Feeling the invisible

Sensor wired into a rat’s brain lets it detect light it can’t see

By Sid Perkins, 17:51 PM February 18, 2013




A sensor wired to a portion of the rat brain that normally processes the sense of touch enabled a group of the laboratory animals to detect a form of light they cannot ordinarily see, scientists say. The new research underscores how adaptable the brain is. It also offers hope that someday people who have suffered severe brain damage or gone blind could regain some lost function.


In the experiment, Miguel Nicolelis and his colleagues mounted infrared sensors onto the scalps of rats. As a ne...

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