Advances in neuroscience are taking place at warp speed. Brain imaging technology has now progressed to the point where a full map of the neural processes is beginning to emerge. Concurrently, research into more direct forms of mind control such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation can control thoughts and motor skills, even enabling remote controlled humans via the Internet.
A new project labeled Glass Brain is taking yet another leap forward toward the goal of decoding the brain for an array of potential uses (and abuses). The video below gives a flythrough after system creator Philip Rosedale outfitted his wife with EEG electrodes, then employed a virtual reality headset to explore her brain activity in 3D and in real time.
Researchers seem eager to point out that it is not (yet) possible to read actual thoughts via this virtual reality system, but can explore how neural pathways are activated and how the brain processes information.
Similar strides to map the brain have been made in the area of neurogaming, as well as with neural dust to monitor the brain from the inside. Meanwhile augmented reality systems like Google Glass have been modified with a built-in EEG to offer a similar “window into the mind” that can monitor the mental states of the user, also in real time.
This type of tinkering with the brain in tandem with virtual reality applications that enable a two-way transfer of information should raise ethical questions. Ethics seems to be a distant consideration that is lost among the current sales pitch of benefits provided to those with brain injuries. For a look at those ethical issues, please read “Avatars and Their Behavioral Effect on Reality.” And this, of course, pales in comparison to the military and intelligence uses that could be (or have already been?) employed to remotely access the brain and work with mind control virtually undetected.