US scientist operates colleague's brain from across campus
NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Scientists said on Tuesday they have achieved the first human-to-human mind meld, with one researcher sending a brain signal via the Internet to control the hand motion of a colleague sitting across the Seattle campus of the University of Washington.
The feat is less a conceptual advance than another step in the years-long progress that researchers have made toward brain-computer interfaces, in which electrical signals generated from one brain are translated by a computer into commands that can move a mechanical arm or a computer cursor - or, in more and more studies, can affect another brain.
Much of the research has been aimed at helping paralysed patients regain some power of movement, but bioethicists have raised concerns about more controversial uses.
In February, for instance, scientists led by Duke University Medical Center's Miguel Nicolelis used electronic sensors to capture the thoughts of a rat in a lab in Brazil and sent via Internet to the brain of a rat in the United States (US). The second rat received the thoughts of the first, mimicking its behavior.