An international team of researchers have successfully sent messages from the brain of one test subject to another without the use of invasive devices or surgery.
"We wanted to find out if one could communicate directly between two people by reading out the brain activity from one person and injecting brain activity into the second person, and do so across great physical distances by leveraging existing communication pathways," said researcher Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone.
"One such pathway is, of course, the internet, so our question became, 'Could we develop an experiment that would bypass the talking or typing part of internet and establish direct brain-to-brain communication between subjects located far away from each other in India and France ?'"
Using internet-connected devices and a set-up similar to brain-computer interface studies, they were able to relay messages to subjects over 5,000 miles apart.
According to the research team, the success of this experiment proves that communication beyond conventional means is feasible, and in the future could likely provide new avenues of communication for the disabled.
They also suggest that the ability to send messages between people's brains can lead us to a future where interaction with computers is entirely different. "We anticipate that computers in the not-so-distant future will interact directly with the human brain in a fluent manner, supporting both computer- and brain-to-brain communication routinely," they said. "We anticipate that computers in the not-so-distant future will interact directly with the human brain in a fluent manner, supporting both computer- and brain-to-brain communication routinely."
If you're interested in learning more, you can check out the entire study at PLOS One.