It seems U.S. scientists now have the ability to read your mind.
A new device reportedly has the ability to read your mind by analyzing your brain waves, according to study published by scientists from four universities. The study, conducted by researchers at U.C. Berkeley, U.C. San Francisco, University of Maryland and the Johns Hopkins University, was published in the January 31 edition of the journal PLoS Biology.
“This is huge for patients who have damage to their speech mechanisms because of a stroke or Lou Gehrig’s disease and can’t speak,” said University of California Berkeley professor and study co-author Robert Knight. “If you could eventually reconstruct imagined conversations from brain activity, thousands of people could benefit.”
The device, which remains in the early stages of development, could ultimately allow scientists to study how people think and interpret information, possibly opening up a new era of medicine. Scientists working on the project said the results of the experiment could ultimately yield new insight regarding a number of diseases, including people who have damage to their speech mechanisms because of a stroke or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The experiment reportedly allowed scientist to decipher the electrical signals in an individual’s brain as they listen to words or conversation. Following analysis of these signals, the team of neurologists were then able to use them to recreate the imagined speech of the same person.
Neurosurgeons noted that the experiment was relatively invasive. The team noted that they cut a hole in the skull and then safely place electrodes on the brain surface or cortex – in this case, up to 256 electrodes covering the temporal lobe – to record activity over a period of a week to pinpoint the seizures. For this study, 15 neurosurgical patients volunteered to participate.”
The team noted that the “mind reading” device remains in the early stages of development. Any practical use of the device would require electrodes to be placed beneath the skull onto the brain itself, due to the fact that no sensors exist which could detect the tiny patterns of electrical activity non-invasively. Future prosthetic devices could eventually either synthesize the actual sound a person is thinking, or just write out the words with a type of interface device, according to scientists.