According to Vice magazine, an international team of researchers has assembled the first human brain-to-brain interface. With the help of EEG technology, they have successfully converted the Spanish words “hola” and “ciao” from a person’s brain waves into binary. The data was transmitted from a person in India to another person in France, where the process was reversed. The researchers claim that they’ve created the first human brain-to-brain communication system, something we have only seen working between rats before.

As their recently published study explains, the Duke University researchers closed the brain-computer control loop by putting another brain on the other end of the system, to receive the signals processed by the computer interface.

Once the words were encoded, the result was emailed to France, where another computer interface decoded them and sent the binary signals into the information receiver’s brain via non-invasive electrical stimulation method that appeared as flashes of light in the corner of their vision. The first attempt was successful, unlike the second, which involved sending thoughts from Spain to France. resulted in a total error rate of just 15 percent, with a 5 percent on the encoding side and roughly 11 percent on the decoding.

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View of emitter and receiver subjects with non-invasive devices supporting, respectively, the BCI based on EEG changes driven by motor imagery (left) and the CBI based on the reception of phosphenes elicited by a neuronavigated TMS (right) components of the B2B transmission system.

According to the researchers, this was the first time humans have ‘telepathically’ sent communicative content nearly directly into each other’s brains.

Of course as usual, we have to note that the technology is still in its early days, but the researchers believe that smooth telepathic communication, mediated by computers, will be a routine for humans in the near future.

Source: Vice
To read the whole study PLOSone.org

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On the left, the BCI subsystem is shown schematically, including electrodes over the motor cortex and the EEG amplifier/transmitter wireless box in the cap. Motor imagery of the feet codes the bit value 0, of the hands codes bit value 1. On the right, the CBI system is illustrated, highlighting the role of coil orientation for encoding the two bit values. Communication between the BCI and CBI components is mediated by the internet.