24 September 2013

Follow-up on the brain-to-brain experiments

Mind Hacks blog presents a nice short analysis of the UW experiment ("It is mind control but not as we know it"), written by Tom Stafford.  Previously I logged an entry for the brain-to-brain communication experiment conducted at University of Washington by Rajesh Rao.  Here's the gist from Stafford:
In information terms, this is close to as simple as it gets. Even producing a signal which said what to fire at, as well as when to fire, would be a step change in complexity and wasn’t attempted by the group. TMS is a pretty crude device. Even if the signal the device received was more complex, it wouldn’t be able to make you perform complex, fluid movements, such as those required to track a moving object, tie your shoelaces or pluck a guitar. But this is a real example of brain to brain communication.

As the field develops the thing to watch is not whether this kind of communication can be done (we would have predicted it could be), but exactly how much information is contained in the communication.