“Ben, the two of us need look no more …”

rat.though.transferx299

Using brain implants, researchers at Duke University have allowed lab rats to communicate with each other, brain to brain, in a crude form of mental telepathy. In fact, researchers say, the two rats quickly began to collaborate, with one rat using its “brain-to-brain interface” to assist the second one in figuring out how to complete a task that would bring both of them a reward.*

In a sense, the two rats became a single biological entity. As researchers concluded, lab results “are a clear indicator that a fundamentally more complex system emerged from the operation of the BTBI; one which required considerable adaptation from the participant animals so that they could jointly perform the sensorimotor tasks.”

At one point, and just to show off, the experiment was conducted with one rat located in Brazil and a second in North Carolina, giving new meaning to Internet connectivity.

I will now give you a paragraph taken from the scientific paper reporting these discoveries, followed by a general translation:

“… we have already proposed that, in theory, channel accuracy can be increased if instead of a dyad a whole grid of multiple reciprocally interconnected brains are employed. Such a computing structure could define the first example of an organic computer capable of solving heuristic problems that would be deemed non-computable by a general Turing-machine.”

Translation: If we electronically connect not just two rat brains, but whole swarms of rat brains, one to the other, theoretically the rat swarm will become much much smarter than any individual rat, perhaps capable of solving problems that even powerful supercomputers can’t solve.

I just thought you would want to know, just in case.

——————-

* (Back in the ’90s, when I wrote a weekly science column called “Next” for the AJC, I covered the early work in this field.)

(h/t MIT Technology Review)

– Jay Bookman

479 comments Add your comment

Simple Truths

February 28th, 2013
4:29 pm

Vulcan mind mend, anyone?

Simple Truths

February 28th, 2013
4:30 pm

Vulcan mind meld, that is… Duh!

Or is this more of a Borg thing?

Keep Up--Borderline Civility Fighter

February 28th, 2013
4:30 pm

Imagine if you clone Fred and connect their brains.

Doc Hollidawg

February 28th, 2013
4:33 pm

Well somebody hook them rats up and get them to work on this Sequester thing. Stat.

saywhat?

February 28th, 2013
4:37 pm

First of all- Don’t human beings do this already through collaboration, given our ability to communicate complex information without direct brain to brain connections? I could see how direct brain connections might make collaboration faster though.

Second of all- If they connected all the brains of Kyle’s regulars to a rat’s brain, I’m afraid the rat would only have MORE trouble solving problems.

Jm

February 28th, 2013
4:37 pm

“Translation: If we electronically connect not just two rat brains, but whole swarms of rat brains, one to the other, theoretically the rat swarm will become much much smarter than any individual rat, perhaps capable of solving problems that even powerful supercomputers can’t solve.”

Sounds like the Democratic Party. A bunch of idiots that collectively still figured out how to beat the republicans.

:)

Someone had to say it

TBS

February 28th, 2013
4:38 pm

“Sounds like the Democratic Party. A bunch of idiots that collectively still figured out how to beat the republicans. ”

Tells you all you need to know about the Republican Party and yourself.

“Someone had to say it”

:-)

Ernest BORGnine

February 28th, 2013
4:39 pm

I’m about to drop some mind controlled air wolf bombs on you libs

Litt

February 28th, 2013
4:41 pm

“In a sense, the two rats became a single biological entity”. Hey! just like Obama and Jay.

Oh and Jay, Ron Fournier is now saying that the WH threatened him too. I suppose that you will find something to disparage about him as well while you are circling the wagons.

DannyX

February 28th, 2013
4:42 pm

Translation for our special Republican friends: Just think of it as a series of tubes.

Jerome Horwitz

February 28th, 2013
4:42 pm

Was thinking more along the line of John and Mitch – both lab rats for the Koch brothers, jm.

Recon 0311 2533

February 28th, 2013
4:43 pm

If we electronically connect not just two rat brains, but whole swarms of rat brains, one to the other, theoretically the rat swarm will become much much smarter than any individual rat, perhaps capable of solving problems that even powerful supercomputers can’t solve.

