Greg Gage is a neuroscientist.

You wouldn't know it by looking at him, though. There's no long, white lab coat. And he doesn't speak in scientific jargon that's difficult to understand.

That's because Gage is on a mission: He wants to make neuroscience accessible to everyone.

"In order to be able to access the brain," says Gage, "you really need to dedicate your life and spend six and a half years as a graduate student just to become a neuroscientist to get access to these tools. And that's a shame because one out of five of us, that's 20 percent of the entire world, will have a neurological disorder. And there are zero cures for these diseases. And so it seems that what we should be doing is reaching back earlier in the education process and teaching students about neuroscience so that in the future, they may be thinking about possibly becoming a brain scientist."

To solve this problem, Gage and his partner Tim Marzullo started a company called Backyard Brains. The goal is to create DIY neuroscience equipment that's simple and affordable enough for high schools and others with lesser means.

So, how does it work?

You have to see it to believe it.

Using a volunteer, Gage lets us "listen in" to a brain as the subject completes simple movements with her arm. We can even "see" the electrical impulses on the screen--an iPad screen, that is.

But then, it gets really crazy.

After calling for another volunteer, Gage uses a "human-to-human interface" to connect the two subjects. Gage then indicates that he will demonstrate how the first subject can use her brain to control the movements of the second subject's arm.

"It's going to feel a little bit weird at first," Gage explains. "You know, when you lose your free will, and someone else becomes your agent, it does feel a bit strange."

At the 5:00 mark of the video, it happens.

Amazing.

"This is what's happening all across the world--electrophysiology!" exclaims Gage.

"We're going to bring on the neuro-revolution."

Published on: Nov 30, 2016
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