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Researchers use a video game to test mind reading

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Researchers at the University of Washington used the internet, a video game and a "human-to-human brain interface" to test a kind of mind reading, according to the published accounts of the recent experiment.

Rajesh Rao, Computer Science & Engineering professor at the University of Washington, strapped the device to his head and sent a signal to Andrea Stocco, who was also wearing a human-to-human brain interface on the other side of campus. As you can see in the video above, Rao thought about moving his thumb to cause the character to fire a weapon. Stocco, who was wearing noise canceling earbuds and wasn't looking at a game, moved his thumb.

"The Internet was a way to connect computers, and now it can be a way to connect brains," Stocco said. "We want to take the knowledge of a brain and transmit it directly from brain to brain."

The experiment is just the beginning of his research, Rao said.

"It was both exciting and eerie to watch an imagined action from my brain get translated into actual action by another brain," he said. "This was basically a one-way flow of information from my brain to his. The next step is having a more equitable two-way conversation directly between the two brains."