Is it possible to have non invasive BCI that could be attached and detached to the head and not require surgery, while working like the "plugs" in the Matrix? If possible what would these devices look like, and how would they work?

  • $\begingroup$ I've added a tag, if you disagree then feel free to revert. $\endgroup$ Feb 28, 2021 at 1:21
  • $\begingroup$ Related $\endgroup$ Feb 28, 2021 at 1:29
  • $\begingroup$ @Rottweileronmarket-day. Thanks for the tag, it fits well. $\endgroup$ Feb 28, 2021 at 3:08
  • $\begingroup$ Would you define the acronym BCI? Is it Brain Computer Interface? $\endgroup$ Feb 28, 2021 at 13:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @ExcessOperatorHeadspace Yes, Brain Computer Interface $\endgroup$ Feb 28, 2021 at 23:57

3 Answers 3


Exactly this is in the news now.


In March 2017, Elon Musk announced a new venture. Unlike SpaceX, Tesla and even the tunnel-digging startup, The Boring Company, Neuralink doesn't look to remedy deep societal woes, but merely the continuation of the species. Hopefully it has fewer fiery mishaps during testing.

Neuralink, which now has offices in San Francisco and Austin, is working on a brain-machine interface that will connect human brains to computers. Initially, the technology could change the lives of patients with brain or spinal injuries, but Musk believes the company could eventually achieve human and artificial intelligence symbiosis. The goal of Neuralink isn't simply a human-machine interface, but a fast or high-bandwidth connection between the two.

Neuralink's tech starts with a puck (microchip) with threads that have tiny electrodes at the ends which are implanted near a neuron in the brain.

The big news this month wasn't human, but it was close.

According to CNBC, Neuralink has successfully connected a monkey that can play video games with its mind. The team implanted a computer chip into the monkey’s skull and threaded the nanowires into its brain.

I could not find a picture of the monkey or what video game it was playing. I here assert it was Crazy Climber. In any case Mr Musk seems to be working on the stuff you are interested in. Google up Neuralink to find more.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If I might quote a Vorlon - "The avalanch has begun, it is too late for the pebbles to vote". $\endgroup$ Feb 28, 2021 at 2:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks for the response, but I should have added not involving surgery. $\endgroup$ Feb 28, 2021 at 3:07

Been there, dome that, got the t-shirt.

Researchers in Europe and the UK have managed to connect biological and artificial neurons together – and allow them to communicate long distances through the internet. The biological neurons were grown in one country, sent signals through an artificial synapse located in another to electronic neurons in a third country.

Unfortunately for America, however, the heavy lifting research is being done in China. They are worlds ahead of America, including anything Musk is proselytizing.

For example,

Experimental demonstration of resistive neural networks has been the recent focus of hardware implementation of neuromorphic computing. Capacitive neural networks, which call for novel building blocks, provide an alternative physical embodiment of neural networks featuring a lower static power and a better emulation of neural functionalities. Here, we develop neuro-transistors by integrating dynamic pseudo-memcapacitors as the gates of transistors to produce electronic analogs of the soma and axon of a neuron, with “leaky integrate-and-fire” dynamics augmented by a signal gain on the output.

What in fact you might be looking for is a capacitive connection to human neural networks. No direct connection needed.


You would essentially need two machines and a drug to make this work.

First, a 3d MRI that can scan all the relevant motor neurons the brain at every moment. this will get the muscle output that you put into the simulation. It is worth noting that currently no device like this exists, MRIs are slow and can't target multiple spaces effectively. https://www.myvmc.com/investigations/3d-magnetic-resonance-imaging-3d-mri/

Second, a Transcranial magnetic stimulation device that can target specific nerves. This will return the senses to the brain. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/transcranial-magnetic-stimulation/about/pac-20384625#:~:text=Repetitive%20transcranial%20magnetic%20stimulation%20(rTMS),-In%20transcranial%20magnetic&text=During%20an%20rTMS%20session%2C%20an,in%20mood%20control%20and%20depression.

Third, a paralyzing drug such as succinylcholine. Preferably something longer lasting though. this ensures that even though you are sending signals to your muscles, the muscles don't move and screw up the MRI. https://www.rxlist.com/consumer_succinylcholine_anectine_quelicin/drugs-condition.htm

The first two machines need to be very precise since you are trying to read and write directly to the nerves of a person. Also, it is possible that trying to read or write the same signal from two different people will have different results. So you may need to calibrate for each person.

Also, you will need to ensure that the MRI sensor can work simultaneously with the Transcranial magnetic stimulation device since both use magnets in close proximity and the Transcranial magnetic stimulation device could cause the MRI to mess up in its sensing.

However, with miniaturized MRI, better targeting for Transcranial magnetic stimulation, and better or cheaper muscle paralyzers this could work. That said, your non-invasive system would still require a IV drip or other way or automatically delivering the muscle paralyzer.

The BCI would probably look like an MRI bed with an air cuff, robot syringe, and IV drip. You would lay down on the table slide back into the machine, and align your head and arms properly. The air cuff would then cut circulation to your arm to expose a vein so a robot can attach the IV. Once you are in place you relax your body and close your eyes for one minute while the drug is pumped and begins to take effect. Once the paralysis is confirmed the machine starts sending the nerve signals and scanning for brain activity. You would not be able to come out of the simulation at will though. it take about 5-10 minute for the drug to wear off, so while you can be booted out into the real world you will be booted out into full body paralysis with your eyes closed.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .