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Brain Cells Play Games

Researchers studying neurons, which are the transmitters of sensory information in our brains, tested the brain cells’ ability to play the video game Pong. Pong is a simple game where players pass a ball back and forth with a paddle. Neurons from humans and mice were connected to a computer that informed the neuron when the ball made contact with its paddle. Researchers monitored the activity of the neurons playing Pong with electric probes, and saw that activity spiked each time the neuron moved a paddle to hit the ball. The brain cells were able to adapt to the game in real time, changing its tactics as the game progressed. The amazing findings show that technology is able to harness the power of human intelligence down to the cellular level, which will aid in developing machine learning and understanding human behavior.

Image via CNN / Dr. Brett J Kagan

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