South Africa:Scientists connect human brain to the computer

A team of researchers at Wits University in Johannesburg have come out of seemingly nowhere and directly connected a human brain to the Internet for the very first time.

Connecting the human brain to a basic computer isn’t that easy. When the likes of Elon Musk and the US military’s secretive science wing are having difficulties with this type of augmentative technology, it seems a bit surprising that another research instituted with considerably less funding has managed it. So what exactly have they done?

According to a press release, the team of neuroscientists and engineers have used an electroencephalogram (EEG) – a device that detects electrical signals in the brain – to transmit neurological activity to a cheap Raspberry Pi computer.

This then live streams the data to a program running on a website that anyone can view at any time.

So, it’s not quite what you may have been imagining. It’s essentially a technical window into someone’s neural activity that’s open access. To be fair though, this is a world first, and the motives behind the project are honorable.

“Ultimately, we’re aiming to enable interactivity between the user and their brain so that the user can provide a stimulus and see the response,” project coordinator Adam Pantanowitz, a lecturer in the Wits School of Electrical and Information Engineering, said in a statement.

Although researchers observing EEG readings do this already, this effectively allows more people, including the subject themselves, to see what’s happening up in their head.

By Africafrique and Agencies

 

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