On the other hand left wing rats have proven that the reverse is true whereby the rat swarm actually becomes dumber.

Jm

February 28th, 2013
4:43 pm

Tbs

Yep

Says I don’t belong to a party

It says democrats more effectively used technology

It says libs individually are dumb

Yep, true

Brosephus™ - She say you soul brother too beaucoup

February 28th, 2013
4:45 pm

Jay

I’ll take your rat horde and raise you by a 1st generation terminator.

http://news.yahoo.com/photos/humanoid-robot-comes-to-life-slideshow/

:lol:

maximum

February 28th, 2013
4:45 pm

Nice photo of Reince Priebus!

Escaped from Email Purgatory

February 28th, 2013
4:46 pm

This blog topic is like a missing episode of The Big Bang Theory. Where’s Sheldon? Better yet, where’s Penny?

TBS

February 28th, 2013
4:46 pm

Jm

And as you noticed I didn’t say you belonged to a Party…….. “and yourself”……

You might be a smart finance guy but based on your projections and foreclosure conspiracies you might be as dumb as those you are calling dumb…… And that is putting it mildly

DannyX

February 28th, 2013
4:47 pm

“It says libs individually are dumb”

You want to see how dumb libs? Take all of the technology you use everyday day out of your life for a week. There is a 99% chance that it came from a liberal.

See you next week, jm.

Community Organizer (with-no-desire-to-govern, little-care-for-high-unemployment, no-talent-for-leadership,-zero-desire-to-compromise-and-a-lust-for-making-my-enemies-pay) Obama

February 28th, 2013
4:49 pm

You don’t even need to hook up liberals. They already share the same emotions, which is how policy gets passed.

Cue the victims!

moonbat betty

February 28th, 2013
4:50 pm

“Translation: If we electronically connect not just two rat brains, but whole swarms of rat brains, one to the other, theoretically the rat swarm will become much much smarter than any individual rat, perhaps capable of solving problems that even powerful supercomputers can’t solve.”

It would most likely devolve into a massive orgy riot.

DannyX

February 28th, 2013
4:50 pm

“This blog topic is like a missing episode of The Big Bang Theory”

How ironic, Purgatory loves liberal Hollywood!

Skip

February 28th, 2013
4:51 pm

0311, how dumb did it take to beat Romnet?

J Greg

February 28th, 2013
4:52 pm

Oh God! Now I can’t get that song outta my head! Thanks a lot, Jay!

Jay

February 28th, 2013
4:53 pm

Bro, one of the long-term goals of this type of research is give human beings the ability to control that kind of robot using only our minds.

Simple Truths

February 28th, 2013
4:54 pm

Sad! Sad that both sides immediately take a funny/interesting science article and bend it into their preconceived hack notions. Sad indeed!

alex

February 28th, 2013
4:54 pm

Connecting rat brains is interesting, Jay writing a Science column is amazing given his incredible knowledge of the importance of statistics in science.A “turing” machine,how blase’……

Paul

February 28th, 2013
4:55 pm

Jay

Neat thread. Could you please bring back Bosch for this?

Joe Hussein Mama

February 28th, 2013
4:56 pm

GOP WINNING STRATEGERY FOR 2016

Jm

February 28th, 2013
4:58 pm

Jay
February 28th, 2013
4:53 pm
Bro, one of the long-term goals of this type of research is give human beings the ability to control that kind of robot using only our minds.

You know the Obamabot is already controlled by Senator Reid

So been done

DannyX

February 28th, 2013
4:58 pm

Republicans like Recon are collectively smarter because they have learned how to use Google, a company made up of a bunch of liberals.

Not a day goes by around here where a conservative isn’t showing off his Google skills.

barking frog

February 28th, 2013
4:58 pm

Next will be time travel and the Republicans can finally
take this country back to wherever it is they want to go
in lockstep.

