Sounds like telekenesis to me

I read this articale on the web On MSNBC Science and Technology.

“Monkeys’ brains move robotic arms”

In the new experiments, monkeys with wires running from their brains to a robotic arm were able to use their thoughts to make the arm perform tasks. But before long, the scientists said, they will upgrade the implants so the monkeys can transmit their mental commands to machines wirelessly.

Sounds like telekenesis ( I hope I spelled the word right) to me.

Is there a question here?

Sounds more like transforming electrical impulses in the brain to electrical impulses that can move through the wires then activate the circuitry, so the monkeys learn that certain thought forms translate to certain arm movements. Essentially it would mean a prosthetic could be controlled by the brain by relearning the thoughts that would move the “muscles,” which is normally done without conscious effort.

Sounds like remote control to me.

The CNN headline was better: Monkeys use mind to move objects

Breeeathe deeply, Grasshoppah. Reach into your monkey mind. Can you move this banana from my hand?

Fark’s headline was pretty good…

Monkeys with frickin’ robots on their head!

Wish I could help…but I haven’t realized the question


If that’s telekinesis, so is every body movement. Which is an arguable point.

If that’s telekinesis, this computer is ESP.

I can make my thoughts appear directly in your mind!

All I have to do is have my brain send impulses along my neural pathways to tell my fingers to type these words which get saved to a central server in Chicago and which get displayed on your screen when you access this thread and gets perceived by your eyes which sends signals to your brain which decodes the pattern of colors into words in the English language which denote my meaning!

It’s telepathy!

As long as they don’t hook those monkey’s brains up to 1920’s style “Death Rays”, I see no problem with this kind of experiment.

The ‘tele’ in telekinesis means ‘far.’ The monkeys are not far away. They’re freaking hooked up to the machine.

So, no. It is not telekinesis. Unless you call the ability of my mind to wriggle my toes telekinesis.


Would the ability to conceive a child from far away be called telegenics?

If you had ten mile wires, would you call it telekinesis then?
And if I call my downstairs neighbour, is it no longer a telephone?

All it would take to make it telekinesis is to remove the wires and connect the electrodes to a radio device inside the monkeys head.

By the way, this seems to open up awesome possibilities for people with serious paralysis. Real good news !

I live here in Chicago (Go Cubs!) and one of the scientists who was working on the program was on the Spike O’Dell radio show on WGN 720am This morning. It was very interesting to hear him talk. He said that there is nothing all that revolutionary about the technology they are using or the parts that went into the monkeys. If I understand him correctly they are hoping to have this in human clinical trials within the next 5 years.

If you think that it looks like TK now, he commented that one of his associates is putting together a system that would let it work on a technology similar to Blue Tooth. That would give someone the wireless ability to control their wheal chair or even use a robotic arm.

The question that I have is, this sounds very similar to an experiment I read about many moons ago with people using brain waves and bio feedback to control a cursor on a computer screen. People were taught how to use biofeedback to produce a specific brain wave pattern on a EEG which a computer would then translate to up, down, right, left. Is this an extension of that or are they using nerve impulses to control the hardware?

I guess using EEG is non-invasive, but just too innaccurate.

This thing is using hundreds of electrodes directly monitoring brain cells. Much more accurate.

There’s a logical step here: Monkeys with frickin’ Bluetooth on their heads. And a bluetooth receptor on the robots. Voila, wireless telekinesis (works within a 10 meter range).

Sorry, just boggling at the thought of running over to Best Buy for a Bluetooth to Monkey Brain converter.


I have an EEG at home (just of fun if you can believe it) and used to do this all the time. It had software to allow you to play certain simple games (Pac-Man type) and music depending on what frequencies, ratio of frequencies, location of frequencies, etc., you wanted to “reward.” The electrodes placed on the scalp are measuring the differences in electrical potentials across different areas on the scalp and the EEG machine is amplifying and transforming them.
EEG machines typically record frequencies from .5 hz to 45 hz. and are usually broken down in to ranges associated with certain mental processes, moods, etc… I used to train 12-14hz, a range called SMR, which is typically associated with maximum attention with minimum physiological arousal. I would input a little midi melody (I used Ode to Joy) and “reward” myself with a note when I achieved certain percentages of SMR relative to other frequencies. The “song” would start over if I lost it, so the object was to try and keep the melody going for as long as possible though of course it was devoid of rhythm.
EEG neurofeedback is now used to treat a number of ailments (ADD/ADHD, sleep disorders, brain injury rehab, epilepsy). For me, the pain in the ass of applying the electrodes outweighed my interest in getting through all of Beethoven’s 9th with my brainwaves so now the EEG machine sits in my closet gathering dust.
If your going to make a case for telekinesis the electrical activity of the brain is probably the place to start but getting a tenth of a volt to arc across the room to change the channel is probably never gonna happen - that’s why we have remotes. :slight_smile:

And monkeys’ brains, though popular in Cantonese cuisine, are not often to be found in Washington, DC.