Direct brain stimulation allows gamers to play blindly

An experiment was conducted at the University of Washington in which players navigated virtual mazes without looking at the screen. They received "target designations" by direct stimulation of the brain through magnetic coils attached to the back of the skull.

This phenomenon is known as transcranial magnetic stimulation. It has already shown its effectiveness in treating migraines, enhancing the learning process, memory and in establishing inter-brain communication between people.

During the game, brain stimulation was a kind of hint to gamers when passing a simple maze consisting of 21 obstacles. Each step involved 2 options for advancement - going forward or going down the stairs.

When an obstacle (a ladder) appeared, the device stimulated the brain, creating a visual artifact - phosphene, meaning light that was not there before. In this case, the gamer "went down the stairs." In other cases, he could "move straight." Using this method, players successfully completed the maze with a score of 92%.

“We basically tried to give people a sixth sense, ” says one of the authors of the Darby Losey method. “For a long time, neuroengineering specialists focused on decoding information from the brain. We are engaged in coding the information transmitted to the brain. "

Research findings could form the basis of sensory prosthetics to help visually impaired patients navigate the real world.