Granny Godzilla

February 28th, 2013
4:58 pm

Could we please connect something more attractive?

Kitty Cats? Puppy Dogs?

Daniel Craig/Ben Afffleck/Denzel Washington???

My oh my!

alex

February 28th, 2013
4:59 pm

connect Sperling and Woodward and be done with all regrets…….

Jay

February 28th, 2013
4:59 pm

He crossed my mind just the other day, Paul. Hope he’s doing well.

barking frog

February 28th, 2013
5:01 pm

So this is how Jay knows what we’re typing before we post it….

JamVet

February 28th, 2013
5:01 pm

Sounds suspiciously like global warming junk science to me…

DannyX

February 28th, 2013
5:05 pm

Connect Bush, Cain, Perry, Bachmann, and the Fox and Friends crew together and the contraption would explode, suicide. The thing isn’t programed to get dumber.

St Simons - he-ne-ha

February 28th, 2013
5:05 pm

so THIS is how AM radio works….

JohnnyReb

February 28th, 2013
5:08 pm

It’s not Vulcan, it’s the Borg.

And, it’s not true the rat resembles Harry Reid.

JamVet

February 28th, 2013
5:08 pm

St. Simons, do you know what FM stands for? (And no, I don’t mean frequency modulation.)

indigo

February 28th, 2013
5:08 pm

Sooner or later, lab experiments with rats wind up in the human sphere.

This experiment must already have darker military types drooling at the posibilities of future espionage and other mind control activities. As for future “enhanced interrogations”, let’s not even think of what devious types could do with this kind of technology.

This suggests that those of us living in the not too distant future will, maybe, get a whole new understanding of the phrase “brave new world”.

josef

February 28th, 2013
5:09 pm

I like this kinda stuff, myself. Now I wonder what they would come up with if they tried this with crows and ravens? Did any of y’all catch that PBS program on them…?

As for as the Democrats/GOP, liberals/conservatives are concerned, G-d forbid! We’d just be hastening to devolution beyond the primordial slug stage.

Erwin's cat

February 28th, 2013
5:09 pm

Wasn’t Willard before Ben?

alittlecommonsense

February 28th, 2013
5:10 pm

If we could just get voting rights for those rats, Republicans would never win another national election……

Jm

February 28th, 2013
5:10 pm

I made a joke about google glasses yesterday

No one got it

Bleeding edge joke, be careful

You have to delay the innovation jokes for everyone but the early adopters

bman.

February 28th, 2013
5:11 pm

I’d like to connect with Jennifer Aniston….I have a few things to say

St Simons - he-ne-ha

February 28th, 2013
5:11 pm

your move, Chip Rogers…

JohnnyReb

February 28th, 2013
5:12 pm

We have a backup plan, taking over state by state.

Jm

February 28th, 2013
5:12 pm

“alittlecommonsense
February 28th, 2013
5:10 pm

If we could just get voting rights for those rats, Republicans would never win another national election……

LinkReport this comment
- See more at: http://blogs.ajc.com/jay-bookman-blog/2013/02/28/ben-the-two-of-us-need-look-no-more/?cp=1#comment-1247167

DemocRats already vote, that’s the problem

Sorry

Too easy

JamVet

February 28th, 2013
5:12 pm

No need, little.

It’s looking more and more like that is gonna happen anyway.

JohnnyReb

February 28th, 2013
5:13 pm

bman. – it would only frustrate you. It’s not even lookie, don’t touchie.

barking frog

February 28th, 2013
5:19 pm

I was unaware rats had unused capacity in the brain or
will they be erased ?

JamVet

February 28th, 2013
5:19 pm

Skip

February 28th, 2013
5:23 pm

And yet we can’t find a cost efficient way to take salt from saltwater?

Ronald Reagan Parkway

February 28th, 2013
5:26 pm

It would be nice if they could use this same type of research to find a cure for Alz·hei·mer’s.

fedup

February 28th, 2013
5:27 pm

I wish they can connect Einstien’s frozen brain to mine.

