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2. The History of Electrode Implants
Since the mid 1900s, neurologists have been implanting electrodes (see Figure 3) in different sections of the brain to observe how electrical tickles at certain spots I in the brain can evoke different emotions.
In 1953, Harvard graduate James Olds coincidentally discovered that a rat feels pleasure when electrical shocks are applied to its septum, a nucleus in the brain's limbic system. The rat could be trained to walk in a certain direction or act in a certain way by zapping the electrode connected to its septum every time it performed the desired behavior . The neuroscientist Robert Heath was the first to implant electrodes in living human brains. He successfully reverted the moods of depressed patients, irate criminals and schizophrenics with an electrical zap to their septum. Heath also observed that his experimental subjects were highly inclined to stimulate their "pleasure-centers" by zapping their septums with electrical shock through septal electrodes implanted in their brains . Another brain-electrode researcher, Jose Manuel Rodriguez Delgado, invented a stimulus transciever or stimoceiver, an electrode implant that could be enabled remotely. The stimoceiver debuted in a public bullfight arena in which Delgado posed as a matador. As the bull charged towards him, Delgado clicked his stimoceiver remote and all of a sudden the bull ceased its attack. Delgado's click had activated an electrode impulse implanted in the bull's brain, which tamed the bull by "disabling" its rage .In the 1970s, neurosurgeons began inserting permanent electrical implants into the brains of patients diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy. The first of these cerebellar stimulators was implanted by Robert Heath in a patient prone to violent convulsions. Heath's implant periodically transmitted electrical signals to the patient's temporal lobe. A wire emerging outside the patient's skin connected the implant to a battery. This and other operations succeeded in rehabilitating several of Heath's epileptic patients .