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Science & Technology

Scientists develop mind-reading device

By T.K. Randall
November 1, 2014 · Comment icon 12 comments

In the future mind-reading technology may be commonplace. Image Credit: CC 2.0 Andrew Mason
The system is able to turn brain signals associated with your inner monologue in to actual words.
Scientists at the University of California have succeeded in developing hardware and software capable of picking up the words that you hear in your head when you are thinking or reading.

The system works by picking up the neural activity in the brain associated with speech and translating it back in to words.

It is hoped that the breakthrough will one day offer a way to communicate for people who are otherwise unable to speak.
"If you're reading text in a newspaper or a book, you hear a voice in your own head," said researcher Brian Pasley. "We're trying to decode the brain activity related to that voice to create a medical prosthesis that can allow someone who is paralyzed or locked in to speak."

The researchers tested the system by applying it to brain activity recordings from patients who were undergoing epilepsy surgery. Each patient was tasked with reading a screen of text while the team attempted to interpret which neurons were reacting to certain aspects of that person's speech.

Despite the technology still being in its early stages the team found that they were able to successfully identify several words from the brain patterns alone.

Source: Russia Today | Comments (12)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by LV-426 10 years ago
So... now it truly is time to put on a tin foil hat!
Comment icon #4 Posted by Mikenator 10 years ago
this reminds me of the episode of Family Matters when Steve Urkel got mind reading powers and everybody hated him for listening to their personal thoughts but he wasn't able to control it though
Comment icon #5 Posted by GreenmansGod 10 years ago
Hmm. I don't actually think in words (now that I think of it.) It could be useful for communicating with people who are severely handicapped, though, if they know how to speak already ("Locked In Synddrome"). I have known some people in that situation, trouble is the technology is usually so expensive most of disabled who really need it can't afford it.
Comment icon #6 Posted by pallidin 10 years ago
So I wonder if the hot female doc/nurse attending my session would notice such thoughts and slap me into next week.
Comment icon #7 Posted by pallidin 10 years ago
Here comes the thought police.
Comment icon #8 Posted by taniwha 10 years ago
So I wonder if the hot female doc/nurse attending my session would notice such thoughts and slap me into next week. Would you like her to slap you that way? It would like to know what im thinking when im asleep, this machine could be good at dream reading.
Comment icon #9 Posted by highdesert50 10 years ago
I imagine an extremely complex process to isolate the "visualization" of the words from the subsequent interpretation and processing of the words relative to known associations in long term memory. Can hardly wait for the future version of Dragon Dictate software ... Dragon Decodes.
Comment icon #10 Posted by blueandi 10 years ago
I wonder, what we would hear if such a system was used on a person that had been profoundly deaf since birth?...
Comment icon #11 Posted by pallidin 10 years ago
I wonder, what we would hear if such a system was used on a person that had been profoundly deaf since birth?... That would be odd. Remember, though, that a completely deaf person from birth will still express laughter if you tickle them, or express pain if they are burned. Those types of autonomic expressions would likely be the dominant, if not the only ,voices recorded.
Comment icon #12 Posted by travelnjones 10 years ago
would be great for people with ALS Jason Becker could think his music and shred again


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