Neurobiologists successfully bonded the brains of three people together. During the experiment, 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 that record electrical impulses in the brain, and transcranial magnetic stimulation with which neurons were stimulated thanks to magnetic fields.
A team from the University of Washington at Seattle and Carnegie Mellon University say it’s the first multi-person, 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 that resembled Tetris. The participants had to decide whether the falling piece should be turned over.
To this end, they stared at one of the two flashing LEDs that were placed on either side of the screen. One of them flashed at 15 Hz and the other at 17 Hz, thanks to which they generated different signals in the participants’ brains.
These signals were recorded by electroencephalograms and then transmitted to a third person with the help of transcranial magnetic stimulation. Phantom flashes of light appeared in her mind – a phenomenon known as photism.
The third person as the “recipient” had to rotate the falling pieces in the game as flashes of light flashed through her mind, even though she could not even see the play area.
The researchers conducted such experiments with five different groups of participants and achieved an average accuracy level of 81.25%. The result was promising, so the inventors intend to continue research to develop this system.
It will certainly be years before scientists develop a brain-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 mankind will become one great thinking creature on earth.
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