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TELEPATHY - From human brain to brain without assistance, is not demonstrable. But using modern brain implants and telecommunication devices, it should be possible to think a call to another person on a mobile phone.





Telepathy (from the Greek τῆλε, tele meaning "distant" and πάθος/-πάθεια, pathos or -patheia) is the purported vicarious transmission of information from one person's mind to another's without using any known human sensory channels or physical interaction. The term was first coined in 1882 by the classical scholar Frederic W. H. Myers, a founder of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), and has remained more popular than the earlier expression thought-transference.


Within parapsychology, telepathy, often along with precognition and clairvoyance, is described as an aspect of extrasensory perception (ESP) or "anomalous cognition" that parapsychologists believe is transferred through a hypothetical psychic mechanism they call "psi". Parapsychologists have reported experiments they use to test for telepathic abilities. Among the most well known are the use of Zener cards and the Ganzfeld experiment.




People have now telepathically communicated with each other, monkeys have solved problems as a connected hive mind, and humans have even been given telepathic control of a rat. So, how exactly did we do it?

The brain transmits messages as electrical signals through nerves. But we can’t just connect everyone’s heads through a giant web of nerves -- even if we could, it would be impractical.

But we can read the electrical activity from brain cells with electronic devices. Then transmit the signal, like we do the internet, and turn it back into brain cell activity at the other end.

Unfortunately, this is where it gets tricky. First, how exactly do you read brain activity? Implanted electrodes can do it -- they sense the change in electrical currents as brain cells activate. But unless you fancy having complicated surgery to cover the entire surface of your brain in a fine array of electrode needles, you’ll have to choose option two - electro encephalography, or EEG.

EEG rests a collection of larger electrodes on top of your head, where it records the electrical activity of larger groups of cells. But that is only after the signal has passed through the meninges, skull and the skin. So, it is not so accurate. But it’s the only one that human telepathy studies have actually used.

And now, an unexpected problem: How do we decode the signals we’ve got? We actually still don’t understand how the brain codes electrical information. It would be like we can hear the brain thinking, but we have no clue about the language that it’s speaking. Except that it’s going to be really complicated.

To work around this, telepathy studies have got people to produce simple, stereotypical EEG activity. You can do this right now: Just imagine moving your hands and feet. (Don’t actually do it, just imagine it.) Your brain is now making that same stereotypical electrical activity. There are only a few of these simple EEG patterns we can make - so it’s like the people in the study could only beam out a few different words.

Now for the hard part: How do we beam a thought back into someone else’s head?

If you went for the electrodes option back in part A, then we could do it just by passing some current back into the electrodes, although we’d have very little control over what kind of thoughts we stimulated.

If you’re not wired up for that, then you could do it magnetically. And to do that, you’ll need a Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation wand, which creates a strong magnetic field at its tip. Rest it on your head and turn it on, and a magnetic field momentarily passes across the brain tissue directly beneath it, inducing a current that activates that brain tissue. Unfortunately, this has even less control than the electrodes - but if you place it over the visual cortex, it can be reliably used to trigger little flashes of light called phosphenes.

Put all of this together and you have the first demonstration of telepathy: One person concentrates on something in particular, this is read as specific EEG brain activity, that is sent by wire to a TMS wand, and that stimulates another person’s brain and they see a flash of light. That was done back in 2014.

But in a way, I think we’ve been doing telepathy for a lot longer than that. In fact, if the definition of telepathy is sending messages from brain to brain, we’ve been sending messages to each other since we squelched out of the primordial ooze. Culminating in the most sophisticated communication system we know: language and gesture. And then mobile phones.

But maybe that doesn’t really count. That’s not “real” telepathy - not sent directly brain-to-brain: It has been filtered through our senses.

But then maybe this new telepathy doesn’t count either - because the only way we can beam “thoughts” into people’s heads is by activating their sensory brain regions, triggering sensations, in this case to trigger phosphenes.

Maybe it’s best described as a “prelude” to telepathy. A proof of concept rather than a functioning system. The technology to bring all those steps up to scratch for proper thought transmission still doesn’t exist. And even if it did exist, we still need to work out how to understand the brain’s language first.

But with projects like Elon Musk’s “Neuralink” on the horizon, that day may come sooner than we think. So, I’ll leave you with a question: Language - our telepathy 1.0 - has so far always been the filter for our thought transmission. What does a thought without language sound like?










Neuralink Corporation is a neurotechnology company that develops implantable brain–machine interfaces (BMIs). Co-founded by Elon Musk, Max Hodak and Paul Merolla, the company's headquarters is in the Pioneer Building in San Francisco sharing offices with OpenAI. Neuralink was launched in 2016 and was first publicly reported in March 2017.

Since its founding, the company has hired several high-profile neuroscientists from various universities. By July 2019, it had received $158 million in funding (of which $100 million was from Musk) and was employing a staff of 90 employees. At that time, Neuralink announced that it was working on a "sewing machine-like" device capable of implanting very thin (4 to 6 μm in width) threads into the brain, and demonstrated a system that read information from a lab rat via 1,500 electrodes. They had anticipated starting experiments with humans in 2020; but have since moved that projection to 2022.

