The idea of thought streaming came up on a blog recently, I haven’t thought about this subject for about thirty years but I remember my imagine was just as strong then. Is it possible to get information from the brain, or the mind, unintrusively.
I’ll emphasize unintrusively for now, the idea of any implant in the body is not something I am keen on unless it is a last resort. Though saying that the idea of well-formed nanobots going round and repairing DNA, cell damage and removing unwanted material is something I wish was here now.
The blog mentioning thought streaming made me think of one of the many ideas I have had in the past. This particular one was really a schoolboy dream, for my ‘Applied Science and Technology’ O-Level I had tried to create an encephalophone. It was based on picking up alpha, beta and gamma waves from the brain and showing them back to the user in biofeedback fashion, LEDs in some plastic glasses and some awfully tinny speakers that hissed white noise when the alpha waves were produced. The idea was that if information could be physically picked up from the brain, it could be passed on remotely to someone else.
I did try to see if it could transmit information, although not very useful then, I mean this was 1978, I found it pretty hard to create Morse code by creating alpha waves in the mind. Alpha waves are produced when you are relaxing, but a major problem I had with this machine was the awful crackling sound that was supposed to be white noise which had the awful habit of shifting you back into an alert, in not annoyed state of mind.
I was then interested in telepathy, in a big way, made more exciting I remember by an old series that used to appear on TV called the ‘Tomorrow People’ where it was a standard skill of the next generation of human beings. My thinking then was the mind created these waves and transmitted them, then wasn’t there a possibility that an external source able to transmit the same frequencies back into the brain, could somehow recreate the original thought.
I see nowadays the complex patterns that the brain produces when thinking about different things and my earlier ideas were somewhat blunt when compared to this. Of course the brain is three dimensional and any feeding back of the frequencies, if it were possible would have to be done in a much more targeted way. However, sensing the waves are much easier, if this equipment was sensitive to where the information came from then quite a few very complex algorithms could be created to harness this information transmission.
I feel thought initiated user control technology is something that will eventually become mainstream, it is surprisingly easy to recreate, but actual thoughts, feelings and imagery for a presentation is an awesome challenge.