Moving Objects With Your Mind

One of my favorite things Kurt Vonnegut ever said was the following:
Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand!
It's a brilliantly simple and elegant method for testing the validity of seemingly outrageous supernatural claims. There is no authoritative confirmed evidence of any cases of mental action-at-a-distance phenomena, but we do have the next best thing: monkeys that can move objects with their mind, without using their limbs.

As the following video shows, in a ground-breaking five year study, scientists were conducting research to attempt to better understand and ultimately read the thoughts of monkeys (as a precursor to deciphering the code of neural activity in the human brain) when one of the monkeys did something that would change history and our understanding of the brain and its relationship to the body.



And here you can see a monkey actually moving and controlling a robotic arm simply with its brain, with a high degree of dexterity.



In a way, although these results are very impressive, they should not be that surprising: our brain is a sort of computer that communicates and coordinates the behavior of physical machines: arms, legs and so on. If so, then it should not really make a difference whether the machines are fleshy or made of metal; as long as the communication circuitry and the common language are established, the machines could be made of anything.

Of course, when you think about it, these findings completely challenge our conception of our bodies. What is your body? Whatever necessary conditions you come up, it seems to me that maybe spatial immediacy goes out the window now, doesn't it? Yes, maybe you can have a remote body... weird!
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