Reconstructing Movie Clips by Brain Imaging

Scientists are taking one step closer to reading your mind using brain imaging techniques:

Imagine tapping into the mind of a coma patient, or watching one’s own dream on YouTube. With a cutting-edge blend of brain imaging and computer simulation, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, are bringing these futuristic scenarios within reach.

Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and computational models, UC Berkeley researchers have succeeded in decoding and reconstructing people’s dynamic visual experiences – in this case, watching Hollywood movie trailers.

As yet, the technology can only reconstruct movie clips people have already viewed. However, the breakthrough paves the way for reproducing the movies inside our heads that no one else sees, such as dreams and memories, according to researchers.

“This is a major leap toward reconstructing internal imagery,” said Professor Jack Gallant, a UC Berkeley neuroscientist and coauthor of the study published online today (Sept. 22) in the journal Current Biology. “We are opening a window into the movies in our minds.”

Link | Hit play or go to YouTube to watch the video clip


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well... i wonder how much more there is to decode, since our brain images are nothing more than blurry blobs.
try to imagine a tree i.e., best pick one you are quite familiar with. how much details do you imagine? enough to create a sharp image? can you imagine the structure of the leaves at the same time you focus on the branches?
even though i believe every individual has a different inner view, i dont think anyone is capable of producing images in their head that anyone else can "read"... at max, we will be able to identify objects, maybe some faces, but it will be like interpreting abstract artworks...
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