19
Apr
10

Why Can’t We Read Minds?

Mind reading makes sense, if you think about it. Thoughts are energy (everything’s matter or energy). Energy can be picked up by machines. Therefore, thoughts can be read by a properly-programmed device. Carnegie Mellon has done research to pick up brain waves via an enhanced MRI machine. They found they could identify what the client was thinking about by identifying the brain waves involved. The Bernstein Center in Germany measured intent by reading from the brain–not words or body language. Here’s a 60 Minutes segment on this topic:

The question is, since thoughts are merely waves–like light (picked up by eyes) and audio (picked up by ears), why haven’t we figured it out before?

The mind-reading machine: ‘Psychic’ computer invented that can tell what you’re thinking

By Fiona Macrae

model with electrodesVolunteers were asked to think about video footage they had seen while their brains were scanned. A special computer was able to tell what they were thinking about 45% of the time

A computer program that can read your mind has been developed by British scientists.

In tests, it was able to access and interpret memories by scanning the brain patterns of volunteers.

The computer had a high success rate in telling which of three short films the subjects were thinking about.

Eleanor Maguire, of the University College London research team, said the work meant we were ‘approaching the realm of mind-reading’.

The seven-second film clips showed women going about daily tasks, such as posting a letter. Then, while their brains were scanned, the volunteers were asked to think about what they had seen.

The brain lit up differently for each film, allowing the researchers to create a program that homed in on the patterns. The volunteers were then asked to think about the clips again and the ‘psychic’ computer worked out which one they had in mind.

The machine recorded a 45 per cent success rate – significantly higher than would have been expected through chance alone, the journal Current Biology reports.

Professor Maguire said: ‘In our previous experiment, we were looking at basic memories, at someone’s location.

Share

Advertisements

6 Responses to “Why Can’t We Read Minds?”


  1. April 20, 2010 at 2:44 am

    “The question is, since thoughts are merely waves–like light (picked up by eyes) and audio (picked up by ears), why haven’t we figured it out before?”

    The idea is far from new; however, the situation is much more complex than with e.g. sound, making it far harder to succeed. Further, technology to measure what goes on deeper in the brain is not as trivially made as one that catches the high-lying activity.

    Another complication is that the character of brain-waves is likely different from e.g. sound waves (although my knowledge does not stretch far in this direction), more comparable to the wave of electricity that travels through a CPU. likely, it is not even enough to be able to detect and decode the wave, but other internal characteristics (possibly not realistically detectable) may be needed.

    Then there is the question of what we would consider mind reading: Is “inner monolog” enough? (Which not all people have, BTW.) Should instead the underlying abstract thoughts and reactions be modelled? (Which may or may not be possible depending on how similar or dissimilar human minds are in e.g. how they treat concepts.)

    • April 20, 2010 at 10:21 pm

      Very thoughtful. You’re right–it is much more complicated than a mere auditory receiver. Look how long it took nature to evolve the eye as a method of picking up light rays. I suppose the problem lies in the receiver, then. How do we create one to intercept brain waves? I hope it stays as complicated as requiring a hat with electrodes. Then, at least we’ll know when it’s happening.

  2. April 29, 2010 at 5:47 am

    Really good post…I feel interesting.
    After all these years lie testing and the others research I believe we can read mind in some kind of way in the future.

    • April 29, 2010 at 8:03 pm

      Thanks, Tebonin. I agree–we’re almost there.


What do you think? Leave a comment and I'll reply.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


What’s in this blog

Discover the sizzle in science. It's not that stuff that's always for the smart kids. It's the need to know. The passion for understanding. The absolute belief that for every problem, there is a solution. The creative mind seeking truth in a world of mystery. The quest for the Holy Grail.

That's science.

Read Sizzling Science on Kindle

kindle

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 232 other followers

Share This

Bookmark and Share

Categories

Documents

Books I’m Reading

Great Science Books

Assembling California
Born On A Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant
The Forest People
Geology Underfoot in Southern California
The Land's Wild Music: Encounters with Barry Lopez, Peter Matthiessen, Terry Tempest William, and James Galvin
My Life with the Chimpanzees
Naked Earth: The New Geophysics
Our Inner Ape: A Leading Primatologist Explains Why We Are Who We Are
The Runaway Brain: The Evolution of Human Uniqueness
Sand Rivers
The Singing Neanderthals: The Origins of Music, Language, Mind, and Body
The Tree Where Man Was Born
The Wildlife of Southern Africa: A Field Guide to the Animal and Plants of the Region
The Worlds of a Maasai Warrior: An Autobiography


Jacqui's favorite books »
Share book reviews and ratings with Jacqui, and even join a book club on Goodreads.

