So that’s how Trevor does it, he is the encoder rat

I’ve always wondered how Trevor Mallard managed to control his caucus members, now I know how:

Scientists have connected the brains of lab rats, allowing one to communicate directly to another via cables.

The wired brain implants allowed sensory and motor signals to be sent from one rat to another, creating the first ever brain-to-brain interface.

The scientists then tested whether the rat receiving the signal could correctly interpret the information.

As the ultimate test of their system, the team even linked the brains of rats that were thousands of miles apart. 

Sounds remarkably like how the Labour caucus operates.

The researchers first trained pairs of rats to solve a simple problem – pressing the correct lever when an indicator light above the lever switched on, to obtain a water sip.

The researchers then placed the rodents in separate chambers and connected their brains using arrays of microelectrodes – each roughly one hundredth the diameter of a human hair – inserted into the area of the cortex that processes motor information.

One rat was designated as the “encoder”. Once this rat pressed the correct lever, its brain activity was delivered as electrical stimulation into the brain of the second rat – designated the “decoder”.

The decoder rat had the same types of levers in its chamber, but it did not receive any visual cue indicating which lever it should press to obtain a reward.

In order to receive the reward, the decoder rat would have to rely on the cue transmitted from the encoder via the brain-to-brain interface.

The team members then conducted trials to determine how well the decoder animal could decipher the brain input from the encoder rat to choose the correct lever. The decoder rat ultimately achieved a maximum success rate of about 70%.

Wow if only the encoder rat Trevor Mallard could get a 70% success rate from the decoder rats caucus.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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