Look before I leap...

February 28th, 2013
5:29 pm

“And yet we can’t find a cost efficient way to take salt from saltwater?

We already have that.
It’s called evaporation and Mother Nature is really damned good at it.

Look before I leap...

February 28th, 2013
5:31 pm

The technology is cool.
But I prefer the old-fashioned way – talking, writing letters, articles and books.

I refuse to be assimilated. Hell I don’t even Facebook.

barking frog

February 28th, 2013
5:33 pm

fedup
I wish they can connect Einstien’s frozen brain to mine.
………………………………………………………………………
Why would you want to think like a dead jewish guy ?
Oh wait..that’s the basis of Christianity….

indigo

February 28th, 2013
5:34 pm

Brosephus (from below)

Oh, you mean THAT too beaucoup!!

Fred ™

February 28th, 2013
5:35 pm

Keep Up–Borderline Civility Fighter

February 28th, 2013
4:30 pm

Imagine if you clone Fred and connect their brains.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Can you say Skynet?

Welcome to the Occupation

February 28th, 2013
5:38 pm

chk chk chk ….

chk chk chk …

That’s the sound of rat brainwaves trying to reach Sinkie.

Sinkie… where are youuuu .. oh Sinkieeeeee …

pogo

February 28th, 2013
5:38 pm

Jay. you are already plugged into James Carney and the Obama admin’s minds so you aren’t much different than these mice. You do as you are told to do by an entity somewhere else so you meet all the criteria. When did YOU become such a Weenie Jay?

barking frog

February 28th, 2013
5:38 pm

Khruschev said “we will destroy you from within” or was
that Kaspersky ?

Fred ™

February 28th, 2013
5:38 pm

Why would you want to think like a dead jewish guy ?
Oh wait..that’s the basis of Christianity….

Ouch. THAT left a mark.

Peadawg

February 28th, 2013
5:40 pm

Pretty cool.

With regards to science, as long as the line is drawn at cloning complete human beings than I’m ok.

Logical Dude

February 28th, 2013
5:41 pm

“Science!!! It works bitches!”

barking frog

February 28th, 2013
5:43 pm

Peadawg
With regards to science, as long as the line is drawn at cloning complete human beings than I’m ok.
……………………………………………………………………….
Why do you want to clone incomplete human beings ?

TM

February 28th, 2013
5:43 pm

Teach them how to fly a drone and we become the planet of the rats.

Peadawg

February 28th, 2013
5:45 pm

“Why do you want to clone incomplete human beings ?”

*facepalm*

You’re a ding dong. :)

Willard

February 28th, 2013
5:45 pm

“Translation: If we electronically connect not just two rat brains, but whole swarms of rat brains, one to the other, theoretically the rat swarm will become much much smarter than any individual rat, perhaps capable of solving problems that even powerful supercomputers can’t solve.”

Trust me, this is not good news.

Socrates

February 28th, 2013
5:47 pm

Ben, it is disturbing to see they may be on to us finally. Now how are community organizers going to be elected president?

JamVet

February 28th, 2013
5:47 pm

I can hear that faux hero, Charlton Heston, saying, “Take your stinkin’ paws off me, you damn dirty rodent!”

td

February 28th, 2013
5:47 pm

This is an interesting article and something good to learn about. Nice job Jay.

Since that is all I can say about the topic at hand, then let us all ponder what some of our fine members of the House of Reps have to say about sequestration:

“Yesterday we did have Mr. Bernanke in our committee and he came to tell us what he’s doing with quantitative easing and that is trying to stimulate the economy with the bond purchases that he’s been doing because he’s trying to keep the interest rates low and jobs – and he said that if sequestration takes place, that’s going to be a great setback. We don’t need to be having something like sequestration that’s going to cause these jobs losses, over 170 million jobs that could be lost – and so he made it very clear he’s not opposed to cuts but cuts must be done over a long period of time and in a very planned way rather than this blunt cutting that will be done by sequestration.” Representative Maxine Waters

Logical Dude

February 28th, 2013
5:48 pm

I’d like to close a piece of myself.

