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Scientists create human brain to brain interface

Until recently a brain-to-brain interface has only been accomplished between two rats however two scientists have achieved a human to human connection. Rajesh Rao studies computational neuroscience at the University of Washington and he has successfully managed to control the mind of his friend, Andrea Stucco. Both were linked via Skype.

Rao conducted the experiment on August 12th, but it was only announced a couple of days ago.

Rao wore a skull cap which contained electrodes and this was connected to a electroencephalography (ECG) machine. With the electrodes attached, the machine was able to detect electrical activity in his brain.

Some distance away Stocco wore a cap that was connected to a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) machine. This machine activated a magnetic stimulation coil which was integrated into the cap directly above Stocco’s left motor cortex. This part of the brain controls movements in the hands.

As Rao was watching a screen showing a video game, in which the player had to press spacebar to shoot down a rocket, a computer in Stocco’s room was linked to the same game. Instead of tapping the bar physically, Rao thought of himself doing it. The EEG would detect the electrical impulse with RAO hitting the spacebar and would send the signal via the Skype connection to the TMS in Stocco’s room.

The impulse caused the coil in the cap to stimulate his left motor cortex which would make his right hand move. His finger would move, hitting the spacebar and firing the cannon.
[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNRDc714W5I’]

Rao said that the technology can not be used to read another person’s mind, or to make them do things without their willing participation, but surely it is only a matter of time!

They hope that the technology could be used to allow non pilots to land aircraft in emergency situations for example, or to let disabled people explain their needs to caregivers.

You can read more on this, over here.

Kitguru says: A heck of an achievement for the guys. We are sure this will move forward quickly now.

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