Can you read someone else's mind through a computer ? Image Credit: YouTube / University of Washington
Recent advances in computer-brain interfaces could soon make brain-to-brain communication a reality.
It might sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but researchers have already managed to create brain-computer interfaces capable of reading and interpreting human thought patterns.
One of the biggest hurdles in reading what someone is thinking is understanding how specific thoughts are represented by different patterns of brain activity. These patterns are not the same for everyone - how we think about any given concept depends on our own experiences and memories.
To create true brain-to-brain communication, it will be necessary to interpret the thoughts of one person and then trigger those same memories in the recipient via a computer.
Incredibly, something like this has already been attempted. In one experiment, two people in separate rooms were asked to play a game of 20 questions while connected up to a computer.
Each 'yes' or 'no' response was picked up by the system which then used a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation to trigger a current in the other person's brain.
One day it might even be possible for two people to exchange thoughts over the Internet, perhaps even a worldwide 'brain net' of interconnected minds all sharing information back and forth.
Whether such a scenario is achievable (or even desirable) however remains to be seen.
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