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  • Linda M. Whitaker

Implant gives rats sixth sense for infrared light

The next Georgia Steele book will come out at the end of 2022. I thought it might be fun to start sharing the scientific research behind this book.


So, naturally, we start with rats.




Wired magazine published an article on Feb 14, 2013 describing a study published in the Nature Communications journal. In summary -


A neural implant gives rats the ability to detect infrared light -- part of the electromagnetic spectrum normally invisible to them. The implant takes the form of an infrared detector on the rat's forehead which is wired to a set of microscopic electrodes in a region of the animal's brain normally associated with touch. At first the rats appeared to confuse the sensation with actual touch but over a month came to be able to use the augmentation to scan for and identify infrared light sources. The technology could be expanded to include other areas of electromagnetic spectrum.


Find the entire article here.


The implications of this, I hope you can see (pun intended), are vast. The scientists have, in essence, given the rats a brand new sense.


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