BrainNet Social Network Of Brains

BrainNet is a "social network of brains" that so far allows three people to transmit thoughts to each other mentally.

Andrea Stocco and his colleagues announced ... a world-first brain-to-brain network. The network, which they call BrainNet, allows a small group to play a collaborative Tetris-like game. “Our results raise the possibility of future brain-to-brain interfaces that enable cooperative problem-solving by humans using a ‘social network’ of connected brains,” they say.

The technology behind the network is relatively straightforward. EEGs measure the electrical activity of the brain. They consist of a number of electrodes placed on the skull that can pick up electrical activity in the brain.

Stocco and his colleagues have created a network that allows three individuals to send and receive information directly to their brains. They say the network is easily scalable and limited only by the availability of EEG and TMS devices.

The proof-of-principle network connects three people: two senders and one person able to receive and transmit, all in separate rooms and unable to communicate conventionally. The group together has to solve a Tetris-like game in which a falling block has to be rotated so that it fits into a space at the bottom of the screen.

The two senders, wearing EEGs, can both see the full screen. The game is designed so the shape of the descending block fits in the bottom row either if it is rotated by 180 degrees or if it is not rotated. The senders have to decide which and broadcast the information to the third member of the group.

I think the first time I thought about this idea was while reading Oath of Fealty, a 1981 science fiction novel by the writing team of Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven. In the story, they describe a communications implant that permits two people to share their thoughts, mediated by a remote computer system.

Via Technology Review.

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