(ORDO NEWS) — Neuroscientists have successfully connected the brains of three people. During the experiment, the participants could exchange information. Scientists want to eventually develop a network that will connect the brains of many people.
The BrainNet system is based on electroencephalograms, which record electrical impulses in the brain, and transcranial magnetic stimulation, with which neurons are stimulated by magnetic fields.
A team from the University of Washington at Seattle and Carnegie Mellon University claims it is the first non-invasive direct brain-to-brain interface designed for collaborative problem solving.
During the experiment, two people were connected to EEG electrodes and played a game reminiscent of Tetris. The participants had to decide whether to flip the falling piece.
To do this, they looked at one of the two flashing LEDs located on either side of the screen. One of them blinked at a frequency of 15 Hz, and the other at 17 Hz, due to which various signals arose in the brains of the participants.
These signals were recorded by electroencephalograms and then transmitted to a third person using transcranial magnetic stimulation. Phantom flashes of light appeared in her mind, a phenomenon known as photism.
The third person as the “recipient” was supposed to spin the falling pieces in the game as flashes of light flickered through her mind, even though he couldn’t even see the playing field.
The researchers conducted these experiments with five different groups of participants and achieved an average accuracy rate of 81.25%. The result was promising, so the inventors intend to continue research to develop this system.
Of course, it will be years before scientists develop a brain-to-brain interface that allows direct communication between people and the exchange of thoughts. The BrainNet system in its current form is quite primitive, but you have to start somewhere. Scientists want to develop their interface until they can connect the brains of many people – even over the Internet.
Perhaps in the very distant future, all of humanity will become one big thinking being on earth.
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