Feeds

Boffins place living creature under control of brain chip

Hooray! Monkey butlers at last! Well, rodent butlers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
HUGE SHARK as big as a WWII SUBMARINE died out, allowing whales to exist
Who'd win a fight: Megalodon or a German battleship?
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
OK Google, do I have CANCER?
Company talks up pill that would spot developing tumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.