Scientists “pull out” images from the brain


Researchers at Japan's ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories have created an incredible new technology that can recreate images by transferring them from the human brain to the monitor screen. According to scientists, the further development of technology will not only improve the quality of data transfer, but also display our dreams.

Using a special device (abbreviated as fMRI ), the scientists analyzed the changes in the cerebral circulation of patients, and thus recreated the images shown in advance. At the first stage, specialists showed a person a series of images and monitored changes in the direction of blood circulation that occurred in the cerebral cortex. The subjects were shown 400 random black-and-white images measuring 10 by 10 pixels. Each illustration was shown for 12 seconds. Then fMRI monitored changes in brain activity, and the computer made calculations, comparing the results with the available digital image data.

Then the subject was shown a “set” of images (such as the word “neuron”), and the real-time monitor, relying on data on changes in the brain, displayed ready-made words.

So far, the system is able to display only simple black-and-white images, however, Dr. Kang Cheng, a researcher at the RIKEN Brain Institute, is confident that by improving the calculation algorithm, color images can be displayed on the screen.

"This is a real breakthrough in our understanding of brain activity," says Cheng. "After just 10 years, continuing active research in this area, it will become possible to" read "human thoughts."

Researchers suggest that the future of this technology can be used in art and design. You can “draw” a picture or drawing in a split second by simply presenting them. This technology, representing a “window” into a person’s head, is also useful in medicine, for example, in psychiatry.

ATR Principal Investigator Yukiyasu Kamitani notes: “Similar principles can be applied to feelings. In the future, we will be able to understand feelings and decipher complex emotional states.”

The full results of the study on December 11 were published in the American scientific journal Neuron.