Neuroscientists at Duke University have introduced a new paradigm for brain-machine interfaces that investigates the physiological properties and adaptability of brain circuits, and how the brains of two or more animals can work together to complete simple tasks.
These brain networks, or Brainets, are described in two articles to be published in the July 9, 2015, issue of Scientific Reports. In separate experiments reported in the journal, the brains of monkeys and the brains of rats are linked, allowing the animals to exchange sensory and motor information in real time to control movement or complete computations.
In one example, scientists linked the brains of rhesus macaque monkeys, who worked together to control the movements of the arm of a virtual avatar on a digital display in front of them. Each animal controlled two of three dimensions of movement for the same arm as they guided it together to touch a moving target.
In the rodent experiment, scientists networked the brains of four rats complete simple computational tasks involving pattern recognition, storage and retrieval of sensory information, and even weather forecasting.
Brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) are computational systems that allow subjects to use their brain signals to directly control the movements of artificial devices, such as robotic arms, exoskeletons or virtual avatars.
The Duke researchers, working at the Center for Neuroengineering, have previously built BMIs to capture and transmit the brain signals of individual rats, monkeys, and even human subjects to artificial devices.
“This is the first demonstration of a shared brain-machine interface, a paradigm that has been translated successfully over the past decades from studies in animals all the way to clinical applications,” said Miguel Nicolelis, M.D., Ph. D., co-director of the Center for Neuroengineering at the Duke University School of Medicine and principal investigator for the study. “We foresee that shared BMIs will follow the same track, and could soon be translated to clinical practice.”
To complete the experiments, Nicolelis and his team outfitted the animals with arrays implanted in their motor and somatosensory cortices to capture and transmit their brain activity.
For one experiment highlighted in the primate article, researchers recorded the electrical activity of more than 700 neurons from the brains of three monkeys as they moved a virtual arm toward a target. In this experiment, each monkey mentally controlled two out of three dimensions (i.e., x-axis and y-axis; see video) of the virtual arm.
The monkeys could be successful only when at least two of them synchronized their brains to produce continuous 3-D signals that moved the virtual arm. As the animals gained more experience and training in the motor task, researchers found that they adapted to the challenge.
The study described in the second paper used groups of three or four rats whose brains were interconnected via microwire arrays in the somatosensory cortex of the brain and received and transmitted information via those wires.
In one experiment, rats received temperature and barometric pressure information and were able to combine information with the other rats to predict an increased or decreased chance of rain. Under some conditions, the authors observed that the rat Brainet could perform at the same level or better than one rat on its own.
These results support the original claim of the same group that Brainets may serve as test beds for the development of organic computers created by the interfacing of multiple animal brains with computers.
The Latest on: Brain-to-brain networks
via Google News
The Latest on: Brain-to-brain networks
- Brain scans could spot signs of Alzheimer’s years before symptoms beginon May 19, 2022 at 11:39 am
Brain scans could spot signs of Alzheimer's years before symptoms ... they are given to patients after the disease has taken hold. The choroid plexus is a network of blood vessels, connective tissue ...
- On the Edge of Chaos: Why Your Brain Balances on a High Wireon May 19, 2022 at 5:00 am
Your brain is constantly perched on the edge of chaos. And it's not because you're behind on 47 laptop updates or obsessing over that typo in an email you sent your boss. No, because even at your most ...
- Psychedelics: how they act on the brain to relieve depressionon May 19, 2022 at 4:51 am
Up to 30% of people with depression don’t respond to treatment with antidepressants. This may be down to differences in biology between patients and the fact that it often takes a long time to respond ...
- BrainChip partners with Edge Impulse for a platform that mimics the brainon May 18, 2022 at 11:40 pm
BrainChip and Edge Impulse want to address developers' goals to create smart devices by implementing AI/ML capabilities into their products.
- Energy-efficient AI hardware technology via a brain-inspired stashing systemon May 18, 2022 at 11:06 am
Researchers have proposed a novel AI system inspired by the neuromodulation of the brain, referred to as a "stashing system," that requires less energy consumption. The research group led by Professor ...
- Mapping Shows How the Brain Shrinks in Parkinson's Diseaseon May 18, 2022 at 1:23 am
A study has tracked the changes in brain volumes of Parkinson's patients over 8.8 years to provide a map of which parts of the brain change as the disease progresses.
- Volume of Choroid Plexus in Brain Linked to Alzheimer’s Diseaseon May 17, 2022 at 3:50 pm
Increased volume of an important structure in the brain called the choroid plexus is linked to greater cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study published today (May 17, ...
- How the Brain ‘Constructs’ the Outside Worldon May 17, 2022 at 12:41 am
Neural activity probes your physical surroundings to select just the information needed to survive and flourish ...
- How Repeated Trauma Affects the Adolescent Brain's "Triple Network"on May 12, 2022 at 2:28 am
Stress and trauma during adolescence can lead to long-term health consequences such as psychiatric disorders, which may arise from neurodevelopmental effects on brain circuitry.
- Effects of stress on adolescent brain's 'triple network'on May 11, 2022 at 9:44 am
Stress and trauma during adolescence can lead to long-term health consequences such as psychiatric disorders, which may arise from neurodevelopmental effects on brain circuitry. A new study in ...
via Bing News