New Method Can Read Your Mind
A team of scientists have decoded what their test subjects see by measuring their brain waves.
By feeding a computer data about brain activity, Canadian scientists have managed to tell when their test subjects are looking at a face and when they are not.
The electric activity in the brain changes rapidly, when we see a human face, as shown by experiments from the University of Toronto Scarborough, Canada. In one experiment, test subjects looked at a flickering display, as their brain waves were measured with EEG. Suddenly, the flickering was replaced by a picture of a face, and immediately, the brain waves changed to produce a new pattern. As soon as the face disappeared from the display, the brain activity turned back to the original state. The scientists repeated the experiment, storing the EEG patterns on a computer together with the different faces that were shown to the test subjects. Based on the data, the computer learned to recognize the pattern produced in the brains of the test subjects, as they were looking at a face.
Using the collected data, the scientists inverted the process and "read" when a test subject was looking at a face. It is the first time that the process has been successful using the EEG method.
In the long term, scientists hope to refine the method, so they can see what a person is thinking about, remembers, or imagines based on the brain waves, allowing people who cannot express themselves to communicate with the outside world.
The test subjects had their brain activity measured by means of EEG, as they were observing faces in the display.