Experts from the University of Washington and from the Carnegie Mellon University successfully interconnected the brains of three people and allowed them to share their thoughts. Well, sort of. They played Tetris together.
The experts used a system called BrainNet. BrainNet uses a combination of an EEG – which it uses to record electric pulses coming from the brain and transcranial magnetic stimulation – TMS – during which neurons are stimulated with magnetic fields.
During the experiment itself two participants - “the senders”- decided on whether the Tetris piece currently on screen needs to be rotated or not. To allow the signals from their brain to be detected, they looked at one of two blinking LED lights that each flashed in a different frequency – 15 & 17 Hz. Each of the lights had a different effect on the brain’s signals allowing the EEG to record them.
Their decision was sent to the third participant “the receiver” using a TMS hat. The TMS has is capable of producing phantom lights that your eyes don’t detect but your brain still sees. He was not able to see the screen but if he got the phantom light signal he had to turn the piece on screen. Using this technology the scientists managed to achieve an 81.25 % accuracy.
The scientists are hoping that such a system could one day – after a lot of further work – be used to connect many different minds – even through the internet. Now we just have to wait for all the thoughts to fall into place.