Feeds

Boffins place living creature under control of brain chip

Hooray! Monkey butlers at last! Well, rodent butlers

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Boffins at Tel Aviv University have successfully implanted an artificial cerebellum into the skull of a rat with brain damage and restored its ability to move.

The cerebellum is the part of the brain that coordinates movements and it has a relatively straightforward neuronal architecture, which is why the researchers chose it for replication.

They analysed brainstem signals going into a real cerebellum and the signals sent out in response, and used that information to make a synthetic version on a chip that's wired into the rat brain using electrodes.

In order to test the chip, the scientists removed the cerebellum from a rat and then tried to teach the rodent to blink when it heard a certain tone, trying with and without the electronic cerebellum hooked up.

When the rat had its robo-brain plugged in, it was able to learn the new behaviour.

"It's a proof of the concept that we can record information from the brain, analyse it in a way similar to the biological network, and then return it to the brain," says Professor Matti Mintz, of TAU's department of psychology, who recently presented his research at the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence meeting in Cambridge.

Brain implants could eventually be developed to replace tissue that's been damaged by stroke or debilitating diseases, or restore learning processes that decline with age - or even, drawing upon terrifying science fiction, enhance healthy brain function. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.