Brain scans reveal what you've seen

anjinha

macrumors 604
Original poster
Oct 21, 2006
7,271
62
San Francisco, CA
WIRED said:
Scientists are one step closer to knowing what you've seen by reading your mind.

Researchers used fMRI technology to try to pull images out of peoples' brains.

Having modeled how images are represented in the brain, the researchers translated recorded patterns of neural activity into pictures of what test subjects had seen.
Full article here.
 

AngryApple

macrumors 6502
Dec 25, 2008
342
0
This is extremely creepy. What if you imagined and thought of something for a long time? Would it say that you saw it?
 

electroshock

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2009
647
0
I don't know, but I think it'd run into some difficulties into distinguishing between, say, having seen Poutine (a fine quebecois food dish) in its full glory and having seen a pr0n mag... :D

But, seriously, what won the 'creepy' award for me was the experiment early in 1999 where Harvard researchers (Dr. Stanley and his team) successfully wired into a live cat's brain and converted brain activity into video, showing what it was seeing in a grainy video. Cool but creepy. :) Brought a new way of looking at what cats see when they live a day in their life. I haven't been able to find the research paper/results or video since, but I'm sure it's somewhere out there.
 

Rt&Dzine

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2008
736
5
I've been waiting for this since I was a kid (long time). Creepy but fascinating.
 

Berlepsch

macrumors 6502
Oct 22, 2007
303
46
Leading edge researchers in this field have even found brain reactions in a salmon when pictures were shown to the fish. That is really astonishing, given that the salmon was actually quite dead during the test. See this Wired article.

Bottom line: the MRI method can easily produce false results if the data are not analyzed really, really carefully.
 

Cabbit

macrumors 68020
Jan 30, 2006
2,129
1
Scotland
How fascinating would it be to have the technology to make movies just by thinking. I know i have some wonderfully fun dreams that would be terrific in movie format, imagine the creative possibilities for invention and creation if instead of trying to describe a concept or idea you could just print it out.
 

ravenvii

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,583
489
Melenkurion Skyweir
I actually like that movie. A lot of people didn't thuo.

I think this is freaking cool. Also kind of reminds of the movie "Brainstorm" where they recorded what you experienced.... Ha this is pretty cool!
I really enjoyed the movie too! But I could understand why some people dislike the movie - the director kind of sucked.
 

dXTC

macrumors 68020
Oct 30, 2006
2,032
49
Up, up in my studio, studio
I don't know, but I think it'd run into some difficulties into distinguishing between, say, having seen Poutine (a fine quebecois food dish) in its full glory and having seen a pr0n mag... :D
If a machine can't tell the difference between a serving of smothered pommes frites and an OB/GYN shot of some woman, then there is more than a bit of further refinement in store. That is, unless the woman hasn't been keeping... uhm, never mind; this is a family-friendly forum, after all. :D

(For the record, I've never had poutine, but it indeed sounds interesting.)
 

whooleytoo

macrumors 604
Aug 2, 2002
6,559
628
Cork, Ireland.
Do we really need a machine to tell us what men are picturing?

Now, if someone could decipher what's going on in women's heads, and explain it to us men in SHORT. SIMPLE. WORDS. then that would be a Nobel prize, right there..
 

iPhone 62S

macrumors 6502a
Aug 18, 2009
993
0
What if you brain is slightly different? The level of pictures related to a person's thinking vary a lot. I can rewind my memory like a DVD and remember number plates I see as I walk down the road, but I know someone who dosen't think in pictures at all.

Interesting and creepy experiment, though, and I hope it won't fall into the wrong hands!
 

iOrlando

macrumors 68000
Jul 20, 2008
1,813
1
I don't know, but I think it'd run into some difficulties into distinguishing between, say, having seen Poutine (a fine quebecois food dish) in its full glory and having seen a pr0n mag... :D

But, seriously, what won the 'creepy' award for me was the experiment early in 1999 where Harvard researchers (Dr. Stanley and his team) successfully wired into a live cat's brain and converted brain activity into video, showing what it was seeing in a grainy video. Cool but creepy. :) Brought a new way of looking at what cats see when they live a day in their life. I haven't been able to find the research paper/results or video since, but I'm sure it's somewhere out there.
wouldnt just putting a camera on the cats head sort of accomplish the same task? or put camera glasses on the cat?
 

Melrose

Suspended
Dec 12, 2007
7,807
392
I think it's got much promise for diagnosis, but will never be admissible legally, similar to a polygraph.

The reason is the same as with any other evaluation of human behaviour: We can study graphology, but it's hardly an exact science and there are any number of schools of thought with several different interpretations; We can read body language, but there again if you pick up any two books - written by experts, mind - after they cover the basics they're off like tangents.

The only consistent thing is that it can greatly help the diagnosee's opinion only if taken in context with other factors.

It's interesting from a purely scientific point of view; but it will be many, many years before they can even come close to anything we'd even remotely consider "reading thought".

Books on group and social behaviour patterns are the creepy ones. Milgrim's experiment comes to mind...
 

the vj

macrumors 6502a
Nov 23, 2006
654
0
Wow... a lie detector!!!

Just imagine... you cheat on your girlfriend, she calls you to come to her place to scan your brain to see if you are inocent or guilty!!!!

Everything you do is recorded in your brain, specially the bad thing you do not want anybody to find out.

The posibilities are endless and the applications will chanmge everything, a bigger impact than TV or Internet or even the phone.
 

nbs2

macrumors 68030
Mar 31, 2004
2,713
485
A geographical oddity
Wouldn't this lead to movie studios having the right to "refresh" our brains at the end of movies or otherwise require some sort of DRM or payment for being allowed to live? After all, couldn't this be used to make pirated copies? And even an infant could be brought into a theater to play the role of human camcorder...
 

iPhone 62S

macrumors 6502a
Aug 18, 2009
993
0
Wouldn't this lead to movie studios having the right to "refresh" our brains at the end of movies or otherwise require some sort of DRM or payment for being allowed to live? After all, couldn't this be used to make pirated copies? And even an infant could be brought into a theater to play the role of human camcorder...
By the time this tech hits the streets, the current entertainment industry business model will be dead... Hopefully... Else, we're all doomed! :eek: