Brain-To-Brain Interface Not Impossible --Study

By Charissa Echavez | Sep 25, 2015 02:43 AM EDT

A new study conducted by scientists from the University of Washington may create a possibility of two individuals that are in two different places to read each other's thoughts. Wondering how can this be even possible?  

Scientists discovered that the electrical nerve activity of a person's thought could be computerized and then these thoughts are transcribed into brainwaves and are sent out on the Internet in patterns to be received by a certain recipient's brain.

"Brain-to-brain interface is a field of research that is just at the very beginning. But what we have been able to show is that the clear exchange of simple information between a pairing of brains is possible... I think, is a big step forward, " lead author Andrea Stocco said.  

Basically, "brain-to-brain" interface involves two people communicating by exchanging brainwaves using a high-tech computer. To test the experiment, researchers gathered 10 men and women, randomly paired and assigned as control or actual experiment, and placed them in two separate darkened rooms (about 1 mile apart), where none of them can hear or see each other. An EEG-type machine with magnetic coil was attached to each participant.

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A question and answer game was conducted where the first person thinks of a certain object based from category. While the second person sends questions online to attempt to guess the item. Here's the catch, answers are only given by a "yes" or "no" flashing light, where a flash meant "yes" and no flash meant the otherwise.

Brainwaves of the second participant are sent back to the first through the magnetic coil. The machine prompts the visual cortex so that the first person can see the light. This was done 20 times.

From this, the researchers drew the conclusion that on average, people were able to correctly identify the object more than 70 per cent of the time. And because each game involved a series of questions and answers before guessing the object, we found that people were actually able to correctly understand responses 93 per cent of the time.

The study was published last Wednesday, September 23 in the journal PLOS One.

"What we've achieved is already cool," Stocco said. However, he admitted that "the ability to easily and directly communicate very complicated concepts and images from one brain to another brain is a long way off in the future."

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