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Scientists Inject Information Directly Into Monkey Brains

Get your political jokes ready because this story is sure to generate tons of suggestions on how it can be beneficial to everyone in Washington, London, Beijing, Berlin, Pyongyang and anyplace else where people seem to be acting like monkeys. A team of neuroscientists has injected electronic instructions into the premotor cortex of monkeys that resulted in the animals getting instructions to complete actions without any other instructions, cues or stimuli. Can the instruction be to just shut up?

“What we are showing here is that you don’t have to be in a sensory-receiving area in order for the subject to have an experience that they can identify.”

In their study, published in the journal Neuron, neuroscientists Dr. Kevin A. Mazurek and Dr. Marc H. Schieber, describe how they used two rhesus monkeys to demonstrate how instructions can be sent to the premotor cortex using injections of electrical stimulus. The premotor cortex is part of the motor cortex in the brain’s frontal lobe that controls the planning, control, and execution of voluntary movements. The premotor cortex feeds directly to the spinal cord but its functions are not fully understood … which is why these two neurosurgeons met with two rhesus monkeys.

I thought I was in the line for the banana eating experiment

The experiment was relatively simple. The monkeys were put in front of a panel of knobs (a great nickname for Congress) and trained to perform one of four specific tasks with a knob when one was lit by LEDs. At the same time, a mild microstimulus was applied via implanted electrodes to one of four areas in their premotor cortex. This stimulus was just a brief buzz and did not control any of the movements, since the premotor cortex is not part of the brain’s perception process.

Once the monkeys learned the tasks, the lights were turned off but the microstimulations continued and the monkeys were able to move the correct knows in the proper way when microbuzzed. To prove that the areas of the premotor cortex were not predisposed to the movements, the researchers switched the electronic impulse injectors around and retrained the subjects. When the lights were turned off, the monkeys continued to move the proper knows. (Does this sound like training them to vote?)

Of course, the researchers say this experiment has nothing to do with mind control in humans. Dr. Mazurek has other plans for it, as he explains in an interview with The New York Times:

“This could be very important for people who have lost function in areas of their brain due to stroke, injury, or other disease. We can potentially bypass the damaged part of the brain where connections have been lost and deliver information to an intact part of the brain.”

The example Mazurek gives correlates the experiment to learning that a red light while driving means to put a foot on the brake pedal. If parts of the brain’s chain of command to complete this task are damaged, a stimulus could replace them.

Why did I pick this up? I hate when that happens.

The next step is to conduct the experiments on humans and eliminate the visual LED stimulus. If that’s successful, it means the “information” or instructions can be “injected” without the person knowing it. Now THAT sounds like mind control.

Fortunately, before the researchers try this on humans, they will continue to perform their tests on politicians. (You knew it was coming.)

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Paul Seaburn Paul Seaburn is one of the most prolific writers at Mysterious Universe. He’s written for TV shows such as “The Tonight Show”, “Politically Incorrect” and an award-winning children’s program. He’s been published in “The New York Times” and “Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn’t always have to be serious.

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