Telepathy for Realz: Brain Games Part I

Granted this form of “telepathy”  involves computers and non-invasive, external stimulation of the brain but it’s still incredible.  Neuroscientists, led by Dr. Guilo Ruffini, successfully transmitted the conscious thoughts “hola” and “ciao” between two human brains located in France and India.  How did they do it?  Using a brain-computer and computer-brain interfaces, of course!  One subject (the brain-to-computer interface_ with electrodes on the  scalp thought the message and the electric impulses of brain emitted during the thought were recorded via electroencephalogram(EEG).  Next, the EEG was converted to binary code.  This was emailed to the computer-to-brain interfaced recipient who was connected to a transcranial magnetic stimulator (or TMS).  The TMS stimulated the recipients brain in time with the binary code which was experienced by the participant as flashes of light.  They then decoded the binary back into words.  Whew!

Not quite as simple as The Force or a Vulcan Mind Meld but still pretty cool!

Brain-to-brain communication system overview. On the left, the brain-computer interaction subsystem is shown schematically, including electrodes over the motor cortex and the EEG amplifier/transmitter wireless box in the cap. Motor imagery of the feet codes the bit value 0, of the hands codes bit value 1. On the right, the computer-brain interface system is illustrated, highlighting the role of coil orientation for encoding the two bit values. Communication between the brain-computer interaction and computer-brain interface system components is mediated by the Internet. Image credit: Grau C et al.

(The brain-to-brain communication experiment schematic. Image Credit: PLoS ONE article)

Read more at Sci-News and the original paper on PloS ONE.

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