In what they call the first noninvasive human-to-human brain interface, two UW researchers found a way to control each others minds from across campus.
For the experiment, Rao wore a cap with electrodes connected to an EEG machine. Stocco, meanwhile, put on a swim cap that could induce magnetic stimulation in the brain, specifically over his left motor cortex, which controls hand movement.
As this video shows, Rao started playing a game with cannons and imagined moving his right hand when he wanted to fire. Just he did this, Stocco felt his right index finger move up-and-down — without him doing anything — to push the spacebar he was hovering over and fire the cannon.
“It was both exciting and eerie to watch an imagined action from my brain get translated into actual action by another brain,” Rao said. “This was basically a one-way flow of information from my brain to his. The next step is having a more equitable two-way conversation directly between the two brains.”
There has been research already done showing off computer-brain interactions, but no one has demonstrated the ability for one human to control the brain of another’s — until now.
The researchers say they want to conduct further research to see if more complex experiments can be performed. The potential applications from this are mind-boggling. Stocco used an example of having a flight attendant fly a plane via someone else’s brain on the ground in case of an emergency in the air, or for helping people who are disabled and can’t speak clearly. When you think about it, the possibilities seem endless.
Check out the video below to see the amazing experiment: