Infrared lights way to finding ‘sixth sense’

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iol scitehc feb 18 sixth sense AP 'I see dead people': Haley Joel Osment and Bruce Willis appear in a scene from the film The Sixth Sense, a tale of a child who can see ghosts.

London - Scientists claim they have found a ‘sixth sense’ which can detect light without the use of sight – and could even be a form of telepathy.

They implanted detectors for invisible infrared light into the part of rats’ brains that control tactile feeling.

When the light was shone, the animals responded by preening their whiskers, indicating that they thought they were being touched. They soon began to detect the source of the “contact” and move towards the signal.

The team at Duke University, North Carolina, said that – for the first time in adult animals – their other senses were not affected but simply augmented.

Neurobiologist Miguel Nicolelis said: “We didn’t use the skin to deliver this signal ... the animal is feeling light, not seeing light. It’s very interesting.”

He added the technology could one day be used to help the blind or to allow paralysed individuals to feel objects.

Dr Nicolelis also claimed the concept had been extended to “brain-to-brain interface” meaning the rats could carry out a form of telepathy. - Daily Mail

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