Skip to comments.Scientists extract images directly from brain
Posted on 12/12/2008 9:57:49 AM PST by LibWhacker
Researchers from Japans ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories have developed new brain analysis technology that can reconstruct the images inside a persons mind and display them on a computer monitor, it was announced on December 11. According to the researchers, further development of the technology may soon make it possible to view other peoples dreams while they sleep.
The scientists were able to reconstruct various images viewed by a person by analyzing changes in their cerebral blood flow. Using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine, the researchers first mapped the blood flow changes that occurred in the cerebral visual cortex as subjects viewed various images held in front of their eyes. Subjects were shown 400 random 10 x 10 pixel black-and-white images for a period of 12 seconds each. While the fMRI machine monitored the changes in brain activity, a computer crunched the data and learned to associate the various changes in brain activity with the different image designs.
Then, when the test subjects were shown a completely new set of images, such as the letters N-E-U-R-O-N, the system was able to reconstruct and display what the test subjects were viewing based solely on their brain activity.
For now, the system is only able to reproduce simple black-and-white images. But Dr. Kang Cheng, a researcher from the RIKEN Brain Science Institute, suggests that improving the measurement accuracy will make it possible to reproduce images in color.
These results are a breakthrough in terms of understanding brain activity, says Dr. Cheng. In as little as 10 years, advances in this field of research may make it possible to read a persons thoughts with some degree of accuracy.
The researchers suggest a future version of this technology could be applied in the fields of art and design particularly if it becomes possible to quickly and accurately access images existing inside an artists head. The technology might also lead to new treatments for conditions such as psychiatric disorders involving hallucinations, by providing doctors a direct window into the mind of the patient.
ATR chief researcher Yukiyasu Kamitani says, This technology can also be applied to senses other than vision. In the future, it may also become possible to read feelings and complicated emotional states.
The research results appear in the December 11 issue of US science journal Neuron.
OK, so what am I thinking right now?
The US has been steadily overtaken in the field of science over the last 2 decades, its a shame really.
Do we really want to do this ... interrogations .... thought crimes ?
Did they extract that little white box with a red x inside? I’m not surprised.
- Winston Smith
Wow, that’s pretty neat.
This should be a huge development for New Agers who will no longer have to keep dream diaries on their nightstands; Now they'll just have to TiVo themselves.
Pleeeeeeeeaaaasseeee don’t let my wife get a hold of this technology.
What you think about really can affect your health!
This is an amazing discovery if true.
This would have amazing application in the clinical field.
Shame on you.
I was thinking, could this be used to help to treat the mentally ill. Second thought, maybe, no one really wants to see those images.
Sorry, don’t know why that is. It was showing up fine on my browser — until I cleared the cache and tried again.
This is similar, but much faster and less invasive than tests I heard about duing an Air Force neural network seminar. If a lab animal was killed while viewing an image, that image could be detected in the animal's brain.
Oh GOOD! I have this image of Helen Thomas. I wish they’d extract it and destroy it!
That's disgusting!!! You should be ashamed of yourself.
Geeze, Monkeys??!!! AAARRRGGGGHHHHHH.
Ugh. I think I’m going to log off and go to work now.
I’ve often wondered if the time would come when they could play back dreams.
Dreams are fascinating things.
I’ve had plenty of weird dreams that never made any sense and I couldn’t
imagine where such thoughts came from, or why.
Most likely they are looking at current images as formed from direct sensory input. They might be able to image output motor images such as finger position in piano playing, but only with very powerful musicians. Will they ever image propositional statements? Would think not.
dare I ask that you share? :-P
I was thinking about how cool it’d be to hook up witnesses to a crime to get a good look at the perp... Or hook up a [still living] terrorist to get a look at all his contacts and all the places he had been for the last few months before he committed the crime. You might even be able to use it as a lie detector... If the image he’s describing is nonexistent or not clear enough, you might be able to tell he was lying, etc. The possibilities are staggering.
“no longer have to keep dream diaries on their nightstands; Now they’ll just have to TiVo themselves.”
Ghastly thought! For the last few years my dreams have dealt with redecorating large, even endless rooms, and lately I’ve branched out into doing household chores, such as dishwashing (by hand!)and vacuuming. It’s horrible! Horrible, I tell you!
Methink the same thing. My new favorite show.
Allow me to introduce you to my dishwashers:
Not a dirty plate in the house.
you ‘freepdotted’ the source..
(the website crashed)
A machine that purports to understand women??? That's just plain science fiction there.
It’s working fine for me.
If you’ve been married ten years or more, your wife knows exactly what you are thinking 90% of the day and 95% of the night. Start sleeping in the guest room and stop talking to her if you want privacy.
Yeah, I’ve been married over 30 years and she has me over her knee when it comes to thought processes.
ok... NOW can i put on the tinfoil hat??
Just what the World needs, a mind-reading machine. Big Brother never had one of those.
The possibilities for abuse are staggering too.
Sometime, over 15 years ago, researchers were able to record cats’ neural activity through their optic nerve and recreate what the cats were seeing.
You’re thinking this is hogwash.
Then why the heck does she always ask "what are you thinking about?" and get PO'ed when I say "nothing"? Women don't understand that we men have a big "nothing" section in our brain where we like to spend a lot of time.
Calling Johnny Mnemonic.
Why not also have the test subjects concentrate on something (like a memory about the family house growing up).
The level of detail in such a thought may not be as crisp as when a viewer is looking at letters on a screen.
This is something that must be accomplished before you can start to “watch” dreams.
Reminds me of those bad X-men movies (which are used as an allegory about homosexuality).
The poor mutants (none of whom share mutant traits even when they are related) impersonate people, invade the privacy of peoples' minds, etc. All in the name of their own agenda to be "accepted" as "normal". Your own rights don't matter to them.
Are they jpg files?
Jerry: Louise! That's what's doin' it. You're no longer pre-occupied with sex, so your mind is able to focus.
George: You think?
Jerry: Yeah. I mean, let's say this is your brain. (Holds lettuce head) Okay, from what I know about you, your brain consists of two parts: the intellect, represented here (Pulls off tiny piece of lettuce), and the part obsessed with sex. (Shows large piece) Now granted, you have extracted an astonishing amount from this little scrap. But with no-sex-Louise, this previously useless lump, is now functioning for the first time in its existence. (Eats tiny piece of lettuce)
George: Oh my God. I just remembered where I left my retainer in second grade. I'll see ya. (He throws finished Rubik's cube to Jerry and he exits. Kramer enters...) < /Seinfeld >
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