Seeing What the Brain Sees

Brandon Keim writes in Wired that scientists are getting closer to reconstructing images that duplicate what the brain actually sees through visual input. Though it's not actually brain-reading, it's a small step in that direction:

To construct their model, the researchers used an fMRI machine, which measures blood flow through the brain, to track neural activity in three people as they looked at pictures of everyday settings and objects.

As in the earlier study, they looked at parts of the brain linked to the shape of objects. Unlike before, they looked at regions whose activity correlates with general classifications, such as “buildings” or “small groups of people.”

Once the model was calibrated, the test subjects looked at another set of pictures. After interpreting the resulting neural patterns, the researchers’ program plucked corresponding pictures from a database of 6 million images.

Link via DVICE

Image: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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I wholeheartedly disagree with Marinus. The scientist/inventor is NOT responsible for the evils that men do with their creations. It is up to humanity to use their work for the good of mankind.

This technology has the potential to be very beneficial, and helps lead the way to even greater developments. If we start holding back technology because of what it COULD be used for, we'll never create anything.
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Scientists- all Edward Tellers!
They're never responsible for the evil their work makes possible. Smarter than the average bears, they know damn well what their research will probably result in, but, like pedophile clerics in the church of curiosity, shrug off responsibility.
At this rate [whether in five or fifty years] government mind-reading will be possible, and then you can bet the boys and girls in white coats will tut tut piously and return to their labs to build the groundwork for new horrors.
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