Scientists of the Duke University in North Carolina claim to have developed a “sixth sense” by using a special implant in the brain of experimental animals.
Lead researcher Miguel Nicolelis said that the results of the experiment led them to important conclusions and paved the way for a new set of prosthetic devices that can be controlled by the brain and may give us an opportunity to understand and “see” the infrared range of the electromagnetic radiation.
Lab mice were induced with infrared sensors, which were adapted to the area of the brain that is responsible for sensing information related to the touch. Therefore, once the animals perceived the infrared radiation, the brain interpreted it as “tactile stimulation”, resulting in the fact that mice did not see the beam, but could feel it, shaking the nose and scratching their fur.
The researchers report that in theory, it is possible for a blind person, whose visual cortex is destroyed, to gain the ability to see with the help of an electronic eye! The eye that would receive the images and the processing would be done in another part of the brain (such as that of touch).
Dr. Nicolelis explains that “what they did shows that the brain can obtain new abilities which have never been experienced before” and adds that something similar could be achieved by radio, ultrasound, etc.
The scientists say they are likely to now open the way for new electronic implants that in the future will allow the brains of people to communicate directly.