[FoRK] "Advance in brain-computer interface"

Robert S. Thau rst at ai.mit.edu
Wed Feb 18 17:04:08 PST 2004


Russell Turpin writes:
 > The story is that stimulating a single cell in a rat's
 > motor cortex causes its whisker to twitch. I
 > suspect there is a back story, that wasn't as
 > exciting to CNN, but seems more profound to
 > me: that the technology now exists to reliably
 > stimulate single cells in mammalian brains.

Ummm... I don't think so -- poking an electrode into an individual
neuron really isn't all that hard if the animal is anesthetized and
its skull is fixed in place (as in this study).  

(And I'm not sure you'd even need for it to be intracellular --
extracellular is quite a bit easier.  I'm just assuming intracellular
here because I can't see how they'd be sure they got only one cell,
but I could be wrong; I haven't read the paper).

rst


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