We live in a world that continues to surprise us with appalling manifestations of what we thought were unreal. From wireless communication to artificial intelligence, the horizon is constantly being shifted to a higher parallel and we’re just gawking in total disbelief. Science has spawned such interesting inventions that almost nothing seems to be a far-fetched dream anymore.
One of the theories that is still seeking scientific validation is ‘telepathy’. Yes, the same ‘mind reading power’ used by superheroes to communicate with each other and for twins to cheat in exams, without physical interaction. Ever fallen off a bike and received a call from your mother immediately after the incident, because she sensed something was wrong? Well, that’s telepathy for you in a nutshell.
Parapsychology has often been regarded as “pseudoscience” because of the lack of concrete evidence, albeit backed by scientific research, to validate such claims. Yet, there have been so many incidents reported in the world about people communicating without using their sensory channels.
But science is assiduously trying to prove the science behind communicating without actual communication.
Studies published in the last few years have reported direct transmission of brain activity between two humans, two animals and even between a human and a rat! This phenomenon of ‘brain to brain interface’ (BBI) allows for direct transmission of brain activity in real-time by coupling the brains of two individual bodies.
Here’s the science behind it:
Brain to brain interface happens because of the way brain cells communicate with each other. Cell-to-cell communication is possible because of a process known as synaptic transmission, where-in chemical signals are passed between cells prompting electrical spikes in the receiving cell.
An experiment was carried out at the University of Washington combining two kinds of non-invasive instruments and fine-tuned software to connect two human brains in real time.
One of the participants wore an electroencephalography machine (that reads brain activity and sends electrical pulses through the Web). The receiver wore a swim cap with a transcranial magnetic stimulation coil, to control the hand movements.
The study involved three pairs of participants (3 senders and 3 receivers) who sat in separate buildings on campus, half a mile apart. There was no physical way for them to interact except for brain to brain communication.
Each sender wearing the electroencephalography machine was in front of a computer game in which he/she had to defend a city by firing cannons and intercepting rockets launched by a pirate ship. The only way that the senders could defend the city was by thinking about moving their hand to fire the cannon.
On the other end, each receiver sat wearing headphones in a dark room – with no ability to see the game. Each receiver had the right hand over the touchpad that could fire the cannon. If the brain-to-brain communication was successful, the receiver’s hand would twitch, pressing the touchpad that would fire the cannon (displayed on the sender’s computer screen, who was on the other side of the campus)
It was seen that the accuracy of the cannons fired ranged from 25 to 83 percent!
“Misses mostly were due to a sender failing to accurately execute the thought to send the “fire” command”, according to the researchers. The researchers were also able to quantify the amount of information that was passed between the sender and the receiver.
In another similar experiment, a person in India said “hola” and “ciao” to three other people in France (more than 5000 miles away). The greetings were not spoken, texted or typed but communication happened through binary conversion of the brain waves!
Well, the world is heading towards advancement like never before. Whatever science fiction conceives, science & technology achieves. Can this advancement plummet us into a time where we no longer need to rely on WhatsApp or phones to reach out to people? Only time will tell.
H/T and Image Source: University of Washington