The human mind is rapidly becoming a lot less of an undiscovered country for science to deal with, given new developments. BBC News explains …
Researchers have demonstrated a striking method to reconstruct words, based on the brain waves of patients thinking of those words.
The technique reported in PLoS Biology relies on gathering electrical signals directly from patients' brains.
Based on signals from listening patients, a computer model was used to reconstruct the sounds of words that patients were thinking of.
The method may in future help comatose and locked-in patients communicate.
Several approaches have in recent years suggested that scientists are closing in on methods to tap into our very thoughts.
In a 2011 study, participants with electrodes in direct brain contact were able to move a cursor on a screen by simply thinking of vowel sounds.
A technique called functional magnetic resonance imaging to track blood flow in the brain has shown promise for identifying which words or ideas someone may be thinking about.
By studying patterns of blood flow related to particular images, Jack Gallant's group at the University of California Berkeley showed in September that patterns can be used to guess images being thought of – recreating "movies in the mind."
Forget text-to-speech, here comes thought-to-speech. This is fine until they get to be able to use this stuff as admissible evidence, in identity theft … the possibilities are endless.
[Source: BBC News]