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Generating Text From Functional Brain Images

samzenpus posted about 3 years ago | from the mind-reader dept.

Science 82

Med-trump writes "Can you get a text output of your thoughts? Princeton scientists show that it is possible to generate text about the mental content reflected in brain images. The paper published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience describe the functional magnetic resonance imaging method used to identify areas of the brain activated when study participants thought about physical objects such as a carrot, a horse or a house."

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Works okay fap (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37271390)

I using utilizing augmenting mentioned GIRLS this software SEX now currently forthwith LESBIAN ORGY. it limitation puncutation yoda HOT OIL WRESTLING pretty okay sound like yoda EROGENOUS ZONE.

Here I tried it and got this (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37271448)

I was walking over to an ATM machine the other day, when I realized that many other people have the same PIN number as me. I thought "they should have a personalized PIN number." Also, my bank still uses those old CRT tubes and they are hard to read, so they really need to upgrade the whole thing. Anyway I went into the bank to sit and talk to a representative about this, and I was reading a DC comic, and the light next to me was flickering. Damn that AC current! I took out my laptop, since I wanted to learn more about CSS style sheets. (Are they under the GPL license btw ?) After about 5 minutes of reading I had a headache - I felt like an ICBM missile had hit my head! Or maybe it was from my LCD display. What I need is a vacation I thought - so I went home and started to pack my SCUBA apparatus.

Re:Here I tried it and got this (1, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | about 3 years ago | (#37271712)

Try to relax. Drive your Jeep home, and open up the Fridge. Find some leftover meat and remove the Cellophane. Throw some veggies in the Cuisinart, chop them up, and put that and the meat into a Crock-Pot. Grab some Coke and an Aspirin and head over to the Jacuzzi. Be careful not to trip on the kid's Frisbee or Hula-Hoop. Take a nice long soak. Tomorrow you can load the Winnebago up with your Aqualungs, and throw a Zodiac on top. Take along a Thermos full of coffee and some Styrofoam cups. You may also want to carry a Ziploc full of Band-aids and Q-Tips (for emergencies). Also, grab a Tupperware full of that stew you made earlier.

Either that, or go to a bar for some Jell-O shots.

Re:Here I tried it and got this (0)

PPH (736903) | about 3 years ago | (#37271970)

Heeere's Johnny!

Redrum. Redrum. Redrum.

lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37271394)

patterns which can vary between participants is not mind ocr.

Great (1)

Centurix (249778) | about 3 years ago | (#37271400)

Neuroposting on Slashdot. Mental.

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37271554)

because theres not enough porn on the internet...

I watch these /. posts on future tech, (2)

Compaqt (1758360) | about 3 years ago | (#37271420)

and it's amazing how close we're getting to what futurists call "the Singularity".

It's also amazing how a lot stuff from fiction (Terminator, Star Trek, Fringe) is coming true.

Portable computer pads from Star Trek are one thing, but stark raving mad science experiments from Fringe are a total 'nother. New world.

Re:I watch these /. posts on future tech, (4, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 3 years ago | (#37272258)

If you haven't see this documentary [youtube.com] yet, I highly recommend it - it's especially apt in the context of this article; maybe the neuro-interface augmentations really are coming faster than we'd think?

(the game is great, too, by the way)

Anyway, I'm signing up for proper eye augmentations as soon as those are available. Then we'll see...

Re:I watch these /. posts on future tech, (1)

AmonTheMetalhead (1277044) | about 3 years ago | (#37273700)

Anyway, I'm signing up for proper eye augmentations as soon as those are available. Then we'll see...

Well It would kind of suck if you didn't see afterwards...

Re:I watch these /. posts on future tech, (1)

simoncpu was here (1601629) | about 3 years ago | (#37273030)

It's also amazing how a lot stuff from fiction (Terminator, Star Trek, Fringe) is coming true.

I want my flying car already!

