Brainternet: Scientists Connect a Human Brain to Internet

By: | September 27th, 2017

In an exciting scientific breakthrough in machine learning, scientists have successfully connected a human brain directly to the internet for the first time. A team of neuroscientists and engineers from Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa worked on the project, dubbed “Brainternet,” to augment brain power.

A human brain connected to the internet for real-time interaction

Brainternet basically turns the brain into an Internet of Things (IoT) node on the World Wide Web. (IoT refers to connecting a device to the internet to collect and exchange data.)

Brainternet is a brain-computer interface system

To connect the human brain to a basic computer, scientists used an internet-accessible Emotiv EEG device to detect the electroencephalogram (EEG) signals in the brain. These signals were then transferred to a small, low-cost Raspberry Pi computer that live streams the signals to an application programming interface and displays the data on an open website where the general public can observe the brain activity.

Project supervisor Adam Pantanowitz says, “Brainternet is a new frontier in brain-computer interface systems. There is a lack of easily understood data about how a human brain works and processes information. Brainternet seeks to simplify a person’s understanding of their own brain and the brains of others. It does this through continuous monitoring of brain activity as well as enabling some interactivity.”

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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