Blog Archives

Mind-Reading Device To Detect Thoughts

Researchers have created a device which can interpretate brain signals and reconstruct the sound of the words in a Patients thoughts. Another way of putting it, a device which can read aloud your inner voice.

The technique reported in PLoS Biology relies on gathering electrical signals directly from patients’ brains. Several approaches in recent time have suggested that scientists are closing in on methods to tap into our thoughts; the current study achieved its result by implanting electrodes directly into the brain.

Brian Pasley of the University of California, Berkeley and a team of colleagues focused on an area of the brain called the superior temporal gyrus, or STG. This region of the brain is not just part of the hearing ability but one of the “higher-order” brain regions that help us make linguistic sense of the sounds we hear. The team monitored the STG brain waves of 15 patients, while playing audio of a number of different speakers reciting words and sentences. The team created a computer model that helped map out which parts of the brain were firing at what rate, when different frequencies of sound were played.

With the help of that model, when patients were presented with words to think about, the team was able to guess which word the participants had chosen. They were even able to reconstruct these words, turning the brain waves they saw back into sound on the basis of what the computer model suggested those waves meant. It proved to be very accurate. So scientists literally picked up fragments of people’s thoughts (click the like below to hear the device at work)

Critics say this study can determine both positive and negative uses. Such devices could transform the lives of thousands of people who lose the ability to speak as a result of a stroke or other medical conditions. Robert Knight, a senior member of the team and director of the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at the University of California, said

“Potentially, the technique could be used to develop an implantable prosthetic device to aid speaking, and for some patients that would be wonderful. The next step is to test whether we can decode a word when a person imagines it. That might sound spooky, but this could really help patients. Perhaps in 10 years it will be as common as grandmother getting a new hip.”

Others say when this device is further developed and more practical for use, if in the wrong hands it could be used to someones advantage and also there is an ethnic case of someone’s privacy being provoked. Conspiracists suggested major agencys have already developed this device and technique long before today and is in use. Mind reading was once an ideology, today it has become reality. Who knows what the future holds in terms of mind reading. It may even become routine, verbal speech can possibly become inexistant and communication evolve into a silent psychic form.