Science
Extracting images form the human brain

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If true, this could prove incredibly awesome –

Researchers from Japan’s ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories have developed new brain analysis technology that can reconstruct the images inside a person’s mind and display them on a computer monitor, it was announced on December 11. According to the researchers, further development of the technology may soon make it possible to view other people’s dreams while they sleep.

The scientists were able to reconstruct various images viewed by a person by analyzing changes in their cerebral blood flow. Using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine, the researchers first mapped the blood flow changes that occurred in the cerebral visual cortex as subjects viewed various images held in front of their eyes. Subjects were shown 400 random 10 x 10 pixel black-and-white images for a period of 12 seconds each. While the fMRI machine monitored the changes in brain activity, a computer crunched the data and learned to associate the various changes in brain activity with the different image designs.

Scientists extract images directly from brain

Dreams may no longer be secret with Japan computer screen

10 thoughts on “Extracting images form the human brain

  1. so they have been able to extract images from the brain while someone is looking at something…Thats not nearly as impressive as extracting an Image that someone thinks about. We know a lot more about the visual cortex then how the brain remembers or recalls images, or something even more abstract like extracting an image created from someones imagination.

  2. @JSlice – I was thinking the same thing actually – but (and correct me if I’m wrong here) isn’t the activity in the visual cortex remarkably similar in imagined vs actual visualization? Hopefully I’ll have a chance to research this more in the future

  3. This technology works because each neuron in the visual cortex has a certain area of the retina it’s dedicated to. when that retinal area is excited, bloodflow increases to the neurons associated with it. this technology is not measuring any part of the brain having to do with perception, and it is the same old story of irresponsible science journalism when the articles state that your dreams are no longer safe.

  4. it’s actually not inconceivable that dreams will be decoded soon in that way. perception’s signature is a top-down influence on primary visual cortex (where activity is neatly organized spatially). the was a science paper about a year ago that could distinguish between people imagining walking through their home and imagining playing tennis. they stunningly applied it to lock-in patients and one of them showed activity just like that of healthy control subjects.

    Of course, distinguishing between two alternatives is much easier than reconstructing the “mental image” but not fundamentally different.

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