Implanting information directly in the brain… So?

Two neuroscientists at the University of Rochester say they have managed to introduce information directly into the premotor cortex of monkeys. The researchers published the results of the experiment in the journal Neuron. Although the research is preliminary, carried out in just two monkeys, the researchers speculated that further research might lead to brain implants for people with strokes.

“You could potentially bypass the damaged areas and deliver stimulation to the premotor cortex”, said Kevin A. Mazurek, a co-author of the study. “That could be a way to bridge parts of the brain that can no longer communicate”.

Dr. Mazurek and his co-author, Dr. Marc H. Schieber, trained two rhesus monkeys to play a game. The monkeys sat in front of a panel equipped with a button, a sphere-shaped knob, a cylindrical knob, and a T-shaped handle. Each object was ringed by LED lights. If the lights around an object switched on, the monkeys had to reach out their hand to it to get a reward. (a refreshing squirt of water)

Each object required a particular action. If the button glowed, the monkeys had to push it. If the sphere glowed, they had to turn it. If the T-shaped handle or cylinder lit up, they had to pull it.

After the monkeys learned how to play the game, Dr. Mazurek and Dr. Schieber had them play a wired version. The scientists placed 16 electrodes in each monkey’s brain, in the premotor cortex. Each time a ring of lights switched on, the electrodes transmitted a short, faint burst of electricity. The patterns varied according to which object the researchers wanted the monkeys to manipulate. As the monkeys played more rounds of the game, the rings of light dimmed. At first, the dimming caused the monkeys to make mistakes. But then their performance improved.

Eventually the lights went out completely, yet the monkeys were able to use only the signals from the electrodes in their brains to pick the right object and manipulate it for the reward. And they did just as well as with the lights.

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This hints that the sensory regions of the brain, which process information from the environment, can be bypassed altogether. The brain can devise a response by receiving information directly, via electrodes. (1)

Another example which shows the main problem with all brain-related research: All experimental results will always be dependent of specific out-of-the-brain circumstances which will dictate how we interpret what happens inside the brain. Our analysis or our ways of affecting the brain will always be related to things the subjects do. We will never examine of affect the brain per se, independently of the environment or outside of the context of a “story” in which the subjects think of something and then do something.

The scientists did not inject any information directly into the brains of the monkeys. They created an experiment with the monkeys, they trained the monkeys, they gradually changed the experiment parameters and they at some point made the experiment work without the initial parameters present.

Sometimes you have to say things as they are. With no simplifications.

The devil lies hidden in the shadows of the details.

And science does an excellent work in playing in the dark…

While not believing in the devil, but in an imaginary enlightened man…

Yes, everything can be done. Everything can be affected.

But in the context of a cosmos in sync.

In the context of a universe in harmony.

You are not God.

Accept that.

And you will become one…

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