Study: Brain-to-Brain Communication is Possible

November 17, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. connection / kəˈnɛk ʃən / (n.) – the state of joining or attaching one thing to another
Example: The technician set up our Internet connection.

2. respondent / rɪˈspɒn dənt / (n.) – someone who reacts or answers
Example: The respondent was told to answer truthfully.

3. inquirer ˌɪnˈkwaɪrər / (n.) – someone who asks for information
Example: The inquirer’s questions were not answered by the politician.

4. communicate / kəˈmyu nɪˌkeɪt / (v.) – to pass on information
Example: It was easy for the boy to communicate without talking.

5. optimistic /ˌɒp təˈmɪs tɪk / (adj.) – having a positive view about something
Example: The doctor was optimistic about the success of the brain surgery.


Read the text below.
Scientists have successfully completed an experiment that allowed two people to "read" each other's minds.

Researchers from the University of Washington did the said experiment.  The researchers were able to create a connection between the brains of two people. This allowed one person to know what the other person was thinking. This transfer of information was achieved using the Internet.

The participants in the experiment were called the respondent and the inquirer. The respondent wore a cap that was connected to an electroencephalography (EEG) [ih-lek-troh-en-sef-uh-LOG-ruh-fee] machine, which recorded brain activity. On the other hand, the inquirer had a magnetic coil over his or her head and sat in front of a computer screen, miles away from the respondent.

The respondent was shown pictures of an object, while the inquirer saw possible options for what the respondent was viewing on the screen. The inquirer then selected from the options what he or she thinks the respondent was looking at. After the inquirer chose an option, the respondent answered with a yes or a no. He or she did this by choosing one of the two corresponding LED lights on the screen. A signal was sent back to the inquirer if the answer was correct, while no signal was transmitted for a negative answer.

Because of this, the inquirer was able to guess correctly 72% of the time.

Researchers are optimistic that brain-to-brain communication can help improve human life. A neurologist from Harvard Medical School said that this kind of communication can help nations better communicate with each other and help those who are unable to talk, either because of paralysis or some form of disability, to be better understood.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What are your thoughts about this brain-to-brain communication experiment?
·         What can be some possible disadvantages of this invention?

Discussion B

·         What would you do if you could read people’s minds? 
·         Would you want people to be able to read each other’s minds? Why or why not?

November 17, 2015