Brain-to-brain breakthrough in mind control experiment

Two minds with but a single thought as University of  Washington researcher controls colleague’s hand movements


LAST UPDATED AT 13:48 ON Wed 28 Aug  2013

SCIENTISTS have achieved human mind control for the first time in an  experiment at the University of Washington. Using recorded brain signals and the  magnetic stimulation of muscles, researchers were able to remotely control the  hand movements of a person in another room.

The technique called “non-invasive brain-to-brain interfacing” uses the  internet to connect two brains directly, a scenario reminiscent of the  brainwashing scene in John Frankenheimer’s Cold War thriller The Manchurian Candidate.

Brain-to-brain communication between two rats has already been demonstrated  by researchers at Duke University in North Carolina. And scientists at Harvard  have forged a connection between a human and a rat. But the experiment at the  University of Washington is the first demonstration of human-to-human brain  interfacing.

Andrea Stocco, who took part in the experiment, said the researchers wanted  to take knowledge and “transmit it directly from brain to brain”.

“The internet was a way to connect computers,” he said, “and now it can be a  way to connect brains.”

In the experiment, researcher Rajesh Rao imagined tapping a  keyboard with his finger. His thoughts caused an electrical signal to be sent  via the internet to Stocco, whose finger promptly performed the action.

The researchers captured this and other similar experiments on  camera.

Rao has been studying brain-computer interfacing for more than a decade. He  said that it was both “exciting and eerie” to see a thought turned into action  by another person’s brain.

“This was basically a one-way flow of information from my brain to his,” he  said. “The next step is having a two-way conversation directly between the two  brains.”

The diagram below shows how the spooky experiment works:


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Categories: Artificial Neural Network (ANN), Biotechnology ( New ), Hmmm?, Pharmaceutical - Medical Devices, Transhuman

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