The brain is a complex wonder of the human body. I mean, it pretty much named itself. And it’s a great shame that relatively little is known about the brain.
Greg Gage is a man on a mission to make neuroscience more accessible to all students—at all educational levels. “We still know very little about how the brain works,” said Gage onstage at a TED2012 talk, “and we need to start inspiring kids early to want to know more.”
Speaking at a recent TEDTalk in Vancouver, neuroscientist and engineer Greg Gage demonstrated a modified SpikerBox—a non-invasive device simple enough for high school and elementary kids to use to learn about the electrical impulses of the nervous system. The SpikerBox was the first of many DIY products he has developed with Backyard Brains, which aims to entertain and engage kids in learning about the brain’s capacities and hopefully to stimulate an interest in neuroscience.
"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,” Gage told the TEDTalk audience, ”because we don't teach neurosciences in schools.”
The device requires two (willing) volunteers to be connected merely by electrodes and a computer system, which detects electrical signals of movement, creating a human-to-human interface. Losing free will, one volunteer has his arm jerked towards him by the connections sent from the other volunteer’s brain as she moves her arm.
As the nerves are close to the skin, the entire process is non-invasive and as such, the device is perfectly safe for kids to use and only requires self-adhesive conductive sticky pads affixed to the arms to work.
Sure, it’s a creepy step towards total mind-control of another person. But it’s also a fun way for anyone to learn about the power of the human mind.