Tuesday, April 25, 2006

See Through Your Tongue


Brain Port is back in the news. (See previous posts). I love this thing. Glad to see they are taking it to the next level.

By routing signals from helmet-mounted cameras, sonar and other equipment through the tongue to the brain, they hope to give elite soldiers superhuman senses similar to owls, snakes and fish.

Researchers at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition envision their work giving Army Rangers 360-degree unobstructed vision at night and allowing Navy SEALs to sense sonar in their heads while maintaining normal vision underwater -- turning sci-fi into reality.

The device, known as "Brain Port," was pioneered more than 30 years ago by Dr. Paul Bach-y-Rita, a University of Wisconsin neuroscientist. Bach-y-Rita began routing images from a camera through electrodes taped to people's backs and later discovered the tongue was a superior transmitter.

A narrow strip of red plastic connects the Brain Port to the tongue where 144 microelectrodes transmit information through nerve fibers to the brain.
Sonar through your tongue, too cool. I have always wondered how dolphins and bats experience their sonar. Is it like sound? Is it like vision? Is it something totally different? I wonder if we will ever know.

Pretty neat that they are able to take data, route it through the tongue and the brain is able to interpret it.

And such an article just calls for bad titles, so here is your rundown of the worst, thanks to Google News.

Warriors of the future will 'taste' battlefield
Soldiers get owl eyes, snake tongues
Super warrior skills on tip of the tongue
Scientists get a taste for superhuman senses
How to lick your enemy
US Army SPC in tongue-lashing?
A lick of (sixth) sense
Scientists Use Tongue To Create Future Soldiers

That last one is via a Romanian paper. Just to clear a couple of things up for our Romanian friends: you can't get AIDS through kissing, and you can't create future soldiers with your tongue.

via Engadget

1 comment:

Yaniv said...

At first this sounded a bit like Synthesia, which is when a fusion of more than one sense occurs, for example, you taste a sound, you see a scent etc ..

.. this is often a reported effect of psychadelic substances such as LSD.

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