Scientists successful at transmitting brain-to-brain information

Scientists from the Harvard University Medical School along with experts from France and Spain have successfully achieved brain-to-brain transmission of information between humans.

They were successfully able to send messages roughly 5,000 miles from India to France without any invasive surgery on the four subjects, aged between 28 and 50. Details of this research have been published in the science journal Plos One.

The emitter was hooked up to electrodes and was shown words translated into binary. These words were then entered into a computer by moving a white circle to different parts of the screen with their thoughts. Example: the top right corner was for 1 and the bottom right was for 0.

Further, at the receiver end that was situated thousands of miles away the code was uploaded. This was done by fitting a device that emits electrical pulses through the receiver's head via a robotic arm in a series of 'flashes' called phosphenes. The flashes were sent to different parts of the receivers' skulls, which allowed them to differentiate between 1s and 0s. These messages were successfully interpreted as 'Hola' and 'Ciao'.

Alvaro Pascual-Leone, researchers from Harvard University who was actively involved in this research, said, "We want to find out if one could communicate directly between two people by reading out the brain activity from one person and injecting brain activity into the second person, and do so across great physical distances by leveraging existing communication pathways".

The scientists consider that this research is the first stage that eventually will lead to a breakthrough that will open the gateway to a whole new method of communication. This method can be one of the most exciting scientific developments in recent times. Once fully developed, this technique can be made use of in the case of communication with stroke patients.

United States