A groundbreaking new study out of the University of Washington is raising eyebrows in the scientific community.
As we recently reported, researchers say they were recently able to establish a brain-to-brain link over the Internet using just brain signals — a dramatic first step toward telepathy, but is there any chance this ever leaves the lab and becomes an actual part of human life?
Researchers at the University of Washington recently conducted a study involving participants who engaged in a series of question-and-answer sessions that used signals transmitted from the brain over the Internet, and the results were surprising, and proof to the researchers involved that it’s possible for people to communicate telepathically, from one brain to another. But it all this hype really worth getting worked up over, or is it not likely to happen in our lifetimes — or perhaps ever?
Telepathy is the stuff of legend — and there are many scientists who question whether or not it’s simply quack or pseudo science.
Telepathy has often been historically associated with mystical sources dating back to some of the oldest urban legends in human history. The term comes from the Greek word that means distance and feeling or experience. It involves the supposed transmission of information from one person to another without using typical physical interaction, either by communicating through writing, through verbal means, or through non-verbal gestures or through tone. Currently, there is no scientific evidence that telepathy is real, but it has not stopped some scientists from pursuing the concept to see if there could be some truth to it, with many studies being conducted to determine whether it could be construed as a real science.
The term “telepathy” was first coined back in 882 by Frederick W.H. Myers, who was the founder for the Society of Psychicla Research. So far, no scientists have been able to prove telepahty, despite many attempts at careful and well-controlled experiments.
The trope is common in fiction, particularly in science fictionfilms, with extraterrestials performing the activity on humans in many fictional stories, and superheroes and supervillians engaged in a battle of thoughts or at least telekinetic powers in some scenes.
Still that hasn’t stopped scientists from attempting to make what would perhaps be the greatest discovery of the 21st century, and even beyond. The discovery alone could have tremendous possible applications, many innocent as a way of improving communication and others nefarious, as a way of extracting information from an enemy or for other corrupt or wartime functions.
The latest findings were published in a recent PLOS ONE report by a group of researchers from the University of Washington who were trying to prove that brain-to-brain interfaces can be used to solve problems, although in a very narrow way.
In this particular experiment, the research team had two participants attempt to guess what the other was thinking about through yes-or-no questions to the respondent.
Some of the earliest cases of telepathy research dates back to the late 19th century to the Creery Sisters, who were tested at the Society for Psychical Research, believed to have psychic ability because so little was know about brain disorders, or about the brain in general, at the time. However, researchers eventually caught them using codes that indicated they were frauds. Future cases were also shown to be frauds.
However, the persistent belief in psychic powers persisted throughout the years, with even famed author Arthur Conan Doyle. Throughout the 19th century, however, many emerged claiming to have telekinetic powers but later were proved to be hoaxes.
Still, although much of the scientific community dismisses telepathy, some believe that there may be some truth to it and are continuing to investigate the possibilities that this is a real thing that indicates some special properties in the human brain. It’s been tough to prove, as although there have been many studies on the subject, not much has been added to the case for those who believe in telepathy.
As a result, the scientific community large dismisses telepathy has the result of fraud or self-delusion, and not as any sort of power on the part of the brain or a supernatural power.
However, scientists at the University of Washington say not so fast: even though older theories about the supernatural were off base, there could be something to the idea that our brains have a much more nuanced way of connecting with other brains than perhaps we realize, and it’s worth looking into. Regardless, they certainly have their work cut out for them, and undoubtedly will have to overcome a mountain of skepticism to convince the vast majority of scientists.
This particular research began all the way back in 2011 by professor Rajesh Rao, when he began collaborating with other colleagues in the psychology and brain sciences departments at the University of Washington. They believe it is entirely possible that two brains could be more connected to one another than previously thought.