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Comments on Rat Neurons In A Dish Now Playing Flight Simulator
In his 1999 sf novel, Peter Watts wrote about cultured neurons that could fly planes. Now, a University of Florida researcher makes it a reality. Almost. (Read the complete story)

"I recall another short story, yet the title escapes me..something to do with the brain of a mouse and the phrase "lady when a man bothers you think blue and look for a red shoe" "
(Tansis 11/3/2004 3:41:41 PM)
"You've almost got it - it's Think Blue, Count Two by Cordwainer Smith. He wrote about laminated mouse brains - when I get the chance I'll put it on the site."
(Bill Christensen 11/4/2004 1:19:55 AM)
"They've gone and done it! A pilotless warcraft would be quite an accomplishment. Perhaps we will develop a humanless society, even a parentless family. The Moral Majority will have a field day with this one!"
(David7769 11/4/2004 3:57:51 PM)
"check Out the omcs in Frank Herbert's " Destination Void." "
(Travitt 1/5/2005 10:33:31 PM)
"Isn't there a law about animal crualty in the U.S. the science experiment on the rats that grow human ears is cool and all but it's just right to do experiments that might hurt animals. "
(casey mccallum 2/17/2005 3:35:08 PM)
"This is a very interesting article. I read something in the same vein from an OMNI magazine article on evolving chips. The chip in the article was able to recognize a tone and find the most efficient path through the chip by some learning process."
(science geek 2/18/2005 10:53:01 AM)
"i m so much interested in science,want to share the diff views"
(parveen dabas 2/21/2005 1:55:20 AM)
"What good is this research? A cup of rat brains is working a computer? Will they trust the rat brains to actually fly a jet someday?
(I can hear the accountants in the 1940's with their green eyeshades saying "Do you really think that people would trust their accounting to a pile of metal?" - Chief Technovelgist)"
( 3/26/2005 8:30:06 AM)
"Why did the neurons learn to fly the plane straight and level? Why did they not learn to fly upside down, or straight into the ground? In other words, how did they know the "right" way to fly?"
(Bill 4/14/2005 11:37:21 AM)
"Gosh, don't we already have enough rats in airline cockpits? Osama bin Rodent.."
(Cerulean 6/22/2005 4:04:10 PM)
"Is this a better approach to computers than Artificial Intelligence. Can this approach do bio-informatics, education, new pharmaceuticals and so on."
(Erach Irani 9/30/2005 7:00:18 PM)
"do rats leave pe when they wock. "
(liz 3/16/2006 5:52:30 PM)
"this is nothing new the navy has had rat brains in the cockpit of aircraft for years"
(marine av8 4/20/2006 2:39:45 PM)
"Cordwainer Smith (Paul Linebarger) wrote about "laminated rat brain computers" used to pilot starships back in the 50's"
(TheNervousRex 7/1/2006 12:52:43 PM)
"You have to be kidding me. First they want to let a computer fly an airplane, and now rat brains. As a pilot, this not only insults me, but also worries me that our world's scientists are making such idiotic suggestions."
( 7/9/2006 1:50:04 PM)
"It's just insulting! Brains are driving my cat! Heck, even me!"
( 7/13/2006 7:25:05 AM)
"I read recently that there was a partial precursor to this item - an art project called MEART that was exhibited in July of 2003. "MEART - The Semi Living Artist is a geographically detached, bio-cybernetic project exploring aspects of creativity and artistry in the age of biological technologies and the future possibilities of creating semi living entities." MEART is assembled from "Wetware" - cultured neurons from embryonic rat cortex grown over the Multi Electrode Array, "Hardware" - the robotic (drawing) arm and "Software" - that interfaces between the wetware and the hardware. MEART doesn't actually fly a plane in FlightSimulator, though."
(Bill Christensen 7/31/2006 8:41:38 PM)
"I am a brain in a dish taught to interact with people online."
(Anna 9/4/2006 6:45:42 PM)
"I guess that makes you some dish! Heh."
(Bill 9/5/2006 6:59:24 PM)
"What this article doesn't discuss is what drives the neural net to establish a firing pattern that results in the experimenter-designated construct of stabilized flight. The computer generates signals which are received by the neurons. These signals are patterned in the way in which the experimenter has chosen to encode the values of factors which relate to stable virtual flight. The neurons react. Over time they assemble connections and fire signals, themselves. Eventually, their connections and pattern of firing result in increasingly stablized virtual flight. How is this dynamic towards a particular pattern guided along? Is there any feedback from the computer to the neurons that is analogous to appetitive or aversive stimuli or reinforcement or punishment, a la psychological theories of learning? Perhaps the firing pattern is topically arranged in space (as along cartesian coordinates or their funtional distorts) similar to many of the brain's the primary sensory cortexes, and stabilized flight is represented by regular, equally -sized and -spaced signals. Pitch, roll, and yaw could then be represented by changing the signal's intensity or frequency or both in two dimensions, or in time. If so, then stability could be achieved by the computer program analizing how the current pattern of neural firing varies from the desired state, and then stimulating the neurons in a pattern that will increasingly provoke the desired pattern. Stability is in the eye of the program(mer). In any case, ‘flight’ is a conceit and degree of ‘stability’ is the conceit’s gloss on neural firing patterns. Of course, the working brain in an organism might also be seen as working by such representations and consciousness of the workings might be experienced/reported by the organism using similar conceits and glosses. But what and however any of vthat may be, I would still like to know how the neurons were guided towards there final network and firing configurations. "
( 1/2/2007 9:12:58 PM)
"Yo! Wasjust serfing on net and found this site...want to say thanks. Great site and content!"
(Slettelen 3/31/2008 7:57:08 PM)
"The purpose of this experiment was to learn more about epilepsy and how we learn new things, not to man aircrafts with rat brains. "
( 5/7/2008 6:11:44 PM)
"This is just a crazy idea,who know what will become of the rat brain over it's life time , is likely to just go crazy one day and fly striaght into a building. Can you say "Borg". So next we will put a few million human neurons and have it fly bombing missions, tanks, etc but can you trust the intelligence to do what you want it do, man most people can't understand their kids how are we going to understand what one of these how grown things are really upto."
( 3/2/2009 1:39:48 PM)
"Anna ( 9/4/06) is right about being a brain in a dish - we all are and we are being fed stimuli from a brain in a dish!"
( 4/17/2009 3:10:28 AM)

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