A group of scientists from the U.S., Spain and France may have gotten a step closer to mental telepathy. According to a report from The Financial Express, the scientists conducted a groundbreaking experiment to achieve the first transmission of information via a brain-to-brain link between two human beings.

“We wanted to find out if one could communicate directly between two people by reading out the brain activity from one person and injecting brain activity into the second person, and do so across great physical distances by leveraging existing communication pathways,” said study co-author Alvaro Pascual-Leone, a Harvard Medical School neurology professor, in an interview with GMA News.

The two test subjects were more than 5,000 miles apart – one in India, the others in France. One of the subjects had electrodes attached to his scalp. These were designed to pick up the electrical signals in his brain while he concentrated on a specific word. The signals were then transmitted via the Internet to three recipient subjects who were attached to brain-computer interfaces. The recipients were able to accurately determine the words without need of any other sensory clues. In the experiment, the words “hola” and “ciao” were transmitted.

Previously, similar experiments involved humans hooked up to a brain-computer interface system in which the computer interprets the brain signals and translates them into instructions. This experiment is the first to involve direct brain-to-brain communication.

The results indicate the possibility of communication that bypasses traditional language or motor-based means. This could have a number of potential applications. In the future, this type of technology could enable people to communicate even if they lack the ability to vocalize, such as patients who have suffered a stroke.

The study involved researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, collaborated with scientists from Starlab Barcelona in Spain and Axilum Robotics in Strasbourg, France.

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