José Delgado: The Father of Brain Control Implants
Delgado’s research interests centered on the use of electrical signals to evoke responses in the brain. His earliest work was with cats, but later did experiments with monkeys and humans, including mental patients.
Much of Delgado’s work was with an invention he called a stimoceiver, a radio which joined a stimulator of brain waves with a receiver which monitored E.E.G. waves and sent them back on separate radio channels. This allowed the subject of the experiment full freedom of movement while allowing the experimenter to control the experiment.
The stimoceiver could be used to stimulate emotions and control behavior. According to Delgado, “Radio Stimulation of different points in the amygdala and hippocampus in the four patients produced a variety of effects, including pleasant sensations, elation, deep, thoughtful concentration, odd feelings, super relaxation, colored visions,andother responses.” Delgado stated that “brain transmitters can remain in a person’s head for life. The energy to activate the brain transmitter is transmitted by way of radio frequencies.” (Source: Cannon; Delgado, J.M.R., “Intracerebral Radio Stimulation and recording in Completely Free Patients,” in Schwitzgebel and Schwitzgebel (eds.))
The most famous example of the stimoceiverinaction occurred at a Cordoba bull breeding ranch. Delgado stepped into the ring with a bull which had had a stimoceiver implanted. The bull charged Delgado, who pressed a remote control button which caused the bull to stop its charge. Delgado claimed that the stimulus caused the bull to lose its aggressive instinct.