Who moved my cheese? How about who moved my tail? This past spring, a team of researchers successfully linked the brains of a human and a rat, such that a human participant was able to move a rat’s tail with only his thoughts. Through a noninvasive approach, Yoo et al. used an image of a flashing strobe light to prompt specific brain signals in the human participant, which were then translated into the appropriate neural stimulus for the rat, and thus invoke the movement of the rat’s tail. Methodologically, Yoo et al. were able to achieve this brain-to-brain interface by successfully translating, computer recorded, EEG signals of the human brain into a transcranial focused ultrasound (FUS) burst, which stimulated the area in the rat’s motor cortex corresponding to tail movement. Though Yoo and colleagues acknowledge the potential for brain-to-brain communication between humans, they approach expanding upon mind control technology with caution, as further advancements pose questions of ethics that remain unanswered.
- Yoo S-S, Kim H, Filandrianos E, Taghados SJ, Park S (2013) Non-Invasive Brain-to-Brain Interface (BBI): Establishing Functional Links between Two Brains.PLoS ONE 8(4): e60410.