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No more words? BrainNet enables ‘brain-to-brain’ communication, Tetris-like game play

| | October 12, 2018
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

What if we could do away with words altogether? What if, rather than relying on an intermediary, we could directly transmit our thoughts through a digital, internet-like space into another mind?

Yes, I’m talking about telepathy. No, we are absolutely not there. But a curious team of neural engineers from the University of Washington is pushing the boundaries of what human brain-to-brain communication could look like—a system not mired in the intricacies of grammar or subject to the limitations of language translation. A true universal means of communication for humankind.

[September], in a study uploaded to the pre-print server arXiv, the team, led by Dr. Rajesh P.D. Rao, describes a system that lets three people collaboratively play a Tetris-like game. Dubbed “BrainNet,” the interface reads the brain activity of two people, the “senders,” and teases out relevant instructions on game play. These instructions are then used to stimulate the “receiver’s” brain, who then uses the information to perform a move in the game.

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For now, the instructions are incredibly simple in that they’re binary. The system can’t transmit words or sentence-like thoughts from one person to another. But it is proof-of-concept that, on an incredibly rudimentary level, we are inching towards technology that could potentially one day take telepathy out of the realm of science fiction into the real world.

Read full, original post: How BrainNet Enabled 3 People to Directly Transmit Thoughts

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