New Method Can Read Your Mind

A team of sci­en­tists have de­coded what their test sub­jects see by mea­sur­ing their brain waves.

Science Illustrated - - SCIENCE UPDATE -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.