Chapter 2 First Impression Post

For my First Impression post on chapter two, I decided to watch the TED talk on brain to brain communication by Miguel Nicolelis.

I decided to choose this TED talk because I did not believe that it was possible to transmit information between one mind to another without either expressing the information verbally, or writing the information down.

Mr.Nicolelis started off his presentation by using a young man as an example of how far modern technology has come. This young man was in a terrible car accident that rendered him immobile from his torso to the tips of his toes. But utilizing technology that Mr.Nicolelis had been working on for roughly 15 years, used the electrical signals from his brain to move an exoskeleton which had let him kick off the FIFA World Cup that was being hosted in Brasil that year. After the numerous years of research, Nicolelis and his colleague were able to develop the sensors that made this massive feat possible. The sensors were not only able to pick up on the brains electrical signals, but could also translate these signals into digital commands. Not only can these sensors control a variety of different specialized equipment, the equipment can send signals back to the brain to let the user know that they have either succeeded or failed to complete the task or motion they meant to do. What Nicolelis also mentions later in the talk is that he proposed the idea of the kickoff to FIFA and the Brazilian government 18 months in advance to the World Cup, although apprehensive at first both parties eventually agreed on the idea and Nicolelis had to find test subjects and finalize an exoskeleton within this 18 month period. Whilst developing the exoskeleton, the developers not only wanted for the subjects to be able to walk on their own again, but also worked in conjunction with other researchers so that the exoskeleton would make the subjects experience the sensation that they were walking without any assistance at all. The final technology that Nicolelis discusses in the talk is the actual technology that allows brain to brain contact. This was best represented by tests in which monkeys had to collaborate to achieve a common goal in simple mental tests, and had no way of communicating with one another other than utilizing this technology.

I found the part where the monkeys had to communicate through the brain to brain interface the most interesting part of this lecture.

I think that the presenter was very trustworthy whilst presenting this information because he was one of the founders of the technology, and has been working to advance this technology from the time the initial prototype was created.

I would research how effectively this technology could work with humans. A test could be as simple as giving one person a simple map to a maze, and having to direct another person through the maze by just using the brain to brain interface, and see how effective this method truly is when it comes to people.

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