Mind reading through making movies from our thoughts

Monday, 3 October, 2011

A brain imaging technology, that is currently very much in its infancy, may allow us to see the images going through the minds of other people, following the development of a method that can reference brain activity to visual patterns, in this case fragments from scenes of video clips.

The brain activity recorded while subjects viewed the first set of clips was fed into a computer program that learned, second by second, to associate visual patterns in the movie with the corresponding brain activity. Brain activity evoked by the second set of clips was used to test the movie reconstruction algorithm. This was done by feeding 18 million seconds of random YouTube videos into the computer program so that it could predict the brain activity that each film clip would most likely evoke in each subject. Finally, the 100 clips that the computer program decided were most similar to the clip that the subject had probably seen were merged to produce a blurry yet continuous reconstruction of the original movie.

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Coffee is good, coffee with glucose may be even better though

Wednesday, 29 December, 2010

I’ve always maintained sugar ruins perfectly good coffee, but the addition of glucose might be a different story. Taken together, caffiene and glucose have been found to boost brain activity, a finding possibly of benefit to many, particularly, in my case, earlier in the day:

Specifically, the team found that individuals who consumed caffeine and glucose in combination showed reduced brain activation associated with the task in the bilateral parietal cortex and the left prefrontal cortex – two regions that actively participate in attention and working memory processes. The reduced activity and the fact that no drop in behavioural performance was observed during the task suggests that the brain is more efficient under the combined effect of the two substances, since it needs fewer resources to produce the same level of performance than required by those subjects who were administered the placebo or who took only caffeine or glucose.

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The somewhat random recall nature of memory

Wednesday, 16 September, 2009

It seems we never actually forget anything that has happened to us, we simply have trouble recalling certain events after a time.

Using advanced brain imaging techniques, the scientists discovered that a person’s brain activity while remembering an event is very similar to when it was first experienced, even if specifics can’t be recalled.

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The mind boggling reality of giving flowers

Tuesday, 14 October, 2008

The gift of flowers in actual fact stimulates both the left fusiform gyrus and inferior frontal cortex of the brain… it all makes so much sense now.

Kristian Tylén from the University of Southern Denmark in Odense and colleagues wanted to know which part of the brain was used to understand the meaning behind items placed in a symbolic manner. They used fMRI to scan the brains of volunteers as they viewed pictures of everyday objects arranged to communicate meaning, such as flowers left on a doorstep, followed by the same objects in less meaningful settings, such as flowers growing in the wild. The symbolic arrangements prompted more activity in regions associated with verbal communication, such as the left fusiform gyrus, used in reading, and the inferior frontal cortex, linked to semantic meaning.

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