Neurons

Live electrodes used to connect the brain to computers tested on rats

By Michael le page

Artist’s impression of human neurons

nobeastsofierce Science / Alamy

“Living electrodes” made from nerve cells genetically engineered to respond to light have been successfully implanted in the brains of animals. The hope is that they will provide a better, longer-lasting way to connect brains to computers than traditional electrodes.

“It enables our technology to speak the nervous system language instead of electrical shocks, which is now being done,” says Kacy Cullen of the University of Pennsylvania. “When our implanted neurons are activated, the deeper part of the brain that they are connected to is activated by a natural synaptic mechanism.” …