I Can See Inside Your Mind


…well, not quite yet. But I know some Japanese scientists who can.

why are you thinking about neurons?

The team, led by chief researcher Yukiyasu Kamitani, succeeded in catching the signals and then reconstructing what people see.

In their experiment, the researchers showed people the six letters in the word "neuron" [the name of the journal where the study was published] and then succeeded in reconstructing the letters on a computer screen by measuring their brain activity. 

So far, they've only managed to read simple images using 400 background information scans, so think complex thoughts and you should be safe. 

Imagine how freaked out people would have been if this paper had been released in say, 1992, at the height of Crichtonism (the insane fear that the Japanese would soon own America, body and soul, most perfectly realized in Michael Crichton's anti-Japanifesto Rising Sun.)

Via Kurzweil

NEXT: The Real Surprise: Only 50 Percent Thought the Ads Exaggerated

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I knew you were going to say that.

  2. Oops! Posted too early.

  3. Anyone could read my mind…I’m a guy.

    Sex, sex, sex, food, sex, sex, sex, sex, food, sex, football, poop. Repeat.

    Who needs science?

  4. This seems really dubious to me. I’d have to see this replicated with a double-blind (ie, without the investigators knowing what pattern they’re supposed to be seeing) before I’d be willing to believe it. Oh, and the article concludes with the following major caveat:

    The team said that it first figured out people’s individual brain patterns by showing them some 400 different still images.

    So it’s not practical for reading random people’s minds.

  5. Did ConSec pay for this study?

  6. I’m absolutely confident that Japan will eventually rule the world. They’re ahead on all the good stuff. Their robots alone should be enough to acquire world domination.

  7. “Crichtonism?”

    This “Yellow Peril” over here is still good.

  8. Basically their hanging a microphone over Hong Kong. They can tell when it’s lunchtime, but we’re a hell of a long way from learning Chinese.

  9. W * A * R * R * E * N * * * K * E * R * R * Y * * * N * U * D * E * * * O * H * * * G * O * D * * *

    That’s all I got.

  10. He must be really messed up if his wet dreams are text-based. Different strokes, I guess.

  11. Anyone could read my mind…I’m a guy.

    Sex, sex, sex, food, sex, sex, sex, sex, food, sex, football, poop. Repeat.

    Dude, if you think about poop 1/8th as much as sex you’ve got a poop fixation (to say nothing of thinking about poop half as often as food). 🙂

  12. Oh, that Chrichtonism. I thought it was going to relate to Terminal Man.

  13. Cue Christopher Walken: “You’ve taken mah work and turned it into something bad!”

    Wow.. _Brainstorm_ has a chance of coming true in my lifetime. I wonder if this scientist had a job in an idyllic North Carolinian think tank and a wife like Natalie Wood?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.