What if moving your own body could make someone else's body move too?
For instance, what if you could use your brain to move someone else's arm against their will?
Greg Gage, a neuroscientist, and part of the brains (pun intended) behind Backyard Brains, developed a DIY neuroscience kit that can be hooked up between humans. The kit makes it so one person's brain can control the movements of another.
Cue Sam and Miguel, two audience volunteers who have no idea what they're getting themselves into.
First, Gage hooks up Sam's arm with electrodes. Those electrodes will collect some of the 80 billion neurons inside Sam's brain that get sent to her arm when her mind signals movement.
And when Miguel gets hooked up with connecting electrodes, some really weird stuff starts to happen.
By stimulating a nerve in Sam's arm that's close enough to her skin, the kit can copy her brain signals to her own hand, and transfer the information to Miguel. The result? Sam's brain will control both her arm movement and Miguel's!
"And so, in a sense, she will take away your free will and you will no longer have any control over this hand, okay? You with me?" Gage tells Miguel in the TED video.
And so they test it.
Boom. Brain power.
"When you lose your free will and someone else becomes your agent, it does feel a bit strange," Gage adds.
Pretty amazing stuff.