Jack Into A Cat's Brain
What is the Matrix? In this case, it is a 64x64 array produced by linear decoding, that reconstructs spatiotemporal visual inputs from ensemble responses in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) of sharp-eyed cats. From the responses of 177 brain cells, they were able to reconstruct time-varying natural scenes with recognizable moving objects.
(From Cat Brain Video - bottom set)
In this 1999 study, Garett B. Stanley, Fei F. Li and Yang Dan have literally jacked into the mind of a cat. Multiple cells in the LGN of anesthetized cats were recorded
simultaneously with multielectrodes. The spike trains of the neurons were binned according to the frame rate of the stimulus (32 Hz for movies, 128 Hz for white noise) and converted to firing rate signals. They recorded the responses of the cells to multiple repeats of eight short movies, and these data were used for subsequent analyses. The geniculate cells were well driven by the movie stimuli, as indicated by their mean firing rates, which were higher during movie presentation than in the absence of visual stimuli.
(From Cat Brain Neuron Set)
When science fiction fans think about examples in which one person can directly experience (or see) and record the internal experience of another person, they usually think about Neuromancer, the 1984 novel by William Gibson. In the novel, he refers to simstim:
Cowboys didn't get into simstim, he thought, because it was basically a meat toy. He knew that ... the cyberspace matrix was actually a drastic simplification of the human sensorium, at least in terms of presentation, but simstim itself struck him as a gratuitous multiplication of flesh input.
The cyberspace matrix, according to the book, "has its roots in primitive arcade games... in early graphics programs and military experimentation with cranial jacks."
As far as I know, the first science fiction author to describe a mechanical process for viewing and recording the thoughts of another person (as opposed to a purely mental "ability" - namely, telepathy) was Cordwainer Smith. In his 1958 story No, No, Not Rogov!, he writes about an espionage machine that can let one person see the thoughts of another:
He had then turned away from the reception of pure thought to the reception of visual and auditory images. Where the nerve-ends reached the brain itself, he had managed over the years to distinguish whole packets of microphenomena, and on some of these he had managed to get a fix.
(Read more about the espionage machine)
Read more from the orginal paper (Reconstruction of Natural Scenes from Ensemble Responses in the Lateral Geniculate Nucleus - pdf); original post at Extracting video from cat brains. Thanks to alert reader Justin Kennedy for pointing this story out.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/6/2005)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )
Related News Stories -
Worms Eat Plastic Now
'Slowly and inexorably, the rate of dissolution increased...' - Davis/Pedlar, 1971.
Mini-Brains In A Dish
'Cultured brains on a slab.' - Peter Watts, 1999.
NASA's Prototype Lunar Greenhouse For Mars And Moon
'In contrast to the airless desolation outside, the interior of this five-acre greenhouse was the one most desirable place to be.' - Raymond Z. Gallun, 1951.
Researchers Say 'Biohybrid Robot' - Clarke Said 'Biot'
'... The biological robots were not living creatures.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1972.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Desktopography Makes Virtual Desktops Real
'Ender doodled on his desk, drawing contour maps of mountainous islands and then telling his desk to display them in three dimensions...'
LaWS Laser Can Take Out Rogue Drones
Looks like a weapon for the Runaway squad!
Moon Express Lunar Robot Mining: Shine On, Harvest Moon
'The bulldozer moved through the lunar strip mine... '
Liquid Body Armor For TALOS Exoskeleton
'... instantly became rigid all over when something struck it...'
Hyperloop One Video Shows It Works!
'Complete evacuation of the interior of the tubes [and] a wave that provides the new propulsive energy for the cars...'
Chairless Chair Exoskeleton By Sapetti
'Earth's scientists... devised rigid metallic clothing...'
Publishing Technologies In Science Fiction
Well, this should be enough references to start...
Russia Working On Military Exoskeletons
'Вы похожи на большую стальную гориллу...'
3D Printed Bionic Chinese Skin
Your skin is ready!
Flexup Tire Design Good For Tumblebugs
'Each spoke telescopes into five sections.'
3D Printed Graphene Aerogel - So Light!
'... light as cork and stronger than steel...'
Asteroid Deflection With DART
'This obelisk is one huge deflector mechanism...'
Translate One2One From IBM's Watson Your Communication Solution
'It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix...'
News Now Philip K. Dick's Bailiwick
'A vast complex electronic organism... responsible to no one...'
Autonomous BADGER Robot Drilling Machine
'The compacted matter... makes a better tunnel lining than concrete, don't you think?'
TALOS Exoskeleton Development Proceeding
'Suited up, you look like a big steel gorilla...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories