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Researchers Create First Human-to-Human Brain Interface

| 28 Aug 2013 13:07

Break out the tinfoil hats people, mind control is an actual thing.

In a story that's straight out of science-fiction, University of Washington researchers have created what they claim to be the world's first human-to-human brain interface. Using the device, one researcher was able to send a brain signal via the Internet to control the hand motions of a fellow researcher. In layman's terms? Mind control.

Rajesh Rao, one of the researchers, was first hooked up to an electrical brain recorder and a form of magnetic stimulation. He then booted up a very simple computer game where you simply had to press the "fire" button when an enemy rockets appeared on screen, but not friendly supply planes. Rao would think very hard about moving his index finger to press the fire button, without actually pushing it.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the UW campus, Rao's co-worker Andrea Stocco wears a magnetic stimulation coil over the left motor cortex region of his brain. Rao's brain signal is then sent over the internet to Stocco, who involuntarily moves his right index finger to hit the fire button whenever Rao's mind tells him to. Stocco's input is then transferred back to Rao's game. Yes, you read that right. Rao is using a mindslave to play a videogame for him.

"The Internet was a way to connect computers, and now it can be a way to connect brains," Stocco said. "We want to take the knowledge of a brain and transmit it directly from brain to brain." Rao added, "It was both exciting and eerie to watch an imagined action from my brain get translated into actual action by another brain."

Of course, this is a very rudimentary proof-of-concept experiment, but it does clearly show that these kinds of things can actually be done. The biggest question on our minds is how long until the U.S Army weaponizes it?

Source: University of Washington

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