Richard G. Petty, MD

Direct Brain-to-Brain Communication

The idea that there can be direct communication between people at a distance sounds like the stuff of science fiction.

I will be quite honest: I was always intrigued by the idea of direct contact between brains and I’d had more than my fair share of personal experiences of them. When I was a young student, long before I had started being trained, I suddenly blurted out some very specific information about a classmate that almost lead to a fight: he was enraged, not because of what I said, but because he thought that another friend had betrayed a confidence.

I spent a lot of time poring over experiments done by J.B. Rhine and others, and it all seemed to make sense. But I always had a problem: because I could not understand the mechanism of mind-to-mind communication I remained a bit skeptical. But now the evidence is gradually building up. A few months ago I wrote about some of the intriguing evidence concerning nonlocal interactions of neurons.

If all this is correct and mind-to-mind or brain-to-brain communication is really possible, it instantly changes everything about how we see ourselves and reality. So it is utterly essential to ensure that such extraordinary claims are indeed supported by extraordinary data, and that neither is undermined by shoddy explanatory models.

That is why, as ideas and observations have come forward, I’ve always been at great pains to see whether or not they have been accurate. One of the reasons for going on about the misuse of quantum mechanics has been that the entire topic of parapsychology and of direct brain-to-brain communication is so incredibly important to our worldview.

Unless we have a clear view of who and what we are; what it means to be human; what it means to be an inhabitant of this planet and this Universe and of our place in the grand scheme of things, it is very difficult to devise sensible strategies for healing ourselves and our planet.

I think that I’ve said enough about the misuse of science, but it is just as bad when people misuse the Ageless Wisdom. I’ve just read an article in which the writer talks about the Law of Correspondences, an old Hermetic term that was adopted by the Rosicrucians and Theosophists. The writer said that this Law explains why atoms are just like little solar systems, except that they have electrons whizzing round a nucleus, rather than planets orbiting the sun. This is the kind of silly comment that could only have been made by someone who never got beyond 8th grade physics. For anyone who is interested I can give you chapter and verse as to why the Law of Correspondences does not apply in this situation.

Does this blooper matter? Well yes, because it encourages people to construct an inaccurate view of reality that is based on a very limited visual metaphor, when what is needed is the imagination to stride into a new vision of reality.

So with that, back to brain-to-brain communication. There is a nice article on the topic by Robert Charman in the month’s issue of the Paranormal Review. Sad to say the article is not available online, but the Review itself is available through the Society for Psychical Research in London.

Robert has identified eleven articles that have found evidence of direct brain-to-brain communication using functional MRI and evoked potentials: someone send a signal, there is a blip in the brain of the sender and then a corresponding blip in the brain of the receiver. (Here are some references that I’ve checked out: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.).

His conclusion is that these high-tech studies have confirmed the possibility of brain-to-brain communication at a distance. I think that he is probably correct, though I know from personal exerience just how hard it can be to analyze data from MRI and EEG measurements of the brain.

Something that I find particularly interesting is that using this technology there seems to be a slight delay in the “communication,” though one study showed that the “receiver” might have an electrical potential in his or her brain before the “sender” had sent the communication. These observations may simply reflect the equipment being used, this observations implies that the mechanism is physical.

However some experiential evidence indicates that there is another type of direct persons to person communications that is instantaneous. For this there is no good scientific evidence, just a lot of experience. The difference between the two forms of communication – delayed and instantaneous – is similar to the difference between instinct (physical, brain and body based) and intuition (nonlocal and transpersonal).

This research and these papers are doing us an enormous service. To quote Robert Charman:
“…The data demonstrating episodes of direct communication between brains exists and will not go away.”

And we know from experience that many if not most people can be trained to improve their ability to communicate at distance both in a time-limited and time-independent modes. The keys? Relaxation, meditation, practice and above all, belief in the possibility that you can do it.

You may remember when Luke Skywalker said to Yoda “I don’t believe it,” to which Yoda responded: “That, is why you fail.”

About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.


2 Responses to “Direct Brain-to-Brain Communication”
  1. jp says:

    How to Track Brain-to-Brain Communication

    EEG Suggestion: communicate thought through additional EEG signal, in addition to existing media, rather than imitating or replacing.

    The EEG medium, whatever its components, cannot match the subtlety of communication ultimately decoded

    Use of more sophisticated EEG medium is dependent on an ultimate decoder who can interpret the output

    So let the receiver reconstruct the sender’s thoughts
    from EEG signals that are more or less directly sent from sender to receiver in addition to usual signals.

    The new medium adds a line of EEG derived signals in addition to usual sounds, sight etc… already used. It can be an EEG derived tone or light display, as well as a transcranial magnetic transmission currently the subject of much research.

    testing can be done by measuring the interpretation of the recipient compared to instructions given to sender.

    example: two musicians play music together, speak and exchange written notation in comparable sessions, with and without sharing a two way EEG communicator.

    First, they learn and play together part of a composition.

    Second, sender in isolation hears and learns the rest of the composition.

    Then both again play together the first part, and sender continues to play the learned second part, while receiver improvises.

    Receiver should more closely improvise the second part according to what sender has learned when sender and reciever share EEG communication, in addition to sound and sight communication.

  2. Richard Petty says:

    This is indeed an interesting experimental design.

    Some of the researchers doing work in this field do read this blog, so we shall see what they have to say.

    Kind regards,


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