Washington researchers transfer human thoughts over the Internet

SEATTLE - A remarkable achievement has the science world abuzz. Researchers have been able to transfer the thought of one person to another person over the Internet.

The possibilities could lead to the blind seeing what another person can see.

Rajesh Rao is wired up, and playing a video game. Across the campus Andrea Stucco sits with her hand on a laptop, staring at nothing, and hearing nothing.

"Yes, success, already," Rao says.

Rao's thoughts just caused Andrea's hand to hit the space bar involuntarily, firing a rocket in Rao's video game when he wanted it fired.

"To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of information being transferred from one brain to another in humans, using non-evasive means of recording and stimulating the brain," Rao says.

A monkey has been able to control a robot, two rats have been able to share a brain and sync movements, humans have controlled computers with just thoughts, but this experiment, researchers at the University of Washington say, showed one person can control the involuntary movement of another with just a thought.

"When we managed to do it we felt like yes, you've proved it," Stucco says.

Rao explains that in this case, the computer had to recognize that he was imagining moving his right hand. That signal was then sent over the Internet to a machine, which is controlled by the computer, the right stimulus, the right intensity at the right position, to recreate the same intention in Stucco's brain.

It's science fiction made real, but the possibilities it presents are fantastic.

"A blind person could see what I see, and a deaf person could listen to what I hear," Stucco explains.

The group is now looking for volunteers to continue their experiment, but volunteers will need a medical screening and have the ability to clear their minds. They aim to replicate the results with people who don't know each other.