Technology is moving Telepathy from Science Fiction to Fact

The term ‘telepathy‘ is 130 years old and refers to ‘distant perception’ or rather the transfer of information from one individual to another without any direct physical interaction. While the natural occurrence of such powers has always been contested, new neutral interface research is showing flexibility of the mind in using novel sensory channels.

In August 2013, researchers at the University of Washington were able to control the hand movement of a voluntary subject via the internet, an electroencephalograph machine, and a transcranial magnetic stimulation coil. Simply put, the first subject thought about moving his hand, his brainwaves were recorded and transmitted to the second subject, whose hand move without his own control.

In a more invasive, but astonishing, study with rats, neuroscientists at Northwestern University in Illinois were able to demonstrate the transference of situational information. In the first case, rats were presented with a pair of levers where pressing the correct lever would supply a treat. The first rat was given visual contextual clues as to which was the correct lever. The second rat then successfully picked the correct lever four times out of five without such clues. In the second experiment, use of tactile senses were used instead of visual, but had a similar success rate.

Finally, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University linked six mice into a single network to run parallel mazes with reward paths, punishment paths, and neutral paths. These mice were able to use information from their cohorts in order to both avoid the punishment paths and select the reward paths at a statistically significant rate. Parallel mazes were used to ensure there was no unintended information sources, such as scent trails.

In conclusion, we are entering an era where telepathy or direct mind-to-mind communication or collaboration not only is a possibility, but a reality. As the technology becomes less invasive and our understanding of how the brain produces thoughts and impulses, the potential to revolutionize how we deal with other people will grow. Natural telepathy might or might not exist, but technologically enabled telepathy is a reality. As the mechanics of telepathy are explored, mainstream acceptance and investigation of the possibility for natural telepathy will grow.