Scientists create 'sixth sense' brain implant to detect infrared light
Although the light could not be seen lab rats were able to detect it via electrodes in the part of the brain responsible for their sense of touch.
Similar devices have previously been used to make up for lost capabilities, for example giving paralysed patients the ability to move a cursor around the screen with their thoughts.
But the new study, by researchers from Duke University in North Carolina, is the first case in which such devices have been used to give an animal a completely new sense.
Dr Miguel Nicolelis said the advance, reported in the Nature Communications journal this week, was just a prelude to a major breakthrough on a "brain-to-brain interface" which will be announced in another paper next month.
Sources and more information:
Researchers have given rats the ability to "touch" infrared light, normally invisible to them, by fitting them with an infrared detector wired to microscopic electrodes implanted in the part of the mammalian brain that processes tactile information. The achievement represents the first time a brain-machine interface has augmented a sense in adult...
( via telegraph.co.uk )
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