Scientists Are Learning How to Read Minds - Literally

Donald Pennington By Donald Pennington, 29th Mar 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>News>Science

What kind of world would we have, were scientists able to develop a system with which they could read the human mind? We may be finding out sooner than many of us expected. Research students and professors, representing multiple schools, are developing just such a device, as we speak. This device would enjoy virtually unlimited applications.

The future isn't where it once was.

We might not have flying cars, yet. But the future is definitely here – or at least right around the corner. According to a report from FOX News, scientists are close to a system which reads brain scans, which then can create a visual image.

The work is a culmination of effort between Alan S. Cowen, a graduate student at the University of California Berkeley, professor Marvin M. Chun from Yale and Brice A. Kuhl from New York University.

There are still bugs to work out, though.

At this point, researchers are only making a first attempt at reconstructing images of faces. For the most part, attributes such as skin-color and the presence or lack of a smile are somewhat consistent, whereas hair color is a difficulty. But as in the case of all scientific progress, it is nothing more than a bit of tweaking the calculations, for more refined – and accurate – images.

What applications might there be?

For starters, law enforcement would have a great tool for identifying perpetrators of crimes far better than any forensic artist. But that's just law enforcement. The medical fields will also be better able to understand mental illnesses of all sorts, by literally seeing what a patient is thinking.

Researchers report images from dreams are already detectable. This is fascinating stuff, here, folks.

The paranoid can breathe a sigh of relief - for now anyway.

The system's developers point out they're not able to readd passive memories, yet, due to both the structure of different brains and a lack of understanding the finer points of human neurology. But these details are only small points, now that the basic foundation of the system has come to be.

What are your thoughts? Is this news a good or bad thing for humanity are we on the threshold of a brave, new world? Or, is this the beginning of the end of our last refuge of privacy – our own thoughts? I'd really appreciate our thoughts. Feel free to sound out below. If you need to join us in order to comment, it's free, easy and can be done at this link.

Tags

Brain Scans, Crime, Inventions, Law Enforcement, Mental Health, Mind Reading, Recreating Images, Science

Meet the author

author avatar Donald Pennington
Donald contributes to a variety of sites, networks, blogs, and other publications. He sometimes writes in the dark, but longs for the light.

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Comments

author avatar Kingwell
29th Mar 2014 (#)

A fascinating article! Thank you for sharing.

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author avatar Donald Pennington
29th Mar 2014 (#)

Thank you for reading.

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