How cool would it be for humans to be able to send thoughts brain-to-brain seamlessly? Well, we aren’t quite there yet. However, researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle may have just discovered the first step to actualizing a form of telepathy, and it all commenced over a game resembling the shape-shifting puzzle we know as Tetris.
The Scientific Setup
The two main components of the experiment were the electroencephalogram (also known as an EEG) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). The EEG works to record brain activity while the TMS can stimulate certain brain activity. A network called BrainNet was the platform used to generate the Tetris-like game and the avenues to transport the brain signals.
Linxing Jiang, the head of the team of researchers, wanted to explore the possibility of having simplified information travel from one person’s brain to another’s. These “messages” would tell the receiver whether to turn a puzzle piece 180 degrees or whether to leave it as it is.
“Rotate” Or “Don’t Rotate”
Three test subjects were used. Two were designated “senders” while one was the “receiver”. The senders watched a screen showing a block dropping down onto other blocks (i.e. Tetris). On each side of the screen had two different lights, blinking at different frequencies. One frequency would trigger the signal for “rotate” while the other frequency indicated “do not rotate”.
The receiver, who could not see the screen, would then be given the brain signal to indicate either option. After repeated trials, the success rate proved to be 81.25%!
One Bit Can Mean Millions More
Scientists remind us that this does not mean that humans can perform a type of telepathy. First, the signal sharing can only be done with outward influences assisting. Second, only one bit of data is sent each time. However, every bit of technology we have now started out somewhere.
Trials are still on-going, and this network could get into the hands of bigger corporations who could expand this type of technology. This may not be the first step to any superpowers but, it still proves that our brains are pretty cool.,