In what can only be called a groundbreaking experiment, scientist at UC Berkley have managed to record video of what a person is seeing by using functional MRI. After showing subjects a set of baseline images and recording the corresponding brain activity, the researchers were able to create composite images that reflected, quite eerily, what the test subjects saw. As you can see from the video above, the images being produced are blurry, though I would imagine early photographs looked similar as the technique was being developed. Currently the researchers are only able to reproduce images that the subject is seeing, though they hope to be able to extend the technology to allow the viewing of dreams and possibly even memories.
While from a scientific standpoint this is amazing, I can’t help but feel a little creeped out by it on a personal level. This really is the stuff of science fiction (not the fun, happy utopia kind either) and while now researchers can only see what you are seeing using a huge machine where will the technology be in 10 or 20 years, especially if they are able to refine the technology to view memories and dreams? The US government already ignores the 4th Amendment wholesale, how long until they ignore the 5th? I can imagine there are some very excited people at Homeland Security imagining setting up scanning stations to pick out people thinking about committing a crime or act of terrorism.
Scientists use brain imaging to reveal the movies in our mind [via Engadget Alt]
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