New research funded by the U.S. Army Research Office successfully separated brain signals that influence action or behavior from the signals that do not.
The new research is part of the U.S. Army's wider neuroscience plans, that could ultimately lead to soldiers communicating via brain waves in the future, C4ISRNET reports.
Tech for the distant future
The Army Research Office (ARO) has committed to spending $6.25 million on the brain signals project over the next five years, C4ISRNET writes.
As is often the case, these state-of-the-art technologies are developed by the military before eventually being used for consumer applications years down the line.
Of course, none of this guarantees that we'll see tangible results any time soon. The reality is that we probably won't see soldiers communicating via brain signals alone in the near future.
And yet, the new initiative highlights the ways new technologies, such as brain-computer interfaces, could truly revolutionize the way we communicate.
Deciphering brain signals
Following the latest study, ARO neuroscientists say they've learned to decode and separate the neural signals that direct behavior from the rest of the brain's signal output. While that doesn't allow anyone to read minds, it's an important step towards understanding how to decipher complex brain activity.
"Here we’re not only measuring signals, but we’re interpreting them," ARO program manager Hamid Krim told C4ISRNET.
However, Krim cautioned that "you can read anything you want; doesn’t mean that you understand it."
The next step, Krim explained, is to decipher other types of brain signals so that a computer would eventually be able to be "in a full duplex communication mode with the brain."