Saturday, May 28, 2011

News Splash: Mind-reading Scan Identifies Simple Thoughts

If you think no one can read your mind, think again. 


"Michael Greicius at Stanford University in California and colleagues used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to identify patterns of brain activity associated with different mental states.


He asked 14 volunteers to do one of four tasks: sing songs silently to themselves; recall the events of the day; count backwards in threes; or simply relax.


Without knowing beforehand what each volunteer was thinking, the system successfully identified 85 percent of the tasks they were engaged in.


The findings suggest that patterns for thousands of mental states might serve as a reference bank against which people's thoughts could be compared, potentially revealing what someone is thinking or how they are feeling. "In some dystopian future, you might imagine reference patterns for 10,000 mental states, but that would be a woeful application of this technology," says Greicius." Continue reading... 


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