Underlying humanity’s social abilities is the brain’s capacity to interpersonally synchronize. With recent technological advances permitting mobile brain sensing and stimulation, we identify an opportunity for the ubiquitous enhancement of inter-brain synchrony.
These technologies would allow groups to benefit from enhanced coordination, cohesion, empathy, positivity, and communication, fostering interpersonal connections and wellbeing.
To explore this opportunity, we designed “PsiNet,” the first wearable brain-to-brain system aimed at enhancing inter-brain synchrony in-the-wild. PsiNet monitors the cognitive states of its users, and uses reinforcement learning to decide how to best stimulate the brains of group members to increase synchrony.
Electroencephalographic analysis revealed a significant increase in inter-brain synchrony, while participants reported the experience allowed them to experience the cognition of others as if it were their own, and that they felt closer together while wearing PsiNet, even while physically apart.
We hope that our work guides the design of brain-to-brain interfaces toward a future in fostering human connection.