Scientists connect three people’s brains together in ‘BrainNet’ social network

Rob Waugh
Contributor
Scientists have got people to communicate to each other ‘brain to brain’ (Getty)

Scientists have successfully transmitted thoughts between three people in a sort of ‘social network for brains’.

But while the idea sounds nightmarish, it involves no surgery – and could one day help people to share tasks, the researchers believe.

Three people connected by brain-scanning EEG caps were able to transmit instructions for a simple Tetris-style game where one player couldn’t see the screen.

The University of Washington researchers believe it could (one day) be used to allow groups of people to work together to solve problems.

The so-called ‘BrainNet’ uses EEG sensors to ‘read’ thoughts in people’s heads, and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to transmit simple signals into people’s heads.

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Two players ‘transmitted’ answers in a Tetris-style game, by staring at flashing LEDs, which made their brains emit particular signals.

A third player was able to ‘receive’ their answers, and play the game.

The researchers said: ‘The interface allows three human subjects to collaborate and solve a task using direct brain-to-brain communication.

‘We found that Receivers are able to learn which Sender is more reliable based solely on the information transmitted to their brains.

‘Our results raise the possibility of future brain-to-brain interfaces that enable cooperative problem solving by humans using a ‘social network’ of connected brains.’