Sunday, 13 January 2008

A scan(ny) for your thoughts, my dear

I got interested in a recent news reported by Science Daily. Apparently a group of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University has been able to
identify where people's thoughts and perceptions of familiar objects originate in the brain by identifying the patterns of brain activity associated with the objects.

A dozen study participants enveloped in an MRI scanner were shown line drawings of 10 different objects -- five tools and five dwellings --one at a time and asked to think about their properties. Just and Mitchell's method was able to accurately determine which of the 10 drawings a participant was viewing based on their characteristic whole-brain neural activation patterns. To make the task more challenging for themselves, the researchers excluded information in the brain's visual cortex, where raw visual information is available, and focused more on the "thinking" parts of the brain.

I'll need to have a deeper look at the original work, because the news reporting is, perhaps, a bit on the hype side, but nevertheless, this sounds like Science Fiction, doesn't it?

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