It was all started with phone when we connected with others for the first time and in these two decades, science made so much progress that now we can also connect with each other’s mind. Yes with the mind, and the technique called telepathy. Telepathy is the ability to transmit words, emotions, or images to someone other’s mind. Although people do not believe that any such ability or technique exists, but probably very soon they will be proved wrong. Because our scientists have developed a new brain to brain technique, with the help of which you and your friends can play a video game together using only your minds.
A team of scientist at the University of Washington developed a new technique that allows three people to work together to solve a problem using only their minds. In Brennet, three people play a Tetris-like game using a brain-to-brain interface. Two things in this technique have been demonstrated for the first time in history: first, the brain-to-brain network of more than two people, and second, a person being able to both receive and send information to someone else using only their brain.
“Humans are social beings who communicate with each other to cooperate and solve problems that none of us can solve on our own,” said corresponding author Rajesh Rao, the CJ and Elizabeth Hwang professor in the UW’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering and a co-director of the Center for Neurotechnology. “We wanted to know if a group of people could collaborate using only their brains. That’s how we came up with the idea of BrainNet: where two people help a third person solve a task.”
To test the BrianNet technique, the team of scientists asked five groups of participants to play 16 rounds of Tetris game. For each group, all three participants were in different rooms and couldn’t see, hear or speak to one another.
As in Tetris game, the game shows a block at the top of the screen and a line that needs to be completed downwards. This game was played by creating 3 groups of people, 2 people sender, and one receiver.
- 2 people who are the sender, can see both the block and the line but can not control the game.
- The third person, the receiver, can only see the block but can tell the game whether to rotate the block to successfully complete the line.
- Both the two senders decide that the block needs to be rotated or not and then that information will be transmitted through the brain, through the Internet and the receiver’s brain.
- Then the receiver processes that information and sends out a command – to rotate the block or not – directly to the game from their brain, hopefully completing and clearing the line.
The sender can watch the game displayed on each computer screen. The screen also showed the word “yes” on one side and the word “no” on the other side. Under the “Yes” option, one LED has flash 17 times per second. Under the “No” option, one LED has flash 15 times for the second time.”Once the Sender makes a decision about whether to rotate the block, they send ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to the Receiver’s brain by concentrating on the corresponding light,” said first author Linxing Preston Jiang, a student in the Allen School’s combined bachelor’s/master’s degree program.
All the senders wore electroencephalography caps, which raised electrical activity in their minds. Different brightness patterns of light trigger a unique type of activity in the brain, which the electroencephalography caps can lift up. Therefore, as the senders saw the light for their selection of this, the cap raised those signals, and the computer sends the real-time feedback to the receivers on their computer screen by displaying a cursor that moved toward their selection. Selections were then translated into “yes” or “no” answer which could be sent to the receiver on the internet.
“To deliver the message to the Receiver, we used a cable that ends with a wand that looks like a tiny racket behind the Receiver’s head. This coil stimulates the part of the brain that translates signals from the eyes, We essentially ‘trick’ the neurons in the back of the brain to spread around the message that they have received signals from the eyes. Then participants have the sensation that bright arcs or objects suddenly appear in front of their eyes,” said co-author Andrea Stocco, a UW assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences, or I-LABS.
As I mentioned above, the Receiver gets answers from both the senders and only after then the sender make his decision that whether the block needs to be rotated or not. Because the Receiver also wears that same kind electroencephalography cap, the receiver also need to follow the same process as the senders to select yes or no. If the answer is, “Yes, that means the block needs to be rotated,” then the Receiver would see the bright flash. If the answer is “No,” then the Receiver wouldn’t see anything.
During this test, the senders were given the opportunity to review the recipient’s decision and to improve upon disagreement. Then, once the receiver sent the second decision, then everyone in the group came to know whether they approved the line. On average, each group successfully cleared the line for 81% of the time or 13 out of 16 tests.
Through this test, the researcher also wanted to know whether the recipients will learn from time to time to rely on a sender based on their credibility. And for that the team of researchers, deliberately choose one of the senders as “bad sender” and flipped their responses in 10 out of 16 tests – so that “yes, turn the block” suggestion will be given to the recipient as “no, do not rotate the block,” and vice versa. because of which the receiver learned over time to trust on the right sender.
Researchers hope that these results pave the way for future brain-to-brain interfaces that allow people to cooperate to solve difficult problems, which a single brain cannot solve alone. Researchers also believe that it is time to start a major dialogue about the morality of such brain enhancement research and developing protocols to ensure that the privacy of the people is respected because the technology Improves. At present, the group of researchers is working with the neuroethics team in the Center for Neurotechnology to address such issues.
“But for now, this is just a baby step. Our equipment is still expensive and very bulky and the task is a game,” Rao said. “We’re in the ‘Kitty Hawk’ days of brain interface technologies: We’re just getting off the ground.”
So this is all about the newly developed brain to brain technology that allows us to play a game together using only our mind. Hopefully, this brain to brain technique proves useful to you. Also if you any questions regarding brain to brain technique or you want to know, how you and your friends can play a video game together using only your minds with this technique, so you can ask us in the comments section.