Ever found yourself on the battlefield needing to send a message back to HQ, but been unable to switch on your radio? Have no fear, for a team of University of California scientists have been awarded a $4 million grant from the U.S. Army Research Office to study the possibilities of synthetic telepathy.
The team will look at the neuroscientific and signal processing foundations of synthetic telepathy, which is really the ability to decipher what the brain is thinking through technology.
“Thanks to this generous grant we can work with experts in automatic speech recognition and in-brain imaging at other universities to research a brain-computer interface with applications in military, medical and commercial settings,” said lead researcher Michael D’Zmura, chair of the UCI Department of Cognitive Sciences.
Such a brain-computer interface would use technology such as electroencephalography to communicate their thoughts to one another. Electroencephalography is when electrical activity produced by the brain is recorded via electrodes that are placed on the scalp. With a deeper understanding of the brain and its processes, such a technology could one day distinguish actual thoughts, and communicate them in to words down the line.
“Such a system would require extensive training for anyone using it to send and receive messages,” D’Zmura says. Initially, communication would be based on a limited set of words or phrases that are recognized by the system; it would involve more complex language and speech as the technology is developed further.”
Posted by Josh Hill.