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article imageMind control achieved in experiment

By Michael Thomas     Aug 30, 2013 in Science
Though often a cliché in horror and science fiction, University of Washington researchers have managed to send brain signals from one subject to another in an experiment.
The process used non-invasive technology and the Internet to create a human-to-human interface, according to Mashable.
University of Washington researchers Rajesh Rao and Andrea Stocco were situated on opposite sides of the campus. Rao's thought was recorded on an EEG, and then the brain signal associated with that thought traveled via the Internet to Stocco, who was wearing a "magnetic stimulation coil" over a specific part of his brain. When the signal arrived, it caused Stocco to involuntarily move his right index finger along a keyboard.
“It was both exciting and eerie to watch an imagined action from my brain get translated into actual action by another brain,” Rao said in a press release. “This was basically a one-way flow of information from my brain to his. The next step is having a more equitable two-way conversation directly between the two brains.”
While this is obviously a new breakthrough in human-to-human brain interfacing, researchers are warning against overestimating the technology. First, participants on both sides of the "mind control" would have to be willing participants given the technological limitations described above. Second, the "human-to-human interface" is currently only capable of processing simple brain signals, so it's unlikely that one could "order" someone to rob a bank.
Practical applications of this technology could include landing a plane with assistance from a passenger or attendant if the pilot is unable, or perhaps allowing someone with a disability to more easily request food or water.
National Geographic reports that many amazing things can now be achieved just with human thought thanks to new technology, including composing music, screening cellphone calls and creating 3D objects.
More about Mind control, the brain, University of Washington, brain control
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