Magnetic implants - playing with magnets

I mentioned briefly but vaguely in a recent post that I was playing guinea pig in some work I was doing as part of my research project at university. Well, it turns out being the guinea pig in this case translates into getting two tiny neodymium (rare-earth metal, high field-strength) magnets implanted into the pads of the middle and index fingers of my left hand!

Magnetic implants (of the sorts I have) are by no means new - a body modification artist called Samppa is said to have experimented with them in the late 90's. However, I became aware of them around 2006 when Wired carried an article by Quinn Norton about her getting such an implant. I was very intrigued by the experiences reported in the article and and by the time I finished reading everything about magnetic implants I could find on the net, I had a few experiments I wanted to run and was itching to get one myself. As I had mentioned in a blog post I made back then, I was mostly interested in the sensory extension that was reported to be brought on by the magnet responding ever so slightly to external electromagnetic fields (such as that produced by current-carrying wires, motors etc). The work I'm doing now essentially involves basic scientific exploration of the effect and building on the ideas I had originally towards a practical application.

The video below shows me playing around with magnets similar to which I have inside my fingers. No real point here, other than just play and a little demonstration of the strength of the implanted magnets ;-) I'll post more details on the type of magnet and the implantation process a bit later...


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