THIS IS SERIOUSLY IMPRESSIVE.
Researchers at the University of Texas claim to have built a “decoder” algorithm that can reconstruct what somebody is thinking just by monitoring their brain activity using an ordinary fMRI scanner, The Scientist reports.
The yet-to-be-peer-reviewed research could lay the groundwork for much more capable brain-computer interfaces designed to better help those can’t speak or type.
In an experiment, the researchers used MRI machines to measure the changes in blood flow — not the firing of individual neurons, which is infamously “noisy” and difficult to decrypt — to decode the broader sentiment or semantics of what three study subjects were thinking while listening to 16 hours of podcasts and radio stories.
They used this data to train an algorithm that they say can associate these blood flow changes with what the subjects were currently listening to.
The results were promising, with the decoder being able to deduce meaning “pretty well,” as University of Texas neuroscientist and coauthor Alexander Huth told The Scientist.Continue reading… “SCIENTISTS SAY THEY’VE FIGURED OUT A WAY TO READ THOUGHTS USING AN MRI MACHINE”