Better than borrowing a piece from someone else in most cases. :)

Look before I leap...

February 28th, 2013
5:49 pm

“Can you say Skynet?”

Aquagirl will go Linda Hamilton all over your @ss

Crazy Cracker

February 28th, 2013
5:49 pm

“DemocRats already vote, that’s the problem.”

And that explains why their ideology is so cheesy.

Fred ™

February 28th, 2013
5:50 pm

LOL “Willard.”

Fred ™

February 28th, 2013
5:52 pm

Ben, it is disturbing to see they may be on to us finally. Now how are community organizers going to be elected president?

Well as long as the other side keeps nominating ass clowns it won’t be a problem……… just as long as they don’t run Elmer Fudd………

getalife

February 28th, 2013
5:52 pm

Humans use the Internet.

“I come in peace” Rodman to the leader of North Korea.

Logical Dude

February 28th, 2013
5:52 pm

td: quoting the quote over “170 million jobs that could be lost”

Not sure whose typo that is. . . but that’s pretty much most of the working population.

Towncrier

February 28th, 2013
5:53 pm

“We don’t need to be having something like sequestration that’s going to cause these jobs losses, over 170 million jobs that could be lost – and so he made it very clear he’s not opposed to cuts but cuts must be done over a long period of time and in a very planned way rather than this blunt cutting that will be done by sequestration.”

If only Ms. Waters had the ability to discern that spending is actually still increasing dramatically (and increasing our already gargantuan deficit). Perhaps she should spend some time at Duke.

barking frog

February 28th, 2013
5:55 pm

Maybe the rats will evolve like ‘Steamboat Willie’ did.

LUCIFER

February 28th, 2013
5:56 pm

Yes, a mind meld plus a Borg Collective, kind of like Republicans who have a mindset to obstruct everything.

Towncrier

February 28th, 2013
5:56 pm

“Jay. you are already plugged into James Carney and the Obama admin’s minds so you aren’t much different than these mice. You do as you are told to do by an entity somewhere else so you meet all the criteria. When did YOU become such a Weenie Jay?”

Experimental mice as a metaphor for Jay. Works for me. ;-)

Fred ™

February 28th, 2013
5:57 pm

Wow. I cant’ believe no one has done this yet………..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRTJ2xVr0PA

Look before I leap...

February 28th, 2013
5:58 pm

“td: quoting the quote over “170 million jobs that could be lost”

Not sure whose typo that is. . . but that’s pretty much most of the working population.

More than..
But she misspoke and corrected herself, not that these buffoons will tell you that.

I suppose when you are impotent and haven’t had an erection in 4 years, ya gotta have something to hang your hat on.

Jay

February 28th, 2013
5:58 pm

“If only Ms. Waters had the ability to discern that spending is actually still increasing dramatically (and increasing our already gargantuan deficit).

If only Towncrier had the ability to discern that he just told a lie.

http://blogs.ajc.com/jay-bookman-blog/2013/02/13/so-this-is-obamas-fault/

Vast Right Wing Conspiracy (aka "Knuckle-Dragger")

February 28th, 2013
5:59 pm

If you did this with Pelosi and Reid you still would not get the intelligence of one human being.

Fred ™

February 28th, 2013
5:59 pm

Damn, I forgot to post a warning for the youngsters who post there. In the video above Michael Jackson is actually BLACK. Don’t be scared, it’s really him………

Donovan

February 28th, 2013
5:59 pm

I hate to get off the topic, but Ben the rat is hardly worth discussing. What is more news worthy is the mess that you Democrats have gotten yourself into with the sequestration deadline.

“What we have done is kicked this can down the road. We are now at the end of the road and are not in a position to kick it any further.” That was Obama in January 2009, less than a week before he first took the presidential oath of office. He has persisted in kicking the debt-crisis can down the road for more than four years.

