These new findings are the first case of a brain-to-brain interface between species, and the first example of a noninvasive brain-to-brain interface, researchers added.
In February, scientists revealed they linked together the brains of two rats. This first known instance of a brain-to-brain interface apparently helped the rodents share data to accomplish certain tasks, even across intercontinental distances. However, this advance depended on microscopic electrodes implanted in the rats’ heads.
In the latest example of a mind-meld, researchers employed noninvasive techniques to link the brains of a human and a rat. The man had electrodes stuck onto his scalp that picked up brain-wave activity. The rat was placed in a machine that focused ultrasound pulses through its skull to its brain, and was anesthetized so that it would not wriggle its head during the experiment.
The volunteer had a video screen placed in front of him that displayed a flickering pattern of light. If he paid attention to the screen, his brain waves would synchronize with the strobe light. If he looked away, or even if he looked at it while thinking of something else, his brain waves would not synchronize with the light flickers.