Researchers have brought us one step closer to being able to read people’s minds.
In an incredible study led by researchers from the U.S., they used computational software to decode brain signals and predict what their subjects were seeing, Vice Motherboard report.
Kai Miller, a neuroscientist at Stanford University and the study’s lead author, said their new technique allows them to ‘decode’ brain signals in real time.
Researchers have been able to decode images that you see for something like 15 years with some degree of accuracy …Our technique is really new in the sense that it can read from the brain signals in real time, without information on how often it should be looking for some perceptual event. It decodes the brain signals continuously.
The scientists reportedly worked with several epilepsy patients who had electrodes implanted in multiple locations in their brains.
They were then shown images of human faces, blank grey scale and houses in brief flashes, and told to watch out for an image of an upside-down house. The electrodes connected to a computer software that digitised the brain signals.
The computer analysed the brain’s signals and worked out which part of the brain responded when a subject saw a particular image. The software also analysed the data to determine which combination of electrode locations and signal types correlated best with what each subject actually saw in real time.
According to Miller, the formula that he developed using this method allowed his software to learn ‘the expected pattern of brain response’. This let them predict what would happen when subjects were presented with a further 100 images, and it accurately predicted when the subjects had seen an image or expected to see an image.
It’s not quite on the level of Professor X though, unfortunately…