Scientists Detect and Recreate Movies in the Mind

When I first became interested in neuroscience, I  believed it would one day become possible to detect the brains signal’s and use that information to reconstruct what the person was visually imagining.  This would in a sense be akin to reading the mind.

In a new report a group of researcher claims to have taken the first steps towards achieving that end.

The scientists at UC Berkeley have combined the power of functional MRI and computation models to resurrect movie images a patient is thinking of.

fMRI can detect on the scale of a few millimeters what nerve cell areas in the brain are most active.

The research builds on previous work in which the researchers had subjects view black and white photos.  They then recorded the exact fMRI signal map and then using computational analysis could later predict with “overwhelming accuracy” what picture the subject was thinking of.

Now they have taken this one step further by using color movies as the stimulus.

Right now, only thoughts about a movie clip a person had previsouly seen can be detected, but the work paves the way toward a future of being able to detect any visual scene or epoide a person is thinking about.

“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.”

Imagine a day when all of your visual memories could be detected, resurrected and recorded for all to see.

Source (UC Berkeley)

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