Brain-to-Brain communication successfully test to play 20 Questions game

During a recent experiment, researchers at the University of Washington used direct brain-to-brain connection for enabling a group of individuals play a question and answer game by sending out signals from the brain of one participant to that of another via the internet. This experiment has shown that it’s possible to connect two brains for allowing one person guess what another is thinking.

The said research has been detailed in the popular science journal PLOS ONE. Andrea Stocco, an assistant professor of psychology at the University and the lead author of the study, said that the brain-to-brain experiment conducted by her and her team is the most complex one to be carried out on humans. She informed that the experiment used conscious experiences via signals experienced visually, a process that needs two individuals to collaborate.

The experiment was performed in dark rooms, which were parts of two laboratories located almost a mile away from each other. It had five pairs as participants, each of which played twenty rounds of the game. Each of those rounds had eight objects, and the participants were required to answer three questions correctly for solving the game.

The respondent i.e. the first participant had to wear a cap connected to an EEG (electroencephalography) machine, a device designed for recording electrical brain activities. Next, the respondent was shown an object on the computer screen and the inquirer i.e. the second participant saw a list containing possible objects along with several associated questions.

The inquirer sent questions with the click of a mouse, and the respondent had to answer in “yes” or “no” just by focusing on any of the two LED light flashing on the monitor. Here, it must be mentioned that the two lights were flashing at diverse frequencies.

Both the “yes” and “no” answers sent a signal to the inquirer through the internet activating a magnetic coil placed just behind the head of the inquirer. However, the responses were intense enough for stimulating the visual cortex and enabling the inquirer to view a phosphene (a flashing light) only if the answer was “yes”. The phosphene that might look like waves, a slim line or a blob is produced when there’s a brief interruption in the visual field.

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James Oliver

James is a tech-savvy journalist who specializes in consumer electronics. He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and has a knack for dissecting gadgets to their core. Whether it's smartphones, wearables, or smart home devices, James has got it covered. In his free time, he enjoys mountain biking.