Thought Images

Check this out…Japanese neuroscientists have created images of thoughts.  What they did was show a bunch of images to people (for example, the top rows above, with the black & white squares), and recorded the brain activity when people looked at these images.  Then later on, the scientists had the people think of those images (without actually looking at them), and were able to decode the brain activity as images on a computer screen (the bottom rows above, with the grayish fuzzy squares). In other words, they were able to see what people were thinking.  You can read more about this here and here.

What could this possibly be used for?  The researchers say that it may be possible to one day record and replay dreams.  I can think of quite a few other things people might use it for, especially as a sophisticated lie detector of sorts.  In fact, a few months ago, India was the first country to convict someone of a crime using brain scans as evidence.  This, of course, has caused a lot of controversy because it raises many questions about the invasion of privacy and the ethics of accessing people’s thoughts.

So what do you all think?  Cool or scary or both or neither?  Can you think of any other uses for this technology?


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4 Responses to “Thought Images”

  1. Danny the Only Bloke Says:

    Cool technology.

    Could it be used to control devices by thought? Say a wheelchair or similar for a quadroplegic like the late great Christopher Reeve?

    Or prosethetic limbs for injured servicemen etc?

    Just a couple of ideas.

  2. Danny the Only Bloke Says:


    Are me and Kathy the only ones who find this subject interesting?

    This is cool shite ladies and very occasional gentlemen


  3. Kathy Says:

    @ Danny the Only Bloke – lol…I’m glad you find it cool. And great minds must think alike because there are actually a number of research projects attempting to do just what you said…to help people with paralyzed arms and/or legs. Already, they’ve been able to get monkeys to play computer games using just their thoughts instead of a joystick. There are research teams that are working on wheelchairs and mechanical hands controlled by brain waves. Some of this stuff has already been accomplished in the lab and they’re working on viable production models. What the Japanese neuroscientists did with the thought images is a bit different though, since they’re not working on interfacing with the motor muscles, but just interested in imaging our thoughts. Neat huh?

  4. foretold Says:

    hi folks

    I actually find it pretty scary.
    This would be the perfect method for scanning people of “thought crimes”. If this technology actually matures to a point, where it may read every kind of thoughts (compared to just vague visual patterns as of yet) like sound, speech and language, emotions and even like some more abstract thoughts (personal beliefs, plans, estimation of things …) even through the distance, this would be the key to a very scary society.

    what do you think, huh?


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