Ever seen “Inception?” It’s that movie where Leonardo DiCaprio tries to invade other people’s dreams in an attempt to win an Oscar. Well, he didn’t back then, but one concept that that movie played around with was connecting people’s brains so that they could all share one dream. Well, prepare for that future since the brilliant minds of M.I.T. have begun making that possible, not dream sharing yet though (that’s creepy) but rather, connecting the brains of three people, meaning brain-to-brain communication.
The development for this began as early as 2015, probably even earlier when Andrea Stocco and his colleagues tried and succeeded interfacing the brains of two people. This meant that the lucky two people were able to share their thoughts and pool their brain effort for problem-solving without the need for verbal communication or physical contact, kind of like telepathy but with tools and less clarity.
Now, Stocco and co. were able to connect the brains of three people, forming the first social network of brains. They called it BrainNet and it was successful. It even allowed the three people to play and help each other with a Tetris-like game using only their brains. While the technology is still at its infant stage, the possibilities and applications for it are quite promising, allowing people to pool their cognitive powers for tasks and other things which require thinking.
“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,” according to Stocco and co. How did they do it? They used electroencephalograms (EEGs) that are able to record electrical activities in the brain, these EEGs are then transmitted as signals to the brains of other participating people in the experiment. It is not as easy like fictional telepathy, of course, since the participants had to rely on signals as communication. Nevertheless, it provides a good starting point for further development, proving once and for all, three heads are better than one.