General discussion


Computer to Read your Mind! Computational Neuroscience

By Black Panther ·
This Machine Reads Your Mind

What about Copyright????

Your private thoughts may not be so private.

Scientists from Japan and the United States have figured out how to read a person's mind by remotely measuring brain activity, extracting information of which the subject is not even aware. Science fiction? No. It's real.

So far it's pretty rudimentary stuff in that the mind-reading machine can only identify visual patterns a volunteer can see or has chosen to look at. But the researchers are hopeful that the approach will eventually probe into a person's awareness, focus of attention, memory, and movement intention, report New Scientist and Scientific American.

This cutting-edge experiment was undertaken by Yukiyasu Kamitani, who is with the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan, and Frank Tong from Princeton University. Volunteers were shown patterns of parallel lines in one of eight different variations. When Kamitani and Tong used functional MRI scanning to examine the brain regions that were used to perceive the patterns, they were able to recognize which variation the volunteer was viewing. New Scientist reports that each of the eight line variations corresponded to a different pattern of brain activity; interestingly, the patterns were different in each person.

Here's an eye-popping finding: When two sets of patterns were superimposed and the volunteers were told to focus on just one of them, the researchers were able to tell from the brain images which one they were looking at!

One exciting application: Doctors could use it to find out if comatose patients are actually conscious.

The study findings were published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

A much more "exciting" application.

by Absolutely In reply to Computer to Read your Min ...

By reading defendants' minds it will be possible to truly ascertain guilt in murder trials, finally making the phrase "guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt" meaningful!

Collapse -

Error or Bug

by Black Panther In reply to A much more "exciting" ap ...

Let's hope the computer does not make an error or has a program bug at that time! :)

Collapse -

Oh, but of course...

by Absolutely In reply to Error or Bug

no evidence could ever be admitted unless it was infallible, surely?

Pardon the cynicism, I haven't had my coffee yet.

Collapse -

They can do this

by Dr Dij In reply to A much more "exciting" ap ...

It's in beginning stages and not what you think. They cannot read the image in the mind and let someone else see it, however they CAN decode if someone recognizes a picture or not.

How they would determine guilt? If some object or scene was unique to a murder, they could tell whether the person had seen it before by recording their brainwave pattern when they view the picture.

Saw this a year or so ago on science show. don't have reference, but should be able to 'google' it if you can thing up right keywords.

And this idea is not brand new - the japanese have been able to have helmet on fighter pilots reliable determine a 'yes' or 'no' command so they could fire weapons by thought.

Collapse -


by Black Panther In reply to They can do this

Remember the movie Firefox - Clint Eastwood when he stole the Russian Mig.!

Collapse -

New movie doesn't need computer to read your mind

by Dr Dij In reply to Firefox..

with the new movie, the jet has AI rampage.

I'll have to see it (maybe when it comes to TV); not meaningful movie my gf likes

Collapse -

No funny that...

by Black Panther In reply to New movie doesn't need co ...

The difference between the female and male mind!

Actually we could start a thread on that! :)

for what reason's ? and what about gay's?

Born in the wrong body?

Collapse -

Mechanical ESP yet!

Well, I dunno! Jules Verne's 'Nautilus' was once thought to be no more than science-fiction, a figment of the writer's imagination! Try telling that to all the crews of todays' submarines!

Seriously, this may be one of those terribly controversial issues (like cloning and certain types of genetic research) where the law will need to 'catch up' first before we all fall into a quagmire of amorality.

While the up-side of such research could be exactly the medical situation described above, Panther, you can bet there'll be twice as many down-sides, especially if such a device got into the wrong hands!

It does sound a lot like science-fiction, but nothing ever remains that forever. This will happen, probably sooner than we expect, judging by the research already being carried out, but I think the law and/or ethical committees or whatever are going to need to step in first.

Collapse -

Quantum computers

I've just placed a similar post in the computer which sees into the future thread, and I'm going to ask the same question here as I did there.

How much have quantum computers, which, we are told, are 'just around the corner', got to do with this? Can anyone tell me, please?

Collapse -


by maxwell edison In reply to Computer to Read your Min ...

Related Discussions

Related Forums