In April 2021, Neuralink demonstrated a monkey playing the game "Pong" using the Neuralink implant. While similar technology has existed since 2002, when a research group first demonstrated a monkey moving a computer cursor with neural signals, scientists acknowledged the engineering progress in making the implant wireless and increasing the number of implanted electrodes.







In 2018, Gizmodo reported that Neuralink "remained highly secretive about its work", although public records showed that it had sought to open an animal testing facility in San Francisco; it subsequently started to carry out research at the University of California, Davis. In 2019, during a live presentation at the California Academy of Sciences, the Neuralink team revealed to the public the technology of the first prototype they had been working on. It is a system that involves ultra-thin probes that will be inserted into the brain, a neurosurgical robot that will perform the operations and a high-density electronic system capable of processing information from neurons. It is based on technology developed at UCSF and UC Berkeley.


The probes, composed mostly of polyimide, a biocompatible material, with a thin gold or platinum conductor, are inserted into the brain through an automated process performed by a surgical robot. Each probe consists of an area of wires that contains electrodes capable of locating electrical signals in the brain, and a sensory area where the wire interacts with an electronic system that allows amplification and acquisition of the brain signal. Each probe contains 48 or 96 wires, each of which contains 32 independent electrodes, making a system of up to 3072 electrodes per formation.


Neuralink says they have developed a robot capable of rapidly inserting many flexible probes into the brain, which may avoid the problems of tissue damage and longevity associated with larger and more rigid probes. This robot has an insertion head with a 40 μm diameter needle made of tungsten-rhenium designed to attach to the insertion loops, made to transport and insert individual probes, and to penetrate the meninges and tissue cerebral. The robot is capable of inserting up to six wires (192 electrodes) per minute.


Neuralink has developed an Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) to create a 1,536-channel recording system. This system consists of 256 amplifiers capable of being individually programmed ("analog pixels"), analog-to-digital converters within the chip ("ADCs") and a peripheral circuit control to serialize the digitized information obtained. It aims to convert information obtained from neurons into an understandable binary code in order to achieve greater understanding of brain function and the ability to stimulate these neurons back. With the present technology, electrodes are still too big to record the firing of individual neurons, so they can record only the firing of a group of neurons; Neuralink representatives believe this issue might get mitigated algorithmically, but it is computationally expensive and does not produce exact results.

In July 2020, according to Musk, Neuralink obtained a FDA breakthrough device designation which allows limited human testing under the FDA guidelines for medical devices.







The billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s brain chip startup is preparing to launch clinical trials in humans.

Musk, who co-founded Neuralink in 2016, has promised that the technology “will enable someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using thumbs”.

The Silicon Valley company, which has already successfully implanted artificial intelligence microchips in the brains of a macaque monkey named Pager and a pig named Gertrude, is now recruiting for a “clinical trial director” to run tests of the technology in humans.

The billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s brain chip startup is preparing to launch clinical trials in humans.

Musk, who co-founded Neuralink in 2016, has promised that the technology “will enable someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using thumbs”.

The Silicon Valley company, which has already successfully implanted artificial intelligence microchips in the brains of a macaque monkey named Pager and a pig named Gertrude, is now recruiting for a “clinical trial director” to run tests of the technology in humans.

“As the clinical trial director, you’ll work closely with some of the most innovative doctors and top engineers, as well as working with Neuralink’s first clinical trial participants,” the advert for the role in Fremont, California, says. “You will lead and help build the team responsible for enabling Neuralink’s clinical research activities and developing the regulatory interactions that come with a fast-paced and ever-evolving environment.”

Musk, the world’s richest person with an estimated $256bn fortune, said last month he was cautiously optimistic that the implants could allow tetraplegic people to walk.

“We hope to have this in our first humans, which will be people that have severe spinal cord injuries like tetraplegics, quadriplegics, next year, pending FDA [Food and Drug Administration] approval,” he told the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council summit.

“I think we have a chance with Neuralink to restore full-body functionality to someone who has a spinal cord injury. Neuralink’s working well in monkeys, and we’re actually doing just a lot of testing and just confirming that it’s very safe and reliable and the Neuralink device can be removed safely.”

However, Musk has a history of overpromising about the speed of the company’s development. In 2019 he predicted that the device would be implanted into a human skull by 2020.

Musk said the device would be “implanted flush with skull & charges wirelessly, so you look and feel totally normal”.

He said people should think of the technology as similar to “replacing faulty/missing neurons with circuits”. “Progress will accelerate when we have devices in humans (hard to have nuanced conversations with monkeys) next year,” he said.

Neuralink has previously released a video of a monkey that had been implanted with the chip playing the video game Pong using only its mind.

The company, which counts Google’s parent company Alphabet among a series of well-known Silicon Valley backers, is also recruiting for a “clinical trial coordinator” to help build a team of people to run the trial and liaise with regulators. Applicants are told they have the “opportunity to change the world and work with some of the smartest and the most talented experts from different fields”.



















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