The video recordings of BBI procedure. A volunteer (upper left panel) signaled the intention (stimulate the motor area of a rat brain) with a thumb movement (a green dot appearing on the screen). The increased amplitude of SSVEP triggered the operation of FUS neuromodulation of a rat under the anesthesia (upper left panel), which was subsequently created the animal’s tail movement. The lower panel shows the real-time recordings of volunteer’s attention, raw SSVEP signal, SSVEP signal filtered at 15 Hz, and the tail motion (from the top to the bottom row).
Non-Invasive Brain-to-Brain Interface (BBI): Establishing Functional Links between Two Brains
Transcranial focused ultrasound (FUS) is capable of modulating the neural activity of specific brain regions, with a potential role as a non-invasive computer-to-brain interface (CBI). In conjunction with the use of brain-to-computer interface (BCI) techniques that translate brain function to generate computer commands, we investigated the feasibility of using the FUS-based CBI to non-invasively establish a functional link between the brains of different species (i.e. human and Sprague-Dawley rat), thus creating a brain-to-brain interface (BBI). The implementation was aimed to non-invasively translate the human volunteer’s intention to stimulate a rat’s brain motor area that is responsible for the tail movement. The volunteer initiated the intention by looking at a strobe light flicker on a computer display, and the degree of synchronization in the electroencephalographic steady-state-visual-evoked-potentials (SSVEP) with respect to the strobe frequency was analyzed using a computer. Increased signal amplitude in the SSVEP, indicating the volunteer’s intention, triggered the delivery of a burst-mode FUS (350 kHz ultrasound frequency, tone burst duration of 0.5 ms, pulse repetition frequency of 1 kHz, given for 300 msec duration) to excite the motor area of an anesthetized rat transcranially. The successful excitation subsequently elicited the tail movement, which was detected by a motion sensor. The interface was achieved at 94.0±3.0% accuracy, with a time delay of 1.59±1.07 sec from the thought-initiation to the creation of the tail movement. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of a computer-mediated BBI that links central neural functions between two biological entities, which may confer unexplored opportunities in the study of neuroscience with potential implications for therapeutic applications.
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This data is part of the peer reviewed publication:
- Seung-Schik Yoo
- Hyungmin Kim
- Emmanuel Filandrianos
- Seyed Javid Taghados
- Shinsuk Park
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