Imagine if someone else’s brain could control your actions? And you involuntarily couldn’t control it… Scientists at Harvard are making this possible through TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation). Two scientists, one named Stacco the other named Rao sat across Campus from each other, so they weren’t visible to each other. They watched the same video game. Rao wore an EEG helmet and his brain was the brain in charge, and Stacco’s body was ultimately in Rao’s control. Stacco wore a TMS helmet. Every time Rao had a thought about hitting the spacebar for his video game almost instantaneously Stacco would involuntarily hit the space bar. Stacco can’t resist Rao’s signal to move Stacco’s hand because it happens at a subconscious level. Stacco also said it felt very involuntary.
This 2 brain central nervous system didn’t go perfectly though, there were some flaws. For example the signal wasn’t always clear. Rao explains that “EEG signals are quite hard to use for controlling devices,” he explains, “because the signal is a weak, noisy, filtered version of the underlying brain activity.” Movement of facial features or stay thoughts can affect the EEG signal. Also there were times where Stacco would press the space bar even though that was not Rao’s intention. A cool fact is proceeded through the trial they were able to increase the accuracy of the signal to almost 100%. Although this isn’t perfect just yet, in the future TMS may be used to control someone else’s body. Although its scientifically fascinating and innovative, It will be interesting to see if this will be used for just good, or if this could become something potentially harmful.
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