(SEATTLE) — Researchers claim to have performed the first human brain-to-brain communication by sending a brain signal via the Internet to control the hand motions of another individual.
Scientists at the University of Washington used electrical brain recordings and magnetic stimulation to send the signal across campus.
Rajesh Rao wore a cap connected to electrodes and played a video game with his mind, imagining moving his right hand when he was supposed to fire a cannon at a target. Andrea Stocco, who was in another building wearing a magnetic coil, involuntarily moved his right index finger to tap the keyboard in front of him.
Stocco compared the feeling to that of a nervous tic.
“It was both exciting and eerie to watch an imagined action from my brain get translated into actual action by another brain,” Rao said.
The team connected via Skype to coordinate, but neither researcher could see the screens.
Scientists explain there’s no way the technology in the experiment could be used on a person without them knowing.
Years from now, Stocco said, developments in the technology could be used by ground control to help a passenger land a plane should the pilot become incapacitated, or help a person with disabilities communicate their wishes.
The team plans to conduct another experiment transmitting more complex information from one brain to another.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Lois M. Collins, Deseret News