Scientists have managed to send an email from India to France, a distance of about 5000 miles, using only the force of thought (and some technology). Okay, if it really is telepathy or not is a matter of opinion. The definition of the word (from Ancient Greek) is that tele is meaning “distant” and pathos or patheia meaning affliction or experience, and telepathy is the purported transmission of information from one person to another without using any of our known sensory channels or physical interaction. So by that definition it kind of both is and isn’t.
Computers and electroencephalography (EEG) devices were involved in the experiment, so it wasn’t really direct telepathy. The distance is also somewhat uninteresting since the internet was involved and the message wasn’t very complex either. The words hola and ciao were translated into binary and mapped to the brain activity. It’s still a pretty impressive result.
In the initial test, the greeting was sent from a volunteer in Thiruvananthapuram, India to Strasbourg, France where a computer translated the message and then used electrical stimulation to implant it in the receiver’s mind. This message then appeared as flashes of light in the corner of their vision. The light sequences allow the receiver to decode the information in the message.
Enthusiastic about the first success the researchers conducted two more similar experiments. One from Spain and one from France. The second test resulted in a total error with just 15% data accuracy. The other two were however a success.
The technology was developed as part of a collaboration between the University of Barcelona and Starlab in Spain, Axilum Robotics in France and Harvard Medical School. This is said to be the first time humans have sent a message almost directly into another persons brains.
“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,” the study wrote.
Human-to-brain technology is gaining traction in many areas, in May German scientists showed how seven pilots used mind control to fly with astonishing accuracy. Even more amazing was what the University of Oregon researchers showed in June when they unveiled a device that claimed to be able to monitor memories in near real time to see what a person is thinking.
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