Rajesh Rao, professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Washington, and Andrea Stocco, research assistant professor in psychology at the University of Washington, have accomplished the first transfer of thought between two humans according to an article published at the University of Washington news website UW Today on Aug. 27, 2013.
This is the first noninvasive human-to-human brain interface ever confirmed.
Each researcher wore a specially designed cap that captured their brains electrical activity and transferred that electrical energy to an electroencephalograph. The signals from the electroencephalograph were sent over the internet to another electroencephalograph across the University of Washington campus where the signal was converted by another specially designed cap that produced the movement of the recipient’s arm that was directed by the sender. Neither the sender nor receiver of the brain message was able to see the other person.
The researchers state this is not a form of though reading and the signals that can be sent and interpreted are limited at this point.
The practical applications of this new technology could be useful for handicapped people in communicating their needs and could even extend to the piloting of aircraft by untrained personnel in the event of an emergency.
The researchers plan further testing and refinement to handle the transfer of complex information involving movement and potentially even thought.