Scientists extract images from people’s thoughts

Last Updated: Monday, November 30, 2009 - 14:03

Washington: Impossible as it may seem, but a scientist has succeeded in pulling an image out of a person`s brain.
In a recent experiment, Dr. Jack Gallant of the UCB psychology department has claimed that he could reproduce video images from human brain activity.

Although this research has not yet been peer reviewed, Gallant and his colleague Shinji Nishimoto have used fMRI to scan the brains of two patients as they watched videos.

"A computer program was used to search for links between the configuration of shapes, colors and movements in the videos, and patterns of activity in the patients’ visual cortex,” Live Science quoted Gallant as telling Times Online.

"It was later fed more than 200 days’ worth of YouTube internet clips and asked to predict which areas of the brain the clips would stimulate if people were watching them.

"Finally, the software was used to monitor the two patients’ brains as they watched a new film and to reproduce what they were seeing based on their neural activity alone.

"Remarkably, the computer program was able to display continuous footage of the films they were watching — albeit with blurred images,” he added.

For example, in one scene which featured Steve Martin wearing a white shirt, the software recreated his shape and torso but missed other details, like his facial features.

“Some scenes decode better than others. We can decode talking heads really well. But a camera panning quickly across a scene confuses the algorithm,” said Gallant.

This is the first time when video scenes were recovered from thought.

Previous work has been done to recover spatial memories seen in the hippocampus via fMRI.

ANI



First Published: Monday, November 30, 2009 - 14:03

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