Dream Recording

New brain machine reads minds

Scientists connect activity of neurons to computer and show how a person can fade images in and out by thinking about them

A new advance in brain-machine interfaces could enable scientists to one day decode what a person is thinking simply by monitoring brain cell activity. 

The finding, detailed in the Oct. 27 issue of the journal Nature, could also help researchers understand how the brain performs its myriad visual tricks, such as recognizing someone in a crowd.

BBC News - Dream recording device 'possible' researcher claims

A US researcher has said he plans to electronically record and interpret dreams.

Dr Cerf makes his bold claim based on an initial study that he says suggests that the activity of individual brain cells, or neurons, are associated with specific objects or concepts.

He found, for example, that when a volunteer was thinking of Marilyn Monroe, a particular neuron lit up.

By showing volunteers a series of images, Dr Cerf and his colleagues were able to identify neurons for a wide range of objects and concepts - which they used to build up a database for each patient. These included Bill and Hilary Clinton, the Eiffel Tower and celebrities.

So by observing which brain cell lit up and when, Dr Cerf says he was effectively able to "read the subjects' minds".