same region displaying the same pattern?

Yes!!!. They're finding that "Apple" lights up the same region in everyone. They are also finding that Autistic Savants with Miraculous-like abilities, have regions lit up, that are never ever lit in the average Joe. So now we'll enter soon into a period where average joe's will be able to "light up" the savant abilities, and this is when we will get HUGE breakthroughs. Imagine a million Einsteins collectively figuring stuff out. I'm digressing

You are the one who brought up scientific experimentation. Now you say it's not valid in this case? But without such experimentation, how do you suppose one would go about establishing that connection between microtubules and consciousness? Without repeatable experiments, how could any means of utilizing that connection be devised?

I'm not saying it's not valid. It is the most valid system we have to figure "things" out. But it has it's own sets of bias, filters, morals, budgets, politics, agendas, etc. Egotism in particular is a problem within science. I posted a thread about this in the science forum, by a scientist who witnessed how egotism is keeping us a few decades back to where we really could be by now. Compartmentalization and the Government locking down certain areas are both also keeping our progress slower.

I stand corrected. Have you performed the double slit experiment yourself then?

No I haven't. However, I have observed the records of others who have. Performing a double slit experiment myself is rather out of my hands resource wise. However performing law of attraction experiments, or experimenting with mediation where my own consciousness is the laboratory for example, are available and testable resource wise.

Forgot to mention the most craziest Irony ever in science. The study of consciousness itself was a taboo for a long time, until about 25 years ago. So we are behind in that area as oppose to general physics. Here's the kicker.

The scientific method depends on objectively observable results. "Objective" still relies on the "Subject and subjectivity," for without the Subject, there is no one there to Observe in the first place. Then you have the fact that ever individual experiences reality subjectively. Well what is this Subjectivity? When we figure out what the subject is, then we will unlock everything, including consciousness interfaces.

I'm not sure I buy into that entirely. I'm not much like the people at my workplace and I am very unlike my friends in many ways.

I mean in interests. If I adore chess, I will be around chess players and learn from them, be sharpened, like minded. If my law of attraction goal is to work with celebrities in the movie industry, as a passion, then I will figure out how to surround myself with people from that industry.

I didn't skew anything.

ah......never mind. You were implying the brain impulse signaling deal doesn't necessarily qualify as being considered a part of a brain to brain communication electronic link. Lost in translation. Forget it

What will these interfaces actually do?

u name it. Everything. Control everything with thought, mouse, internet, typing, phone calls, brain to brain communications, direct mind download learning.

Cool. I wonder what else could be done with it.

I'll be able to send you my direct perspective of something, like my take on a debate, or my memory of what a sunrise at a beach was like, or if you did me wrong, I can send you exactly how I feel about it now, etc. No more loss in translation

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