Researchers at the University of Washington have completed a project that feels like something out of a sci-fi movie. The group has published a paper titled A Direct Brain-to-Brain Interface in Humans, in which they enabled communication among two people in different locations.
The goal of the project was to allow two humans to communicate and cooperatively to complete a task. The participants were only allowed to use signals sent from one of the volunteer’s brains to the other.
According to researchers, the goal was to create a “Brain-to-Brain Interface” that was made possible by equipping the individuals with electroencephalography (EEG) headsets.
The first participant, referred to as the “sender,” viewed a simple computer game on a screen. In the game players were required to shoot down enemy rockets as they passed by. They were told to ignore the harmless planes that also flew across the screen. The sender did not have access to the touchpad needed to fire their weapon — but the receiver did. As the sender saw a rocket and decided to fire, they sent a message to their connected participant. The receiver, who could not see the screen, would fire upon receiving the message.
The experiment worked 48 percent of the time, compared to a zero percent fail rate when the player shot down the planes without help from a second party. One pair achieved a remarkable 83.33 percent accuracy. The teams also managed to avoid shooting down friendlies a total of 81.25 percent of the time.
The participants were located in different buildings and the signal was sent over an internet connection. That means not only did they communicate, but they did so in real-time with a regular data connection.
While the results are interesting on a base level, Computational Neuroscientist, Alexander Sadovsky PhD., notes:
“These results are an intriguing rudimentary proof of concept of non-invasive brain to brain communication. However, we need to be cautious of the interpretation. The experiment is analogous to two people holding onto a rope: If one person pulls on the rope this will cause the other person holding on to move their hands (because they are being pulled). This is not a detailed, information rich signal, or “thought,” being read from one brain and transmitted to another but rather a simplification of complex neural activity being the trigger of action for a brain stimulation device using extremely coarse methodology.”
In any case, two brains were connected in some fashion from two different locations. How cool is that?
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Scientists Connect Two Human Brains At Different Locations
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