When A Live Cat Was Turned Into Telephone In 1929!

Cat turned into telephone

Cat turned into telephone – We live in a strange world indeed.

And strangest are the stories of invention.

Here we have picked one such weird experiments when a live cat was turned into a functioning telephone. Professor Ernest Glen Weaver and his research assistant Charles William Bray conducted the experiment in 1929 at Princeton University.

Cat turned into telephone

The Professor and his Assistant took an unconscious, but a very much alive cat and transformed it into a telephone for testing how the sound is perceived by the auditory nerves in a living being. They sedated the cat in the process and opened its skull for better access of the auditory nerve. After that, they attached a telephone wire to the auditory nerve of the cat and the other end was connected to a telephone receiver. When the setup was complete, Bray would speak in the cat’s ear and Weaver would listen to it in the telephone receiver 50 feet away in a soundproof room.

Cat turned into telephone –

Cat turned into telephone

During this time a common notion prevailed, frequency of response of a sensory nerve is correlated to the intensity of the stimulus. When auditory nerves are considered, the frequency or pitch of the sound received by the ear grows higher with the increasing pitch of the sound. Weaver heard the sound in same frequency through the telephone receiver in which Bray made the sound in the cat’s ear. As Bray increased the frequency, the sound Weaver received in the other end was also increased. Thus, they concluded through this experiment, that the frequency of response of the auditory nerve are corelated to the frequency of the sound.

They didn’t stop here, to validate their experiment they tried various other conditions in order to reach the same conclusion. When they connected the wires with other tissues and nerves, away from the auditory nerve the receiver didn’t produced any sound. Bray and Weaver continued the experiment by restricting blood circulation to the cat’s brain, which ceased transmission of sound from the receiver.Thus a living medium is required to transmit the sound in the other end.

Cat turned into telephone

Their groundbreaking research laid the foundation for cochlear implants, a device which helps in converting sound vibrations into electrical signals to the brain. This stimulates the auditory nerve in the brain to create a sense of hearing in the deaf people. The duo received first ever Howard Crosby Warren Medal of Society by the Society of Experimental Psychologists for this invention. Discovery of frequency correlation initiated other medical breakthroughs and also helped military during World War II.

Cat turned into telephone

Though some of the aspects of this experiment were disproven later, but it substantiated once again that, insanity leads to great discoveries. So, if we would have said it earlier that, a live cat was actually turned into a functioning telephone then you would have rolled over the floor and thought this article to be a masterpiece of insanity, right? But, see history has proved time and again, it is a store house of weird elements.

Cat turned into telephone – From an apple falling on the ground Newton got law of gravitation, Benjamin Franklin discovered the lightning rod and understanding of positive and negative charges while flying the kite and Weaver & Bray laid the foundation of cochlear implants with a live cat and telephone! Funny but true.

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