While the interface designed by Rao and Stocco seems to work for simple motor commands, they have yet to find out how it might handle more complex information transfers. However, they plan to continue their work so that one day they may ultimately be able to “decode and transfer more complex information, such as real ‘thoughts,’ like solutions for algebraic problems,” Stocco said.
Potential applications for the brain-to-brain interface include “everything that is difficult to communicate though language that could be better communicated brain-to-brain, such as complex motor procedures -- think, for instance, of the movements a skilled surgeon knows how to do -- or even complex concepts, such as algebraic skills,” Stocco said.
If researchers can successfully transfer thoughts brain-to-brain, the technology could be applied much more widely, he added.
The National Science Foundation’s Engineering Research Center for Sensormotor Neural Engineering at UW, the US Army Research Office, and the National Institutes of Health all provided funding for Rao and Stocco’s research.
We try to stay as current as possible here at Design News, Dave, so our readers have the latest on significant research. Thanks for noticing and appreciating! I think you're right, this type of technology has great implications for prosthetics.
Rao and Stocco's paper about this was just published in PLoS ONE yesterday -- now I see that you reported on it in Design News a year ago. Great job keeping Design News readers ahead of the curve!
It seems to me that this is very similar to prosthetic limbs that are controlled by signals from motor neurons, which have been demonstrated in the past couple of years. The difference is that, instead of being sent to a device, the signals are sent to another brain. Pretty amazing stuff!
I have always been a big fan of great inventions but I have mixed feelings about this one. Has it been verifies to be 100% working or is it just one of those things that people usually just wish would be possible. If it is possible then what happens when this kind of technology falls into the wrong hands? If someone is able to control your actions then what is to stop them from using you to do their dirty work?I think that it is a great invention but people do not really need it that much.
vimalkumarp, I know from your previous comments and our prior exchanges that you are very precise and 99% accurate. I'm like that, too. Perhaps because of being a reporter, though, I always check what I think are "facts." Alan Kay sure could have said that one. He's known for "The best way to predict the future is to invent it." which sounds a bit like Clarke's second law.
@Ann: To be frank i am very particular about this and i very rarely make these kinds of mistake. I had a doubt about this long ago. But somehow it got fixed in my mind that it was Alan Kay who said this. I am a big fan of Alan Kay. any way thank you very much once again for taking time to explain.
vimalkumarp, you are welcome. Tracking down who said what can be tough, even with (or because of) Internet sources. Being a lifelong sci-fi fan, I happen to remember that one from many years ago, but checked it in Wikipedia to make sure my own memory wasn't at fault.
Actually, that quote is from Arthur C. Clarke, a master of science fiction, and was the third of his three "laws": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarke's_three_laws The other two were, IMO, more interesting 1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong. 2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
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