Brain Vision UK A Direct Brain-to-Brain Interface in Humans Using the actiCAP - Brain Vision UK

A Direct Brain-to-Brain Interface in Humans Using the actiCAP

August 03, 2015

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Rajesh P. N. Rao*, Andrea Stocco+ , Matthew Bryan*, Devapratim Sarma$ , Tiffany M. Youngquist$ , Joseph Wu*, and Chantel Prat+

Abstract

We describe, to our knowledge, the first direct brain-to-brain interface between two humans. The interface is noninvasive and combines electroencephalography (EEG) for recording brain signals with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for delivering information to the brain. We demonstrate our method using a visuomotor task in which two humans must cooperate through direct brain-to-brain communication to achieve a desired goal in a computer game. The brain-to-brain interface detects motor imagery in EEG signals recorded from one subject (the “sender”) and transmits this information over the internet to the motor cortex region of a second subject (the “receiver”). This allows the sender to cause a desired motor response in the receiver (a press on a touchpad) via TMS. We quantify the performance of the brain-to-brain interface in terms of the amount of information transmitted as well as the accuracies attained in (1) decoding the sender’s signals, (2) generating a motor response from the receiver upon stimulation, and (3) achieving the overall goal in the visuomotor task. Our results provide evidence for a rudimentary form of direct information transmission from one human brain to another using noninvasive means.

Department of Computer Science & Engineering

Department of Psychology & Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences

Department of Bioengineering University of Washington Seattle, WA 98195, USA

Correspondence: rao@cs.washington.edu, stocco@uw.edu

Technical Report No. UW-CSE-14-07-01

July, 2014

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