Extract Images Directly From The Human Brain

In his 1958 story No, No, Not Rogov!, sf writer Cordwainer Smith wrote about an espionage machine that would actually let you see what another person saw by probing their brain:

He had then turned away from the reception of pure thought to the reception of visual and auditory images. Where the nerve-ends reached the brain itself, he had managed over the years to distinguish whole packets of microphenomena, and on some of these he had managed to get a fix.

With infinitely delicate tuning he had succeeded one day in picking up in picking up the eyesight of their second chauffeur... and had managed to see through the other man's eyes as the other man, all unaware, washed their Zis limousine sixteen hundred meters away...
(Read more about Cordwainer Smith's espionage machine)

Is it possible to literally see the contents of another person's mind? Researchers at Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR) in Kyoto have developed a technology to transmit images from the viewer's brain.


(fMRI reveals brain image contents directly)

Here's how the technique works:

ATR researcher Yukiyasu Kamitani and others on the team divided vision up into a grid of 100 squares, estimated the brightness of each square from brain activity patterns, and developed a method to reproduce this in black and white.

At first, subjects in the study were shown 440 types of images with the squares having various levels of brightness, and changes in the blood flow in the visual cortex when they viewed each image were measured through a process called functional magnetic resonance imaging. This data was used to "train" a computer. Next, when the subjects were shown squares, x marks, letters of the alphabet and other pictures, the images were able to be reproduced near perfect on a computer screen, although they were not sharp. Six subjects took part in the experiment and the process was reportedly successful with all of them.

Take a look at these similar results.


(Brain image contents extracted using fMRI)

The results look a lot like those of a similar study done in 1999. Garett B. Stanley, Fei F. Li and Yang Dan literally jacked into the mind of a cat. Multiple cells in the LGN of anesthetized cats were recorded simultaneously with multielectrodes.


(From Cat Brain Video - bottom set)

Update 20-Apr-2020: Take a look at this preview of an amazing 21st century development from an early 20th century cartoon by Phil Nowlan and Dick Calkin.


(Hypnotelevisor helmet in use)

End update.

You probably don't need a mind-reading machine to know how amazed I am at this research. Read more about how scientists 'jacked into' the brain of a cat ten years ago. From Mainichi News via Pink Tentacle. Thanks to Misja van Laatum for suggesting this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/12/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

Biotech Firms Raised $Millions For Anti-Agathics (Longevity Drugs)
'Against Death doth no simple grow.' - James Blish, 1957.

Medical Tattoos Are STILL Being Researched
'Following the current craze, she has had a subdermal pattern of micro-channels implanted.'

Rise Of Skywalker Could Trigger Epileptic Seizures
'... then the screen started to flicker. I stared at it for a while.' - John Varley, 1984.

Injectable Magnetic Fluid Slows Bleeding, Aids Magneto
'There's something different about you.'

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Liftware Level, Google's Smart Spoon
'The result was indeed marvelous... I did not stagger and I did not reel.'

Cute Teddy Bear Robot Favorite Of Hospitalized Children
'...thought had been given to its programming.'

Google Now Expects Chips To Design Themselves
'What lay down there? Energy, tubes and pipes, wiring, transformers, self-contained machinery...'

PRAM Solar Powered Satellite Hardware Tested In Orbit
'Our beams feed these worlds energy drawn from... the Sun'

3D Printed Glass Uses Stereolithography Techniques
'All that with glass...'

Science Fiction Helps Young Readers Build Resiliency
'Reading science fiction and fantasy can help readers make sense of the world.'

I Want My 1928 Telestereo Hologram Now
'Instantly there appeared standing upon the disk, the image of a man...'

Memes Now Come From Neural Nets
'Your order said for him to be able to be able to work out twists on the gags in the file...'

Robot Dog Learns To Be Doggy From Real Dogs
'So we took pictures of Guzub making a Three Planets, and I could construct this one to do it exactly right down to the thousandth of a second.'

Unwanted Cruise Ships Huddle Together Out At Sea
'On the screen they passed in an endless, boundaryless flood of green specks...'

Sono Sion Electric Car Charges As You Drive
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

News Mood Filter Web Extension
'He adjusted the n, the r and b knobs, and hopefully anticipated a turn for the better...'

Fetal Lamb Rests In Artificial Womb
'... stewing warm on their cushion of peritoneum and gorged with blood-surrogate and hormones, the foetuses grew and grew...'

MIT Wants To Catch Interstellar Visitors
'INVESTIGATE MYSTERIOUS OBJECT ENTERING NEW CALEDONIA SYSTEM FROM NORMAL SPACE'

AutoX Sets Up Asia's Largest Robotaxi Center
'The robot cab seemed to know where it was going and, no doubt, the master machine from which it received its signals knew.'

E - Ink's Automatic Self Styling Color-Changing Dress
'The racks of gowns itched and quivered, their colors running into blurred pools.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.