Extract Images Directly From The Human Brain

In his 1958 story No, No, Not Rogov!, sf writer Cordwainer Smith wrote about an espionage machine that would actually let you see what another person saw by probing their brain:

He had then turned away from the reception of pure thought to the reception of visual and auditory images. Where the nerve-ends reached the brain itself, he had managed over the years to distinguish whole packets of microphenomena, and on some of these he had managed to get a fix.

With infinitely delicate tuning he had succeeded one day in picking up in picking up the eyesight of their second chauffeur... and had managed to see through the other man's eyes as the other man, all unaware, washed their Zis limousine sixteen hundred meters away...
(Read more about Cordwainer Smith's espionage machine)

Is it possible to literally see the contents of another person's mind? Researchers at Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR) in Kyoto have developed a technology to transmit images from the viewer's brain.


(fMRI reveals brain image contents directly)

Here's how the technique works:

ATR researcher Yukiyasu Kamitani and others on the team divided vision up into a grid of 100 squares, estimated the brightness of each square from brain activity patterns, and developed a method to reproduce this in black and white.

At first, subjects in the study were shown 440 types of images with the squares having various levels of brightness, and changes in the blood flow in the visual cortex when they viewed each image were measured through a process called functional magnetic resonance imaging. This data was used to "train" a computer. Next, when the subjects were shown squares, x marks, letters of the alphabet and other pictures, the images were able to be reproduced near perfect on a computer screen, although they were not sharp. Six subjects took part in the experiment and the process was reportedly successful with all of them.

Take a look at these similar results.


(Brain image contents extracted using fMRI)

The results look a lot like those of a similar study done in 1999. Garett B. Stanley, Fei F. Li and Yang Dan literally jacked into the mind of a cat. Multiple cells in the LGN of anesthetized cats were recorded simultaneously with multielectrodes.


(From Cat Brain Video - bottom set)

You probably don't need a mind-reading machine to know how amazed I am at this research. Read more about how scientists 'jacked into' the brain of a cat ten years ago. From Mainichi News via Pink Tentacle. Thanks to Misja van Laatum for suggesting this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/12/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

MIT Ampli Blocks Build Biomedical Devices
Damn it Spock, I'm a doctor not an engineer!

Handheld Human Skin Printer
It outputs a thin wad of uniflesh.

Retinal Prosthesis Uses Organic Printing Inks
We can rebuild you - well, your eyes, maybe.

New Brain Scanner Lets You Move Around
'In Bob Arctor's living room his thousand dollar custom-quality cephscope crafted by Altec...' - Philip K. Dick, 1977.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Swarm Of Mindless Robots Works Together
'Very tiny pseudo insects that... can unite to form a superordinate system.'

SpotMini Robot Dog, Autonomous And On Sale In 2019
Great, an autonomous slamhound. It is cute, though.

RoboFly Is Laser-Powered, Adorable
Don't swat this fly!

MSG Sphere Las Vegas, ala Star Wars
'The smoky globe, hung in the vault, was shot with colored light...'

Tetraplegics Dominate Avatar Races
Well, just speaking brain-to-computer...

MIT Ampli Blocks Build Biomedical Devices
Damn it Spock, I'm a doctor not an engineer!

UberAIR Asks For Skytaxi Landing Prototypes
You know you want to ride in one.

Boring Tunnel Almost Ready
Your underground future is calling!

Handheld Human Skin Printer
It outputs a thin wad of uniflesh.

Healthy Fast Food Courtesy Of Robot Chefs
'The electric cook was stirring empty nothing in a pan, with a zeal worthy a dozen eggs.'

Mass Production Of In Vitro Meat From One Sample
They're Assimilating Our Culture, That's What They're Doing

Amazing 'Hybrid' Solar-Powered Sea Slug Does Photosynthesis
Thank goodness for Star Trek.

Retinal Prosthesis Uses Organic Printing Inks
We can rebuild you - well, your eyes, maybe.

Should You Submit Your DNA To A Database?
Consumer DNA services are often inaccurate.

Squid-Like Robots Soon To Be 3D Printable
'It was a chemotactic artificial jellyfish designed to slither...'

Humans Evolve Deep Diving Abilities
Sounds like '60s sci-fi to me.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.