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Thread started 08/28/13 3:58am

XxAxX

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Mind meld? Scientist uses his brain to control another guy's finger

Mind meld? Scientist uses his brain to control another guy's finger

http://www.nbcnews.com/sc...8C11015078

it's cool to be living in this day and age and read about this stuff. think of the potential uses for this technology. and abuses, for that matter

Image: Controller and player

The world of mind-control zombie armies may have gotten just a little closer: Scientists say they've hooked up one person's brain to the Internet, to control the finger of another person playing a video game.

“The Internet was a way to connect computers, and now it can be a way to connect brains,” University of Washington psychology professor Andrea Stocco said Tuesday in a news release. “We want to take the knowledge of a brain and transmit it directly from brain to brain.”

Stocco played the role of the mind slave in the experiment. Rajesh Rao, a computer science and engineering professor at the University of Washington, played the part of the puppetmaster. Or should that be the fingermaster?

How it was done
On Aug. 12, Rao sat in his lab, wearing a cap with electrodes hooked up to an electroencephalography machine. The EEG machine read Rao's brain activity while he watched a simple cannon-shooting video game unfold on a video screen. When it was time for Rao to shoot the cannon, he imagined moving his right hand to hit a "fire" button — while making sure not to move the hand in real life.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the UW campus, Stocco wore a cap that was equipped with a magnetic coil, placed directly over the region of his brain that controls his right hand. That hand was poised over the space bar on a computer keyboard.

The system was set up to transmit Rao's right-hand brain signals to Stocco's computer over the Internet, and then to translate those signals into a magnetic pulse in Stocco's brain cap. Stocco wasn't watching a computer screen, and wasn't in direct contact with Rao. Nevertheless, when Rao thought about making a hand motion, Stocco's right hand moved involuntarily to push the space bar.

"It was akin to the sensation when your eye twitches," Stocco told NBC News. "You know that your eye is twitching, but you don't know when it's coming."

Hitting the space bar caused the video-game cannon to fire, just as if Stocco ... er, Rao ... was playing the game.

"It was both exciting and eerie to watch an imagined action from my brain get translated into actual action by another brain," Rao said. "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."

From rats to humans
Other research teams have previously established brain-to-brain links: Earlier this year, one team announced that they hooked up the brains of two lab rats in North Carolina and Brazil to swap brain signals. Another team set up a connection that made it possible for a human to wiggle a sleeping rat's tail. Yet another project has resulted in a brain-cap system for monkeys that can read almost 2,000 channels simultaneously — which is just about enough processing power to control a full-body exoskeleton.

Rao and Stocco say their pilot study marks the first demonstration of noninvasive human-to-human brain interfacing. However, the lead researcher behind the rat-to-rat brain communication experiment and the monkey brain-cap system, Duke University's Miguel Nicolelis, said he didn't think the newly announced experiment represented true brain-to-brain communication.

"This is not a breakthrough brain interface, because the second subject has no choice," Nicolelis told NBC News. "A computer could have sent that signal to a magnetic stimulator, and the stimulator will make the movements happen. ... It's very similar to sending the signal to a muscle. There is no message in the electrical pulse."

Nicolelis said that the experiment was a nice demonstration, but that Rao, Stocco and their colleagues may have "pulled the trigger a little too quickly" on announcing their results. "I'm afraid that people will take this and think that we are one step from mind control, and this is not even close," Nicolelis said.

Only the beginning
The University of Washington researchers acknowledged that their experiment was conceptually simple. Rao stressed that their signaling system deals only with on-off signals, rather than a person's thoughts. Also, the system can't be used to force subjects to do anything against their will.

“I think some people will be unnerved by this because they will overestimate the technology," said Chantel Prat, who is a UW psychology professor as well as Stocco's wife and research partner. "There’s no possible way the technology that we have could be used on a person unknowingly or without their willing participation."

The results of the experiment have not yet been detailed in a scientific journal. The researchers say they're working on an upgraded system that would transmit more complex information, including sensory data, directly between brains. If that system works, they'll conduct the experiment with a larger pool of experimental subjects.

Stocco said the technology could eventually be employed to help disabled people send distress signals through their thoughts alone — or even allow flight attendants or passengers on a plane to "mind-meld" with an operator on the ground if the plane's pilot became incapacitated.

But what about that zombie army? Does brain-to-brain communication raise the prospect of a brave new world, or a "Matrix"-like nightmare? Feel free to register your thoughts by leaving a comment or casting a vote in our unscientific poll.

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Reply #1 posted 08/28/13 4:38am

Byron

Damn...that's one elaborate "pull my finger" prank.

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Reply #2 posted 08/28/13 10:09am

XxAxX

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spooky, eh? i mean, this has amazing potential for folks who are paralyzed, they could conceivably use those prts of their bodies which have been disabled. but lord help us all if this technology has covert applications.

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Reply #3 posted 08/28/13 12:55pm

RodeoSchro

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Heck, my wife can make me clean the whole house with just her eyes!

BTW, I heard the WORST idea ever for disposing of frogs. There's a website that recommends you catch them, put them in a tub and then...I can't even tell you. And it's supposed to be the "humane" way to off them.

Trust me, it's sick!

Second Funkiest White Man in America

P&R's Palladin
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Reply #4 posted 08/28/13 1:22pm

morningsong

I was wondering what possibly could a person use this for. Who'd want their body under the control of another person's thoughts. I could see it being practical for a physically disabled person, to have a bypass to get their own bodies to do what their mind wants.

