Keep it simple simian –
May20, 2020 – A group of scientists from the University of Utah and Stanford University succeeded in controlling the choice behaviours of two monkeys by targeting specific parts of their brains with ultrasound waves, according to a research paper published on Wednesday by the journal Science Advances.
The team delivered inaudible, high frequency sound waves to the brains of the two animals by means of a non-invasive instrument similar to an ultrasound wand used in medical scans.
The researchers placed the two monkeys in front of a screen displaying a target in the center, along with other targets popping up in quick succession on both the left and right sides. It was notable that the macaques were most likely to keep looking at the initial item.
The monkeys’ choice behaviour soon changed after the scientists remotely targeted an area of the frontal cortex of their brains, an area responsible for eye movement, with low-intensity ultrasonic waves. The waves were said to have activated certain neurons, enabling the research team to make the animal look either left or right.