Mind reading could be just one step away from us.
A new study published in the journal PLOS One revels how Brain-to-Brain interface makes mind reading possible. The discovery could bring many benefits to language-impaired people who cannot voice their feelings, researchers have explained.
Thursday marked the beginning of a new era in nonverbal communication: the most talked-about and anticipated mind reading techniques became possible through the brain-to-brain interface created by scientists at the University of Washington. The efficiency of the computer program was proven through repeated guessing games and experiments.
Two respondents took part in the experiment; they were requested to “guess” what they were thinking, based on the questions that the inquirers made. The respondent then, had to provide yes-or-no questions related to the subject that the inquirer had in mind.
To be more specific, the inquirer had one object in mind, whereas the respondent was introduced to eight possible objects. The inquirer asked yes-or-no questions to establish whether the respondent’s guesses were correct or not.
Yet, answers were not delivered in less than no time. The respondent had to direct his gaze towards one LED light of 13 Hz for a ‘yes’ answer or a 12 Hz LED light for a ‘no’. The light decoded the silent answer of the respondent and the choice was sent to the inquirer’s mind with the help of a machine producing transcranial magnetic stimulation. Due to TMS pulses, the ‘yes’ answer was perceived as a phosphene, whereas the ‘no’ response remained unchanged.
In spite of the accurate responses that scientists have obtained with the help of their new brain-to-brain interface, researchers admit that the invention is still far from being acknowledged. Mind reading is not as fast as scientists would like it to be and it usually involves a lengthy preparation beforehand.
The inquirer had to be able to correctly recognize and interpret the phosphene light. Consequently, he spent almost two hours preparing himself for the experiment. The respondent, on the other hand, was asked to take 20-second long stares into each LED light for the program to decipher his thoughts.
Scientists think more work has to be done to make brain-to-brain interfaces much faster. Moreover, they have to think of a proper legal frame to prevent such mind reading techniques from being misemployed. They should expect powerful waves of contests to come their way from people who fear U.S. intelligence will use the brain-to-brain interface to torture suspects.
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