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Lab Rats Given "Sixth Sense" 78

puddingebola writes "Researchers have given lab rats the ability to sense infrared light through a brain implant. From the article, 'They taught the rats to choose the active light source by poking their noses into a port to receive a sip of water as a reward. They then implanted the microelectrodes, each about a tenth the diameter of a human hair, into the animals' brains. These electrodes were attached to the infrared detectors. The scientists then returned the animals to the test chamber. At first, the rats scratched at their faces, indicating that they were interpreting the lights as touch. But after a month, the animals learned to associate the signal in their brains with the infrared source.'"
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Lab Rats Given "Sixth Sense"

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  • Re:It is not 6 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Guppy06 ( 410832 ) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @10:37PM (#42905329)

    Why is that stupid term "Sixth Sense" still used?

    About 3000 years or so of cultural heritage, combined with general apathy on the subject from the public at large. The alliteration doesn't hurt, either.

    Have fun tilting at those windmills.

  • by Lotana ( 842533 ) on Friday February 15, 2013 @01:33AM (#42906617)

    Only if you choose to see it this way.

    I see brain-computer interface as a monumental step to improving our lives. We can construct sensors for virtually every stimuli there is, but could never reach the level of comfort and impressiveness that our natural senses give us. But with this, imagine what we can do for those people that lose their limbs, eyes or suffer horrific burns to their skin. We may even be able to restore movement to people with paralysis!

    Imagine being able to interact with your desktop without risk of Repetitive Stress Injuries. Imagine having the ability to directly jack in to robots in hostile environments. Imagine what kind of augmentations we can add. This could even be first steps towards having a choice of immortality!

    Biotech is such a quickly developing area. It is a very exciting time to be alive! You just need to avoid focusing on only negatives. Every scientific development has both good and bad sides: Nuclear fission did bring us terrifying weapons, but also a source of energy.

  • Re:Can they get me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by camperdave ( 969942 ) on Friday February 15, 2013 @01:52AM (#42906757) Journal
    Children misbehaving? That's easy. Listen for a drop in the background noise levels. When they're quiet, they're up to something.

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.