Scientists report direct brain-to-brain communication


I’m waiting for some people to replicate this experiment before I get excited.

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That’s “direct brain-to-brain communication” the way an email is. In fact, sending an email is part of the communication protocol.


Actually, even without the email in the protocol, this is completely mediated. They need a machine to encode the brain waves into a message and another to decode it back into brain wave. It’s just high-tech regular communication.

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I have a more direct method which is voice activated, via ambient media and direct aural stimulation.


It seems to me that if the receiver isn’t able to understand the message being relayed, then:

  1. this doesn’t qualify as “communication”, and
  2. there is no proof that the message was actually relayed, only that the intended receiver had an experience that may or may not be related to the attempted communication.

I feel like there are experiments that have put more effort into proving the existence of ESP. I’d love to hear James Randi’s thoughts on this.

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why? it’s just mashing up two extant technologies, each of which work semi-reliably in a very limited domain. the EEG uses a statistical discriminator to detect the sender’s “intent to move his leg” (so to speak) and upon this event, emails the TMS to zap the receiver’s brain. it’s just two things we’ve been doing for years, connected by email (of all things).

it’s not even an experiment. it’s a tech demo. EEG works. TMS works. email works. you put them together and do something mildly impressive.

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I totally agree that this is human-computer-computer-human communication, and is far from direct. Not overly excited by any means. One thing that worries me is this comment from the Discussion:

This approach could lead to conscious synthetically mediated modulation of phenomena best detected subjectively by the subject, including emotions, pain and psychotic, depressive or obsessive-compulsive thoughts.

Hi @go_robot_go
One thing that the researchers did right was send a short, understandable, message. Using a Bacon cipher, they encoded “hola” and “ciao” into the transmissions. Had the receivers been trained to read the code, they would have been able to understand the message - it was received correctly, and their receipt of code was recorded. Them not knowing the code is actually better proof that the transmission was valid. They all got the same transmission which (although it contained language) to them was gibberish.

Here’s the direct link to their study, and if you read the Discussion and Supporting Info, you’ll get more about that. It was glossed over in the article.

I’ll believe this when I . . . believe it.

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So…how is this substantially different than like, say, setting up a telegraph and having the little telegraph hammer tap out a message on someone’s hand? Except for the part where this method requires a computer to translate the binary.

Curiously enough, there is at least one reported case, of somebody experiencing email as an unmediated phenomenon. Needless to say, this…might not have accurately reflected the reality of the situation.


it told me that i have been appointed Emperor of the Antarctic Internet!

apart from requiring a few $K of neurological equipment, it isn’t.

oh, yeah, also it’s a lot slower and less intuitive.


You’ll have some competition, amazingly enough. Plenty of penguin mascots for the linux geeks; but otherwise no place to keep IT gear going…

competition? more like serfs to fuel my fiefdom and eventual empire!

First I was like “aww yeah cool!”

Then I was, like many here, all “hmmm, I guess?”

upon reading “2 bits per minute” I was all “NEXT!”


C’mon, every technology had its hard beginnings.

I believe that it has also been called ‘a book’.


Apart from your then/than mixup, you’re spot-on.