Scientists control mouse neurons so the rodents "see" things that aren't there

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Jack me in.


This seems perfectly reasonable with no potential for abuse whatsoever.


They reinvented Facebook?


Half of science is just fucking with rodents.


This was taken to painful extremes by Neal Stephenson a while back…

You could get a phantoscopic system planted directly on your retinas…You could even get telaesthetics patched into your spinal column at key vertebrae. But this was said to have its drawbacks … it was rumored that hackers for big media companies had figured out a way to get through the defenses that were built into such systems, and run junk advertisements in your peripheral vision (or even spang in the … middle all the time - even when your eyes were closed. Bud knew a guy like that who’s somehow gotten infected with a meme that ran advertisements for roach motels, in Hindi, superimposed on the bottom right-hand corner of his visual field, twenty-four hours a day, until the guy whacked himself."



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I’m certain there’s no chance this line of scientific exploration will end badly for the commoners.

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I’m not seeing the problem. Where is the potential harm?
This is something that is very expensive, requires major surgery, and peaks at a vague sense of a visual percept. No body who doesn’t really want and need this sort of implant will be getting one.
The only thing this research is currently being developed for is patients that could see but developed retinal blindness. Direct cortical stimulation can give them really coarse visual function.

I can’t speak for @Numb_Thumb_Hero, but…

I’m not a scientist. I assume you are based on your username (even though it may not have any bearing on who you are whatsoever).

What I am is a skeptic with a low threshold of surprise for the abuses that governments are willing to perpetrate against their own citizens.

These are the points that stand out to me:

And from the post title:

"… so the rodents "see " things that aren’t there.

as for your points:

The first computers required entire rooms to handle computations that are dwarfed by what the tiny tech of today can handle.

Because it’s the way you describe it now doesn’t mean it will always be this way, especially if someone clever finds a way to weaponize it and attracts the interest – and money – of the government.

Again, that’s how it stands now. If we drift further toward totalitarianism and fascism, will that continue to be the case?

“Currently.” Can you say with 100% certainty that’s all it will be developed for from this point in time forward?

I’m not a luddite, and I don’t think all science is inherently evil.

I do think that science can be twisted toward evil ends regardless of the original intent, especially by a morally bankrupt government. And science that alters perception, especially so.

That said, I doubt it will get to that point. I expect a collapse far sooner than it would take for this to become something to be realistically feared.


Pretty much this, mixed with equal parts cheecky sarcasm :crazy_face:


I’m a neuroscientist. I do some optogenetics research and know Deisseroth’s work well.

The goal of optogenetics has always been for a less invasive brain interface where the brain can be influenced with fiber optics. The reason that I’m not at all worried about abuse is that the limiting factors aren’t money, morals, government, or even technology. The real limiting factor is that we don’t know how the brain works well enough that controling it is remotely possible, and despite what optimists like Deisseroth think, thats not changing next year or next century.

I’m pretty skeptical of my fellow man. I think if your concerns were scientifically possible, people would try it. But its just not biologically possible, and I can say with great confidence that won’t change in any of our lifetimes.


Poor little meeses. Scientists just love to fuck with animals.

Did they make the mouse see Frank Miller?


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