Two people exchanging thoughts without saying a word is the stuff of science fiction.
But this type of brain-to-brain communication will soon be a reality
A team of neuroscientists has successfully connected brains to allow three people to share their thoughts. The researchers have named this new system BrainNet.
The multi-person, non-invasive direct brain-to-brain system BrainNet works through a combination of electroencephalograms (EEGs) that record electrical activity in the brain and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which can transmit information into the brain.
For the BrainNet, three persons were asked to play a collaborative Tetris-like game. Two persons (senders) were fitted with electrodes to detect and record their own brainwaves. They had to stare at flashing LEDs that were producing different signals the EEG could pick up. Their choice was relayed through a third person (receiver) who was also fitted with electrodes. Although the receiver could not see the whole game, electrodes enabled him to receive and read brainwaves from the two senders via TMS.
The researchers experimented this with five groups consisting of three people each and they were 81.25 percent accurate
Scientists think they can expand it in future to create a “social network” of connected brains to send and receive signals directly to and from the brain.
“Our results raise the possibility of future brain-to-brain interfaces that enable cooperative problem solving by humans using a ‘social network’ of connected brains,” writes the team.