Now You Can See Images From Someone Else’s Mind

The implications of this are mind-boggling – one has visions of the scientists being moved to Guantanamo Bay for some real life “testing.” Katie Moisse reports for ABC News:

California scientists have found a way to see through another person’s eyes.

Researchers from UC Berkeley were able to reconstruct YouTube videos from viewers’ brain activity — a feat that might one day offer a glimpse into our dreams, memories and even fantasies.

“This is a major leap toward reconstructing internal imagery,” said Jack Gallant, professor of psychology and coauthor of a study published today in Current Biology. “We are opening a window into the movies in our minds.”

Gallant’s coauthors acted as study subjects, watching YouTube videos inside a magnetic resonance imaging machine for several hours at a time. The team then used the brain imaging data to develop a computer model that matched features of the videos — like colors, shapes and movements — with patterns of brain activity.

“Once we had this model built, we could read brain activity for that subject and run it backwards through the model to try to uncover what the viewer saw,” said Gallant.

Subtle changes in blood flow to visual areas of the brain, measured by functional MRI, predicted what was on the screen at the time — whether it was Steve Martin as Inspector Clouseau or an airplane. The reconstructed videos are blurry because they layer all the YouTube clips that matched the subject’s brain activity pattern. The result is a haunting, almost dream-like version of the video as seen by the mind’s eye…

[continues at ABC News]

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32 Responses to Now You Can See Images From Someone Else’s Mind

  1. Doktor Wilhelm September 23, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    There seems to be a lot of words and images of a man in a suit appearing in the reconstructed clip; Creepy!

  2. Doktor Wilhelm September 23, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    There seems to be a lot of words and images of a man in a suit appearing in the reconstructed clip; Creepy!

  3. guest September 23, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    Amazing discovery, maybe one day it will help those studying the brain to help cure neurological based illnesses.  I could see uses in lie detection as well.  I also wonder where the writing came from.   

  4. guest September 23, 2011 at 10:16 am #

    Amazing discovery, maybe one day it will help those studying the brain to help cure neurological based illnesses.  I could see uses in lie detection as well.  I also wonder where the writing came from.   

  5. Okarin September 23, 2011 at 3:13 pm #

    depending on how long until this technology becomes of business use i wonder who will be more scared, the person with their mind looked at or the person having to look at the minds of the populace turned idiocracy

  6. Okarin September 23, 2011 at 11:13 am #

    depending on how long until this technology becomes of business use i wonder who will be more scared, the person with their mind looked at or the person having to look at the minds of the populace turned idiocracy

  7. Voidthought September 23, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    Amazing, but also very scary! This is just one step towards a very unimaginable, for most, future that we can create. These people need to be on the news instead of the banalities of the Desperate Housewives or Octomom having her house foreclosed on…… I hate that the media is so full with shit!

  8. Voidthought September 23, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    Amazing, but also very scary! This is just one step towards a very unimaginable, for most, future that we can create. These people need to be on the news instead of the banalities of the Desperate Housewives or Octomom having her house foreclosed on…… I hate that the media is so full with shit!

  9. Nunzio X September 23, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    Isn’t it bad enough I have to listen to their half of insipid mobile phone conversations in restaurants?

    Now this.

    Why don’t they just figure out a way to share the contents of their rectal cavity with everyone? Same difference, as far as I’m concerned…

  10. Nunzio X September 23, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    Isn’t it bad enough I have to listen to their half of insipid mobile phone conversations in restaurants?

    Now this.

    Why don’t they just figure out a way to share the contents of their rectal cavity with everyone? Same difference, as far as I’m concerned…

  11. Sightseen September 23, 2011 at 5:54 pm #

    And the pseudo hoaxes continue one day this will be used to put innocent people to death or jail.

  12. Sightseen September 23, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    And the pseudo hoaxes continue one day this will be used to put innocent people to death or jail.

  13. Anarchy Pony September 23, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    Big Brother approves.

  14. Wanooski September 23, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

    Big Brother approves.

  15. Chaorder Gradient September 23, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    Amazing, I wonder if it works from analyzing the higher levels of thought, or if it is heavy computing reconstructing from the lower levels of the visual cortex. The former could have more interesting implications, but the latter would still be an amazing feat.

    I wonder what it looks like when someone is meditating or visualizing.

    edit: I take it all back, glossing over how it was done with youtube videos… this is really stupid

    • Chaorder Gradient September 23, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

      meh, i watched it again, and I think i may call shenanigans, or at least place their methods as silly. It looks like they are reconstructing details from a database of what means what etc. Assuming what they say is true, at this point it just looks like they can construct position (not even angle in the case of the bird) and general shape (like a person or a face).

  16. Chaorder Gradient September 23, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    Amazing, I wonder if it works from analyzing the higher levels of thought, or if it is heavy computing reconstructing from the lower levels of the visual cortex. The former could have more interesting implications, but the latter would still be an amazing feat.

    I wonder what it looks like when someone is meditating or visualizing.

  17. Chaorder Gradient September 23, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    meh, i watched it again, and I think i may call shenanigans, or at least place their methods as silly. It looks like they are reconstructing details from a database of what means what etc. Assuming what they say is true, at this point it just looks like they can construct position (not even angle in the case of the bird) and general shape (like a person or a face). I’m guessing they just use a database of somewhat known things to reconstruct things.

  18. chinagreenelvis September 23, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

    I call bullshit.

  19. chinagreenelvis September 23, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

    I call bullshit.

  20. chinagreenelvis September 23, 2011 at 7:36 pm #

    https://sites.google.com/site/gallantlabucb/publications/nishimoto-et-al-2011
    Ah, wait, nevermind. I see how it works now. This explains why it looks like they just photoshopped the fuck out of similar clips.

  21. Yeps September 23, 2011 at 4:13 pm #

    It always amazes me the bollocks people will believe. It also dismays me.
    I reckon the human race will be extinct a hundred years from now (if not sooner)

    • Anarchy Pony September 23, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

      Yeah probably. 

  22. Yeps September 23, 2011 at 8:13 pm #

    It always amazes me the bollocks people will believe. It also dismays me.
    I reckon the human race will be extinct a hundred years from now (if not sooner)

  23. Wanooski September 23, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    Yeah probably. 

  24. Anonymous September 24, 2011 at 1:23 am #

    Oh God, was that The Virgin Mary as inspector Clouseau?

  25. hawaiiguy September 23, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    Oh God, was that The Virgin Mary as inspector Clouseau?

  26. Anonymous September 24, 2011 at 3:15 am #

    Disinfo got trolled.

  27. Redacted September 23, 2011 at 11:15 pm #

    Disinfo got trolled.

  28. Josh Adkisson September 26, 2011 at 9:47 am #

    Next step: reconstruct a video of someone watching a reconstructed video.

  29. Josh Adkisson September 26, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    Next step: reconstruct a video of someone watching a reconstructed video.

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