What if our brains could directly communicate with each other, no words necessary? In August 2013 researchers at the University of Washington performed the first noninvasive human-to-human brain interface, a seminal moment in human interpersonal communication.
In a similar manner to neural prosthetics, brain signals from the ‘sender’ are recorded, but rather than sending them to an arm or cursor, they are instead sent over the internet to another human receiver. The receiver receives the message via a transcranial magnetic stimulation device (TMS). Instead of electrodes used to deliver a constant electrical current to the brain, TMS uses a large magnetic field generator, or ‘coil’, which is placed near the head of the person receiving the treatment, to pulse a rapidly changing electromagnetic field into the brain.
This project has so far only been used to trigger simple actions – such as someone’s brain controlling someone else’s hand. Future projects will make this technology more applicable. One to keep a third eye on for sure.
As the founder of BrainWorkshops, Phil turns insights from neuroscience, cognitive and behavioural psychology, neurolinguistic programming and hypnotherapy into brain-based applicable skills and techniques for the workplace.
Rajesh Rao and Andrea Stocco at the University of Washington
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