Brain-control with light!

By | July 30, 2012
So, now it's possible to control not just mice, but also monkeys by sending light signals to their brain! This certainly sounds much more appealing than jolts of electricity.

But don't get too excited about having holodeck-style flashing headsets anytime soon – there are two big catches between monkey and human applications:
(1) Gene therapy is involved, using a virus to deliver a gene that produces a light-responsive protein to trigger a neuron to fire. Given that gene therapy is not approved in many countries, any sort of technology or treatments based on this technology are still years away.
(2) Light source required: you need to be able to fire light signals into the nerve cell somehow. I'm not sure if there are many possibilities for producing light intrinsically, so a fibre-optic tether or an LED implant may be the only possibilities for the forseeable future.

/via +Pratik Mukherjee 

Scientists Control Monkeys’ Brains with Light – Technology Review
The new study, the first to demonstrate optogenetics in primate behavior, inches the technology closer to the clinic.

2 thoughts on “Brain-control with light!

  1. Jonas Tirunas

    This is just the beginning on our intelligence leaps. It is so hard to believe that just fifty years ago we didn't have anything near what we have now in science. Wait for teleport and unlimited age soon by.

    Reply

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