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From the Big Screen to Your Brain and Back

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: September 22, 2011 11:00AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Though this item now belongs under science fact, I would understand if you think it is science fiction. Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) researchers at University of California, Berkeley have successfully reconstructed signals from the brain into videos. Due to the number of hours required within an MRI machine for the experiment, members of the research team were shown video clips, such as movie trailers. The MRI machine then recorded the blood flow through the brains visual cortex as well as the neural population. This information was fed into a computer which worked to correlate the second to second status of the brain to the videos it was processing. A second set of videos were shown to the test subjects and the computer was instructed to recreate the video based on the new data from the MRI machine. By predicting how the brain would react to 18 million seconds of random YouTube videos, the computer selected 100 clips most like the video the subjects viewed. By combining the clips, a continuous, albeit blurred, reconstruction of the original video was made. The researchers do predict it will be decades before a similar system could be used to read one’s thoughts and intentions.

For a video showing what the computer combined for each subject, you can visit this link: Reconstructing visual experiences from brain activity evoked by natural movies.



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