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Friday, September 23rd 2011

Seeing What You See

God bless functional MRI as it proceeds to do everything from predict our future behavior to tell us whether we’re lying or not.

Now making the rounds in the international media are reports of a study published this week in Current Biology by a group out of the University of California.

While volunteers watched movie clips, a scanner watched their brains. And from their brain activity, a computer made rough reconstructions of what they viewed.


For now, the reconstructed movie clips are only crude representations, loosely mimicking shapes and movement, but not nearly detailed enough to show that a blurry human-like figure represents the actor Steve Martin, for example.

As the video at the top of the post shows very cool. However the work is hardly arising de novo. It builds off of work out of Japan that could accurately reconstruct still images patient’s stared at based off of fMRI data. Here’s one of their major papers out of Nature.

Japanese Mind Reading Technology by NTDWorldNews

I’m not sure of the incredible limits of what we’re going to be able to do with functional MRI by the time my career as a physician is over.