Skip to comments.Brain scan can read people's thoughts: researchers
Posted on 03/12/2010 7:11:02 PM PST by neverdem
WASHINGTON (AFP) A scan of brain activity can effectively read a person's mind, researchers said Thursday.
British scientists from University College London found they could differentiate brain activity linked to different memories and thereby identify thought patterns by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
The evidence suggests researchers can tell which memory of a past event a person is recalling from the pattern of their brain activity alone.
"We've been able to look at brain activity for a specific episodic memory -- to look at actual memory traces," said senior author of the study, Eleanor Maguire.
"We found that our memories are definitely represented in the hippocampus. Now that we've seen where they are, we have an opportunity to understand how memories are stored and how they may change through time."
The results, reported in the March 11 online edition of Current Biology, follow an earlier discovery by the same team that they could tell where a person was standing within a virtual reality room in the same way.
The researchers say the new results move this line of research along because episodic memories -- recollections of everyday events -- are expected to be more complex, and thus more difficult to crack than spatial memory.
In the study, Maguire and her colleagues Martin Chadwick, Demis Hassabis, and Nikolaus Weiskopf showed 10 people each three very short films before brain scanning. Each movie featured a different actress and a fairly similar everyday scenario.
The researchers scanned the participants' brains while the participants were asked to recall each of the films. The researchers then ran the imaging data through a computer algorithm designed to identify patterns in the brain activity associated with memories for each of the films.
Finally, they showed that those patterns could be identified to accurately predict which...
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Jernalism at its best...
Gives new meaning to the phrase “thought police. :)
No more interrogations of terrorists necessary? Yeah right.
Sounds more like they found the location of the ‘clipboard’.
Sometimes described as ‘screen buffer’.
It’s not where memories are stored. It is where they are ‘viewed’.
Can they remember it for me wholesale?
That’s how I read it.
Another tool for Obama to use on us regular citizens?
Of course the article was written by an idiot? or just the headline?
Think of all the guys that will be getting slapped in the face by beautiful women!
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
Probably not exaggerated.
Imagine what is still classified.
One of my PhD program profs worked in brain research.
We can certainly tell when someone is lying—with a very high degree of certainty—with brain scans.
There’s a growing list of the types of thoughts we can discrimminate between, with brain scans.
I’d rather not think about where the classified stuff already is.
That sounds like a good analogy to me.
I wonder if they can help me remember where I put my keys?
I have more confidence in getting the ability to detect lies. It might not be admissible in court, but I'll be satisfied using it to interrogate terrorists.
I knew you were going to say that.