Quantcast

Duke researcher connects brain activity - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

What's Next

Duke researcher connects brain activity

Posted: Updated:
DURHAM, N.C. -

A Duke University neurobiologist is using rats to find ways to connect brain activity, research that could someday help human stroke victims.

For rats in the lab of Dr. Miguel Nicolelis, sharing brain waves is a reality.

"That's what I like to call the brain-net," Nicolelis said. "It's like the Internet, connected to brain activity directly."

He has achieved success after four years of research in connecting one rat's brain activity at Duke with another rat in Brazil.

He uses a micro-chip and electrodes come off of it. The electrodes are implanted into the brains of rats and the signals are linked via an Internet connection.

 "Once you record the signal, you transmit the signal to another animal," he said. "You inject that signal on the second animal's brain.

"Basically, you establish this one-to-one connection between one brain to another."

To test that connection, Nicolelis had the rats perform simple tasks, like using an infra-red light to encourage the rat to go either left or right. That's when the brain activity is sent from one rat to the other, telling the second to go left or right.

The rat is put to sleep during this and the process is totally painless, he said.

It's possible this process could help humans someday.

"If a patient has a lesion in the brain - a stroke - we may create electronic bypasses that basically reconnect structures that were disconnected by that lesion," Nicolelis said.

 Nicolelis now predicts linking the brains of multiple animals and creating an organic computer of knowledge.

The theory falls back on the idea two or more brains are better than one.

The rats connected 70 percent of the time, which researchers consider a success. Researchers are so optimistic they are already testing with monkeys with much more elaborate tasks – even avatar video games.

Melanie Sanders

Melanie anchors the 6 PM news. Her "What's Next" series features an engaging approach to storytelling and highlights the leaders in innovation who are shaping our future. Check it out HERE! More>>

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Woman impales herself on cemetery fence; says she was running from attacker

    Woman impales herself on cemetery fence; says she was running from attacker

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 2:53 PM EDT2014-07-23 18:53:18 GMT
    A woman claims she was running from an attacker and tried to jump a five foot fence when she became impaled. Firefighters had to use power saws and a grinding saw to cut her free, all while she was conscious. After 30 minutes she was transported to an area hospital for surgery to remove the spike sticking out of her thigh. It happened at Vine Cemetery in Hazleton. She said the nearest gate was locked. Witnesses backed...
    A woman claims she was running from an attacker and tried to jump a five foot fence when she became impaled. Firefighters had to use power saws and a grinding saw to cut her free, all while she was conscious. After 30 minutes she was transported to an area hospital for surgery to remove the spike sticking out of her thigh. It happened at Vine Cemetery in Hazleton. She said the nearest gate was locked. Witnesses backed...
  • 2 charged with first-degree murder in beating death of UNC professor, cancer researcher

    2 charged with first-degree murder in beating death of UNC professor, cancer researcher

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:00 AM EDT2014-07-25 13:00:14 GMT
    A UNC research professor was robbed and beaten to death Wednesday afternoon on University Drive in Chapel Hill, police said.
    A UNC research professor was robbed and beaten to death Wednesday afternoon on University Drive in Chapel Hill, police said.
  • Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Thursday, July 10 2014 8:01 PM EDT2014-07-11 00:01:10 GMT
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
Powered by WorldNow

3221 South Evans Street
Greenville N.C. 27834

Telephone: 252.355.8500
Fax: 252.355.8568
Email: newsdesk@wnct.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.