Scientists have managed to allow people to ‘talk’ to each other telepathically.
Researchers from Spain’s Starlab Barcelona and Axium Robotics in Strasbourg, France have successfully transmitted the simple greetings ‘hola’ and ‘ciao’ between the minds of participants located 8,000km apart.
“We wanted to search out out if one might communicate directly between 2 individuals by reading out the brain activity from one person and injecting brain activity into the person, and to do so across great physical distances using existing communication methods;’ explains study co-author Alvaro Pascual-Leone. “One such method is, of course, the internet, so our question became, ‘Could we develop an experiment that would bypass the talking or typing part of the internet and establish direct brain-to-brain communication between subjects placed far-flung from one another in Republic of India and France?“
It turns out the answer was ‘yes’. To do it, the team attached a series of electrodes to the transmitter’s scalp to record specific patterns of activity that were triggered when saying a simple greeting. They translated this into binary code and then emailed the results from their base in India to a laboratory in France.
A computer-brain interface transmitted the message to the receiver’s brain through non-invasive brain stimulation.
The ‘receivers’ experienced this as a sequence of light flashes in their peripheral vision that they were able to successfully decode.
“This in itself could be an outstanding step in human communication, however having the ability to do so across a distance of thousands of miles could be a critically vital proof-of-principle for the development of brain-to-brain communications,” says Pascual-Leone.The system is currently slow, transmitting only 2 bits of information per minute. However, if it speeds up, future applications could include communicating with stroke victims and sending messages to soldiers in combat.