For the first time ever, researchers linked a human brain to the internet

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linked a human brain to the internet

A team of researchers at Wits University connected a human brain to the internet in real time.

The ‘Brainternet’ project streams brainwaves onto the internet. Essentially, it turns the brain into an Internet of Things (IoT) node on the World Wide Web. IoT refers to connecting any device with an on & off switch to the internet.

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 institute with considerably less funding has managed it.

electroencephalogram

According to research, scientists used an electroencephalogram (EEG), a device that detects electrical signals in the brain to transmit neurological activity to a Raspberry Pi computer. The live streams the signals to an API, and displays data on a website that acts as a portal.

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Essentially, it’s a technical window into someone’s neural activity that’s open access. “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, said. 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.

Computers used binary signals. The human brain features billion bio-electrochemical transmissions that links to thoughts and actions.

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If we ever want there to be a match up, there not only needs to be some sort of data conversion device, but a way to identify which signals represent which thoughts and actions an extremely difficult task.

Brainternet can further improve to classify recordings through a smart phone app that will provide data for a machine-learning algorithm. In future, there could be information transferred in both direction inputs and outputs to the brain, says, Pantanowitz.

More information: [Wits University]

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