• Question: I was wondering, is it possible to find a way to control the brain, therefore controling what the person says and does (ie, movement)?

    Asked by annabelbutcher to Damien, Rachael, Simon, Suzi, Tim on 21 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Suzi Gage

      Suzi Gage answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      Hi @annabelbutcher

      Ooh, good question. I don’t think there’s a way to control a person’s whole brain, but while I was doing my MSc I used a really cool technique which does something like this on a really small scale. It’s called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (or TMS) and it involves putting an electromagnet over your head, which causes electrical current to go through your skull and momentarily scramble the neuron firing patterns of the area of brain underneath (it’s perfectly safe and it doesn’t hurt).

      If you do this over the areas of the brain that control movement you can make people’s muscles twitch, if you do it over an area that controls vision you can make them see things, and if you do it over an area involved with speech you can make people unable to talk!

      What do you think about that?