NEW YORK (Reuters) - The scientists call it a "brain link," and it is the closest anyone has gotten to a real-life "mind meld": the thoughts of a rat romping around a lab in Brazil were captured by electronic sensors and sent via Internet to the brain of a rat in the United States.

The result: the second rat received the thoughts of the first, mimicking its behavior, researchers reported on Thursday in Scientific Reports, a journal of the Nature Publishing Group.

Adding to its science-fiction feel, the advance in direct brain-to-brain communication could lay the foundation for what Duke University Medical Center neurobiologist Miguel Nicolelis, who led the research, calls an "organic computer" in which multiple brains are linked to solve problems solo brains can't.

If that sounds like an ethical minefield, several experts think so too, especially since Nicolelis is now working on brain-to-brain communication between monkeys.