In Images: Machines Trained to Read Minds

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Machines that can read people's minds are getting closer to reality

Credit: Dreamstime
Scientists have revealed they can now use brain scans to read letters participants are viewing. In a study published July 22 in the journal NeuroImage, the researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to record the activity of the visual cortex, the brain region that processes visual information, while study participants were viewing a series of handwritten characters: B, R, A, I, N and S. By feeding parts of this data into mathematical models over and over again, the researchers were able to "teach" the machine which pattern of activity corresponded with which letter a person was viewing. The trained model was then tested on the rest of the data — that is, it had to reconstruct the letters from the activity of the brain. Here are the results:    Less «
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