In fairness to the Republican House, it has passed budgets the last two years, and recently has passed two bills aimed at averting Friday’s sequester cuts. The Democrat Senate hasn’t passed a budget since April 29, 2009 or any bills to meet Friday’s deadline.

Meanwhile, Obama is still resisting meaningful entitlement reform and is again pushing for higher taxes on the wealthy as his preferred means of closing the ominous gap between federal tax revenue and federal spending. This is the face of liberalism and the mind-set of a common community organizer. Less than two months ago, he secured a year-end “fiscal cliff” deal that will impose more than $600 billion in tax hikes. Now he wants even more on the taxing side by eliminating some deductions. This was a Romney initiative that Democrats want as whip cream with a cheery added on. Unbelievable!

In the wake of four consecutive federal deficits of more than $1 trillion, however, it should be clear that we can’t tax our way back to fiscal balance. The elected community organizer told John Boehner last year during the fiscal-cliff fight, “We don’t have a spending problem”. Unbelievable!

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial countries to finance our government’s reckless policies.” Once again, this was the oratory of the elected hypocrite Obama campaigning before he had to eat his words. Our national debt was $8.2 trillion when Sen. Barack Obama sounded that warning on March 20, 2006. Today our national debt is $16.62 trillion. This representative clown of the Democrat Party is a blight on the American landscape.

This is a leadership failure. This is the result of electing a liberal radical by the Democrat Party. This is the culmination of persuading the dumbed-down American low information voter to put a community organizing Chicago thug into the White House.

So let’s hear it from all you progressive idiots who put this electoral wonder boy into the Oval Office. The only thing that can be said of you elitist followers is that you are fools following a fool.

So here we all are. Now it is time to swallow the bitter pill of sequestration and I hope you all are happy about the ramifications of what you have produced. It’s cost cutting time, baby!

Jay

February 28th, 2013
6:00 pm

“Aquagirl will go Linda Hamilton all over your @ss

There are probably worse fates.

Towncrier

February 28th, 2013
6:00 pm

“Sounds like the Democratic Party. A bunch of idiots that collectively still figured out how to beat the republicans.”

Your are grossly exaggerating the recent success of the Democratic Party, Jm. No one needed to tell Democratic operatives that if you “feed” people free benefits, they will press the desired lever. Pavlov taught us that many years ago.

getalife

February 28th, 2013
6:00 pm

North Koreans worship Michael Jordan like the Iranians worship American wrestlers.

td

February 28th, 2013
6:01 pm

Logical Dude

February 28th, 2013
5:52 pm

td: quoting the quote over “170 million jobs that could be lost”

Not sure whose typo that is. . . but that’s pretty much most of the working population.

Not a typo and yes currently there is about 145 to 150 million total jobs in the US. That is exactly the number Representative Maxine said.

Brosephus™ - She say you soul brother too beaucoup

February 28th, 2013
6:03 pm

Enter your comments here

Towncrier

February 28th, 2013
6:04 pm

“If only Towncrier had the ability to discern that he just told a lie.”

If only Jay had the ability to comprehend what the CBO director said regarding impending escalating entitlement spending in sworn testimony before the House and refrain from making baseless accusations.

barking frog

February 28th, 2013
6:06 pm

getalife
North Koreans worship Michael Jordan like the Iranians worship American wrestlers.
………………………………………………………………………………….
Dennis Rodmanis edging Jordan out, he’s now BFF with Kim Jong Un…

Brosephus™ - She say you soul brother too beaucoup

February 28th, 2013
6:07 pm

Bro, one of the long-term goals of this type of research is give human beings the ability to control that kind of robot using only our minds.

Given some of the minds that post here, I don’t think we really should be experimenting in that direction. I see nothing but bad results ahead. I’m not gonna be the brother that bites the bullet before the opening credits though. So, whomever tries to activate SkyNet’s gonna go down fast.

:)

JamVet

February 28th, 2013
6:07 pm

Poor towncrier.

Bless his heart…