One day, I was doing visual recording and getting more data on the integration between the eyes in spiders and how the information is being transmitted in the brain. I was searching in the neurons, and I went to the border of the area of the brain where the visual system is. While I was doing that, I didn’t get many responses in that area, but I was moving my chair back, and when I did, I suddenly heard a really strong spike.
So I listened and immediately heard very, very pronounced spikes, which means something was going on. It’s almost like when you fish and you feel a bite — it’s the same feeling. I was just feeling that strong pull when I heard that spike. And when I did that, I asked myself, What’s going on here? I hadn’t done anything to the eyes. So I did it again, and there were more spikes. And then I clapped my hands and more spikes.
I called Paul, who was working in the next room. I said, “Hey Paul, can you come over for a second? Can you clap your hands?” He was standing outside of the lab, and he clapped his hands and prrr, you hear the spike. I said to Paul, “That’s the spider.” I asked him if spiders hear sound, and he said no, it’s mainly vibratory, that they “hear” things that are moving, that they can feel. It was unexpected. And we were really, really surprised. We knew at that moment that we had something really big here.