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Harvard University Creates Brain To Brain Interface For Thought Control

By Smriti Jha in 'Computer Science | IT | Networking', Aug 1, 2013.

  1. Smriti Jha

    Engineering Discipline:
    Computer Science
    Researchers at Harvard University have created the first noninvasive brain-to-brain interface (BBI) which could allow a human to control an animal by thought alone. In this case, the Researchers used a human and a rat to make the human's thought control the rat’s tail. Even with advancements in Science, the human brain continues to remain a mystery. Scientists have no idea how thoughts are encoded by neurons in the brain. Since that's not clear, it's pretty much out of scope to inject a new thought into the human brain. Current technology allows us to create a computer-brain interface that can stimulate a region of the brain that’s known to create a certain reaction. For example, by controlling specific part of motor cortex, you can move your fingers. But you can't move them as you like because that requires the knowledge of brain’s encoding scheme. It's like having a car with no steering wheel.


    For the BBI interface to work, the human wears a EEG-based BCI, while the mouse is equipped with a focused ultrasound (FUS) computer-brain interface (CBI). FUS is a non-invasive technique that allows the researchers to excite a very specific region of neurons in the rat’s brain using an ultrasound signal. Once the setup is in place, the BCI responds whenever the human looks at a specific pattern on a computer screen (While in theory, the human could trigger a response with thought alone, the researchers wanted emphasis on the FUS CBI, rather than the BCI, and hence use a pattern here). When the BCI sends a command to the rat’s CBI it causes ultrasound to be beamed into the region of the rat’s motor cortex that controls tail movement. According to Researchers, the human BCI has an accuracy of 94%, and it takes approximately 1.5 seconds for the entire process to complete.

    The success of this experiment paves way for transmitting more complex ideas onto more complex beings. Bidirectional sharing could revolutionize communication, of course. B2B (Brain to Brain) transfer would become the new norm. And 'Voices in my head' would cease to be a euphemism for the crazy.

    Source: ExtremeTech


Discussion in 'Computer Science | IT | Networking' started by Smriti Jha, Aug 1, 2013.