Building an organic computing device with multiple interconnected brains.
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Recently, we proposed that Brainets, i.e. networks formed by multiple animal brains, cooperating and exchanging information in real time through direct brain-to-brain interfaces, could provide the core of a new type of computing device: an organic computer. Here, we describe the first experimental demonstration of such a Brainet, built by interconnecting four adult rat brains. Brainets worked by concurrently recording the extracellular electrical activity generated by populations of cortical neurons distributed across multiple rats chronically implanted with multi-electrode arrays. Cortical neuronal activity was recorded and analyzed in real time, and then delivered to the somatosensory cortices of other animals that participated in the Brainet using intracortical microstimulation (ICMS). Using this approach, different Brainet architectures solved a number of useful computational problems, such as discrete classification, image processing, storage and retrieval of tactile information, and even weather forecasting. Brainets consistently performed at the same or higher levels than single rats in these tasks. Based on these findings, we propose that Brainets could be used to investigate animal social behaviors as well as a test bed for exploring the properties and potential applications of organic computers.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1038/srep11869
Publication InfoNicolelis, Miguel; Lebedev, Mikhail; Yadav, Amol; Pais-Vieira, Miguel; & Chiuffa, Gabriela (2015). Building an organic computing device with multiple interconnected brains. Scientific reports, 5(1). pp. 11869. 10.1038/srep11869. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/20279.
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Duke School of Medicine Professor in Neuroscience
Miguel Nicolelis, M.D., Ph.D., is the Duke School of Medicine Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience, Duke University Professor of Neurobiology, Biomedical Engineering and Psychology and Neuroscience, and founder of Duke's Center for Neuroengineering. He is the founder and Scientific Director of the Edmond and Lily Safra International Institute for Neuroscience of Natal. Dr. Nicolelis is also founder of the Walk Again Project, an international consortium of scientists and engineers, de
Dr. Yadav is a neuroscientist and biomedical engineer, currently a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Neurosurgery where he collaborates with neurosurgeons on translational neuroscience research.
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