RSS Fact and Fiction about Early Man

  • Ki'ti's Story, 75,000 BC December 11, 2016
    author: Bonnye Matthews name: Jacqui average rating: 4.25 book published: 2012 rating: 5 read at: 2016/12/11 date added: 2016/12/11 shelves: early-man review: […]
    Bonnye Matthews
  • Meeting Prehistoric Man October 4, 2014
    author: GHR von Koenigswald name: Jacqui average rating: 4.00 book published: 1492 rating: 5 read at: 2014/10/04 date added: 2014/10/04 shelves: early-man review: Meeting Prehistoric Man by GHR Von Koenigswald is a journey throughout the world in discovery of early man as paleoanthropologists understood him during VonKoenigswald's time, circa 1950' […]
    GHR von Koenigswald
  • Letters from the Field, 1925-1975 September 13, 2014
    author: Margaret Mead name: Jacqui average rating: 4.20 book published: 1977 rating: 5 read at: 2014/09/13 date added: 2014/09/13 shelves: early-man review: If you didn't read my last week's post, you may wonder why I am so excited about Margaret Mead's eye-opening book, Letters From the Field. Even if you read me last week, you may wonder--I […]
    Margaret Mead
  • The Unfolding of Language: An Evolutionary Tour of Mankind's Greatest Invention January 12, 2014
    author: Guy Deutscher name: Jacqui average rating: 4.16 book published: 2005 rating: 3 read at: date added: 2014/01/12 shelves: early-man, research review: Dr. Deutscher has done a scholarly, thorough discussion on the roots of language, but I believe he started too late in time. I'm of the persuasion that language involves more than the spoken word. I […]
    Guy Deutscher
  • She Who remembers November 3, 2013
    author: Linda Lay Shuler name: Jacqui average rating: 4.12 book published: 1988 rating: 4 read at: date added: 2013/11/03 shelves: early-man review: […]
    Linda Lay Shuler
  • The Runaway Brain: The Evolution Of Human Uniqueness July 25, 2011
    author: Christopher Wills name: Jacqui average rating: 4.12 book published: 1993 rating: 5 read at: date added: 2011/07/24 shelves: science, early-man review: In my lifelong effort to understand what makes us human, I long ago arrived at the lynchpin to that discussion: our brain. Even though bipedalism preceded big brains, and we couldn't be who we are […]
    Christopher Wills
  • The Origin Of Humankind (Science Masters Series) July 25, 2011
    author: Richard E. Leakey name: Jacqui average rating: 3.97 book published: 1981 rating: 5 read at: date added: 2011/07/24 shelves: early-man, history review: If you're interested in man's roots, there are several authors you must read: Birute Galdikas Dian Fosse Donald Johanson GHR Von Koenigsman Glen Isaacs Jared Diamond Ian Tattersell Lev Vygots […]
    Richard E. Leakey
  • LUCY: THE BEGINNINGS OF HUMANKIND July 24, 2011
    author: Donald C. Johanson name: Jacqui average rating: 4.11 book published: 1981 rating: 5 read at: date added: 2011/07/24 shelves: early-man, science review: I read this book when I was writing a paleo-historic drama of the life of earliest man. My characters were Homo habilines, but they cohabited Africa with Australopithecines, so to understand the co-st […]
    Donald C. Johanson
  • Through a Window: My Thirty Years with the Chimpanzees of Gombe July 24, 2011
    author: Jane Goodall name: Jacqui average rating: 4.25 book published: 1990 rating: 5 read at: date added: 2011/07/24 shelves: early-man, science review: I have read every book that Jane Goodall wrote. She has an easy-going writing style that shares scientific principals easily with the layman. Probably because when she started, she was little more than a no […]
    Jane Goodall
  • In the Shadow of Man July 24, 2011
    author: Jane Goodall name: Jacqui average rating: 4.33 book published: 1971 rating: 5 read at: date added: 2011/07/23 shelves: early-man, science review: I read Jane Goodall's In the Shadow of Man (Houghton Mifflin 1971) years ago as research for a paleo-historic novel I was writing. I needed background on the great apes so I could show them acting appr […]
    Jane Goodall
California Yellow Pages
blogarama - the blog directory
Free Blog Directory
wordpress stats
blog search directory
Science Blogs

Vote for Me


%d bloggers like this: