Crazier than musk! Scientists realize the remote control of mouse consciousness, let passers-by a second become good friends



Recently, researchers have successfully manipulated the consciousness and activity of mice remotely by inserting a new wireless brain implant into their brains.

The new technology, designed and developed by scientists at Northwestern University, forces mice to interact socially with other mice in real time by activating a single neuron – when the stimuli are out of sync, the social activity stops.

The implant is described as the first of its kind, the biggest feature of which is wireless, so that mice can look no different from other ordinary mice from the outside.

The tiny wireless device is half a millimeter thick, under the skin, but on the outer surface of the skull. By sticking a tiny, flexible wire probe with an led down into the brain, the researchers were able to operate the lights in real time via wireless near-field communication from nearby computers.

Then, the researchers conducted real-time wireless operation through the user interface on the computer.

To establish proof of principle, the researchers designed an experiment to explore optogenetic methods to remotely control social interaction between pairs or groups of mice. Photogenetics is based on the idea that some cells contain proteins that make them more sensitive to light than others, and that their behavior can be changed when exposed to light by inserting genes that give these characteristics into new cells.

When mice were close to each other in a closed environment, the team wirelessly activated a group of neurons in the brain region related to advanced executive function, increasing the frequency and duration of social interaction. Desynchronization stimulation rapidly reduced the social interaction of the same pair of mice.

Although this work only inspired the friendship between the two animals on the surface, its practical significance is more profound and important. Scientists hope that this groundbreaking research may one day lead to a cure for blindness or paralysis in humans.

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