The initial stages of experimentation with brain-to-brain interfacing possibly point to a future where people can share complex thoughts and emotions remotely.
via The Guardian:
Mind reading might not be as far-fetched as many people believe, says a studypublished by researchers at the University of Washington.
Their research, published in PLOS One on Wednesday, demonstrated “that a non-invasive brain-to-brain interface (BBI) can be used to allow one human to guess what is on the mind of another human”. With only the use of brainwaves and a specifically designed computer, they examined the potential for exchanging basic information without saying a word.
“We are actually still at the beginning of the field of interface technology and we are just mapping out the landscape so every single step is a step that opens up some new possibilities,” said lead author Andrea Stocco, an assistant professor of psychology and a researcher at UW’s Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences.
The experiment had five pairs of men and women between the ages of 19 and 39 play a game similar to 20 questions. Each group had a “respondent”, who picked an object from lists provided, and an “inquirer”, who tried to guess the object by asking yes or no questions. They were placed in different rooms, approximately one mile apart.
After a question was picked, it appeared on the respondent’s computer screen. They had two seconds to look at the question and one second to choose an answer. To do so, they looked at one of two flashing lights that were labeled yes or no. Each answer generated slightly different types of neural activity.
The respondent’s brain waves were picked up by brain wave-reading technology, such as an electroencephalogram (EEG), and sent to the inquirer. With the use of a magnetic coil behind their head, the inquirer’s visual cortex was stimulated, so that if the answer was yes, they saw a flash of light. If the answer was no, they saw nothing.
Each group of participants took part in 20 games. According to the study, they correctly guessed the object in 72% of the trials with the device, compared with 18% of the control games.