You read that right, a team of University of Chicago and Johns Hopkins University researchers successfully performed a series of experiments that showed they could send electrical signals directly to the brains of monkeys and that they were able to interpret the signals as touches on different parts of their hands. Plus, "another series of experiments showed rhesus macaques could interpret different direct-to-brain signals as touches of varying pressure." What this means is that they were able to convert direct-to-brain electrical signals into the sense of touch. Continue reading for the news report and more information.
Here's what PopSci has to say about the experiments, or one in particular:
There was one especially cool thing the Chicago-Johns Hopkins team demonstrated.
While it's impossible to know exactly what the monkeys feel when they get electrical buzzes to their brains, one series of experiments showed the animals were quickly able to interpret electrical brain stimulation as analogues to physical touches.