Linking Brains

Recently, research has been carried out in North Carolina at the Duke University Medical Centre in which the brains if three monkeys was connected, forming a living computer. Through this and brain-machine interfaces, they can carry out tasks such as controlling machines and prosthetic limbs purely with the thought of their brains. This can be done as the computer translates the brain’s electrical impulses into it’s own language that it can use.

In the experiment of linking monkeys brains, they isolated one dimension of movement of a mechanical arm to each monkey (for example, one monkey can control its vertical movement and the others it’s horizontal) , the goal was that the monkeys work together to move the arm to a dot on the screen. Amazingly, they were able to coordinate to carry out this task forming a super-brain.

So what benefits does this hold for humans?

Unfortunately, the methods used currently are ethically inappropriate to use on humans as they are invasive, however when non invasive methods are created, things like different languages need not exist. This is because a person could send their thoughts from them to another persons brain in a manner that isn’t represented by sound or words. Also, it could lead to an elevation in the quality of mathematics, we could connect the brightest mathematical minds to solve complex problems. However, it also has a medical use. It can be used in surgery; generally, only one surgeon in a surgical team uses the scalpel to operate on a patient, however like the monkeys did with the prosthetic arm, various team members could coordinate to control the procedure.

However, there are disadvantages;

Thoughts that don’t want to be shared can be shared unintentionally, this could be detrimental as everyone has thoughts that they don’t really want shared with others.

It may be possible for one person to manipulate the brains of others again which could could lead to some unsafe situations.

Medical advances as such are an extremely exciting prospect, it would be amazing to see how far we are in ten’s and even in hundred’s of years.

Look forward to posting again!


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