But then there's this..

Stocco said the technology could eventually be employed to help disabled people send distress signals through their thoughts alone — or even allow flight attendants or passengers on a plane to "mind-meld" with an operator on the ground if the plane's pilot became incapacitated.

Can't tell you how many times I've been on a plane with an incapacitate pilot, if only the flight attendent had mind melding capabilties with the operators on the ground things would have gone so much smoother. wink

Seriously I can't think of anything else that this would be practical for. Anyone?

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Reply #5 posted 08/28/13 3:46pm

XxAxX

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RodeoSchro said:

Heck, my wife can make me clean the whole house with just her eyes!

BTW, I heard the WORST idea ever for disposing of frogs. There's a website that recommends you catch them, put them in a tub and then...I can't even tell you. And it's supposed to be the "humane" way to off them.

Trust me, it's sick!

maybe someday you will simply place the MeldHelmet on your skull, think "scram!" really hard at those pesky frogs, and they will hop away into your neighbor's yard! yeah. maybe someday!

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Reply #6 posted 08/28/13 3:48pm

XxAxX

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morningsong said:

I was wondering what possibly could a person use this for. Who'd want their body under the control of another person's thoughts. I could see it being practical for a physically disabled person, to have a bypass to get their own bodies to do what their mind wants.

But then there's this..

Stocco said the technology could eventually be employed to help disabled people send distress signals through their thoughts alone — or even allow flight attendants or passengers on a plane to "mind-meld" with an operator on the ground if the plane's pilot became incapacitated.

Can't tell you how many times I've been on a plane with an incapacitate pilot, if only the flight attendent had mind melding capabilties with the operators on the ground things would have gone so much smoother. wink

Seriously I can't think of anything else that this would be practical for. Anyone?

well, i think at this stage the technology is primitive and crude, but perhaps once it is refined, it will enable basic human-to-human 'telepathy' through technology. which is something i'm not sure i'd embrace, but maybe some would like to mind-bump their honey and think about what's for dinner.

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Reply #7 posted 08/28/13 4:24pm

ZombieKitten

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RodeoSchro said:

Heck, my wife can make me clean the whole house with just her eyes!

BTW, I heard the WORST idea ever for disposing of frogs. There's a website that recommends you catch them, put them in a tub and then...I can't even tell you. And it's supposed to be the "humane" way to off them.

Trust me, it's sick!


I thought freezing them was most humane?
I'm the mistake you wanna make
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Reply #8 posted 08/28/13 4:41pm

morningsong

XxAxX said:

morningsong said:

I was wondering what possibly could a person use this for. Who'd want their body under the control of another person's thoughts. I could see it being practical for a physically disabled person, to have a bypass to get their own bodies to do what their mind wants.

But then there's this..

Stocco said the technology could eventually be employed to help disabled people send distress signals through their thoughts alone — or even allow flight attendants or passengers on a plane to "mind-meld" with an operator on the ground if the plane's pilot became incapacitated.

Can't tell you how many times I've been on a plane with an incapacitate pilot, if only the flight attendent had mind melding capabilties with the operators on the ground things would have gone so much smoother. wink

Seriously I can't think of anything else that this would be practical for. Anyone?

well, i think at this stage the technology is primitive and crude, but perhaps once it is refined, it will enable basic human-to-human 'telepathy' through technology. which is something i'm not sure i'd embrace, but maybe some would like to mind-bump their honey and think about what's for dinner.

Okay, I guess it would be useful to parents of teens. Just send out the mind message, Get your butt home, NOW. Poof, they're on their way home. No arguement, no fuss, no whining.

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Reply #9 posted 08/28/13 5:04pm

XxAxX

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"now, make like a dancing monkey and hop on one foot!!!!" BWAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!!!! razz

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Reply #10 posted 08/29/13 7:04am

RodeoSchro

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ZombieKitten said:

RodeoSchro said:

Heck, my wife can make me clean the whole house with just her eyes!

BTW, I heard the WORST idea ever for disposing of frogs. There's a website that recommends you catch them, put them in a tub and then...I can't even tell you. And it's supposed to be the "humane" way to off them.

Trust me, it's sick!

I thought freezing them was most humane?


A slow painful shivering death in front of all your froggy friends is more humane than WHAM! YOU'RE DEAD! ?!?

No way!

Besides, the freezing method involves putting a bucketfull of LIVE FROGS in the same refrigerator where you keep all your food! Ewwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111

Second Funkiest White Man in America

P&R's Palladin
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Reply #11 posted 08/29/13 3:53pm

ZombieKitten

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RodeoSchro said:



ZombieKitten said:


RodeoSchro said:

Heck, my wife can make me clean the whole house with just her eyes!

BTW, I heard the WORST idea ever for disposing of frogs. There's a website that recommends you catch them, put them in a tub and then...I can't even tell you. And it's supposed to be the "humane" way to off them.

Trust me, it's sick!



I thought freezing them was most humane?


A slow painful shivering death in front of all your froggy friends is more humane than WHAM! YOU'RE DEAD! ?!?

No way!

Besides, the freezing method involves putting a bucketfull of LIVE FROGS in the same refrigerator where you keep all your food! Ewwwww!!!!!11111




Oops! Seems freezing is an outdated recommendation

http://kb.rspca.org.au/Wh...d_299.html
I'm the mistake you wanna make
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