New method lets gamers communicate using a brain-to-brain network

Washington: Imagine playing video games together with your friends seated at different places while communicating only with your minds. Researchers from University of Washington including one of Indian-origin have developed a method just to do that, brining telepathic communication a step closer to reality.

In the study, published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports, the researchers showed that three people can play a Tetris-like game using a brain-to-brain interface.

This is the first demonstration of two things — a brain-to-brain network of more than two people, and a person being able to both receive and send information to others using only their brain. “We wanted to know if a group of people could collaborate using only their brains. That's how we came up with the idea of BrainNet: where two people help a third person solve a task,” said corresponding author Rajesh Rao.

As in Tetris, the game shows a block at the top of the screen and a line that needs to be completed at the bottom. Two people, the Senders, can see both the block and the line but can't control the game.

The third person, the Receiver, can see only the block but can tell the game whether to rotate the block to successfully complete the line. Each Sender decides whether the block needs to be rotated and then passes that information from their brain, through the Internet and to the brain of the Receiver.

Then the Receiver processes that information and sends a command — to rotate or not rotate the block— to the game directly from their brain, hopefully completing and clearing the line.

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