Neuroscientist shows how to control someone else’s arm with your brain

Neuroscientist shows how to control someone else’s arm with your brain


The brain is a wonderful and complex system in the human body. Still, very little is known about the brain. The neuroscientist and engineer Greg Gage is trying to change that and make neuroscience more accessible to all, including students of all educational levels.

“The brain is an amazing and complex organ. And while many people are fascinated by the brain, they can’t really tell you that much about the properties about how the brain works because we don’t teach neuroscience in schools.” said Gage during his TED Talk presentation in Vancouver.

Gage showed a modification of SpikerBox – a simple non-invasive device that can be used in high schools in order to teach student more about the electrical impulses of the nervous system. The SpikerBox was the first of many products developed by Gage’s company Backyard Brains, which aims to entertain and engage children in learning about the capabilities of the brain, in order to stimulate an early interest in neuroscience.

The device, which he demonstrated during his presentation, requires two volunteers and is arranged to be connected only by electrodes and a computer system that detects electrical signals and uses the brainwaves of the controlling person to cause the other one to involuntarily move their arm. As nerves are close to the skin, the process is non-invasive and as such, the device is perfectly safe for children to use and requires only self-adhesive sticky pads and conductors attached to the arms for the device to work.

“One out of five of us, that’s 20% of the entire world will have a neurological disorder. And there are zero cures for these diseases. And so it seems that what we should be doing is reaching back earlier in the education process and teaching students about neuroscience so that in the future they may be thinking about possibly becoming a brain scientist.” Gage said.

Source: TED Talks