Brain images from text output thought (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37271426)

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New scanning device for people going on airplanes? (3, Insightful)

parallel_prankster (1455313) | about 3 years ago | (#37271432)

Maybe this is the future of scanning? Stop people if they have any ideas of blowing the plane up in their head. Wonder what kinda privacy issues this will lead to, magneto's helmet anyone ?

Re:New scanning device for people going on airplan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37271446)

The potential for abuse with such technology is unfathomable.

Re:New scanning device for people going on airplan (0)

camperdave (969942) | about 3 years ago | (#37271728)

I think Minority Report fathomed it pretty good.

Re:New scanning device for people going on airplan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37272780)

No.

Re:New scanning device for people going on airplan (1)

cellocgw (617879) | about 3 years ago | (#37276344)

Ummmm... you *are* aware that neither the book nor the movie Minority Report had anything to do with brain scanning? It was entirely about precogs' ability to generate reports of what was going to happen in the near future.

Re:New scanning device for people going on airplan (1)

patch5 (1990504) | about 3 years ago | (#37271518)

"Ok, here we go. Whatever you do don't think about blowing up the plane."

Re:New scanning device for people going on airplan (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37271566)

Can the device tell the difference between someone who is intent on blowing up the plane and someone who is worried about the plane being blown up by someone else?

I bet not.

Not that this will stop anyone from trying, of course.

Re:New scanning device for people going on airplan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37273064)

It's obviously open for all manners of consideration, but in terms of scanning brain activity, I strongly suspect that differentiating a person full of hate and anger from a person full of paranoia is far easier than differentiating a person thinking of an AK 47 from one thinking of a nuclear bomb.

SEX OFFENDERS!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37271590)

I was more thinking along the lines of precog prosecuting "sex crimes" that haven't occurred...

if the TSA wants to give me a free fMRI I'm actually ok w/that - it's diagnostically useful & no worries about cancer. granted, it'd still be theatre (like that matters) but it'd sell a metric shitload of MRI machines making someone at Phillips and/or GE extremely rich & generate some serious kickba..., er - "campaign contribution" for senior congress-critters.

is this a great time to be an american or what?

Re:New scanning device for people going on airplan (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 3 years ago | (#37271680)

Well, you'd have to have a revolution in MRI technology in order to use it on any sort of mass scale. You'd have to lower the costs (current MRI machines of that caliber cost upwards of $1M) and make it much faster (older ones could take as long as 40 minutes, newer ones are still far too slow to compare in speed to metal detectors or backscatter machines).

I'd think it would be a polygraph replacement before it becomes a crime scanner. If someone asks you "where are the bodies buried", the first thing you're going to think of is... where the bodies are buried. The only problem might be that strapping someone down and shoving them into a dark, noisy, claustrophobic tube might count as torture under more strict interpretations of the law, but if waterboarding is OK, I don't see how MRIs will be banned.

Re:New scanning device for people going on airplan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37271704)

It's slowly coming. Read up about low-filed MRI. Los alamos lab.

Re:New scanning device for people going on airplan (1)

Jay L (74152) | about 3 years ago | (#37273978)

Fast forward ten years...

Gman003: "wow. They really did have a revolution in MRI technology, and they're using it to catch terrorists."
MRI: Beep! Revolution! Terrorists!
TSA: Sir, could you step out of the line, please?

Re:New scanning device for people going on airplan (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 3 years ago | (#37274434)

Trust me, it's not going to be for thinking about revolution that they bust me for.

Re:New scanning device for people going on airplan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37271786)

Just because I saw the Matrix last night and ponder how I could pull out two SMGs and mow down everyone in this lobby doesn't mean I plan to do so. Humans are easily manipulated and think about things they've just seen or done, so if you arrest people for violent thoughts you need to understand the context of those thoughts so you get the school shooters instead of the action film fan.

Do you really think any one has the time or ability to know every possible film/game/book/audio drama someone may have interacted with in the last week? I lived through it and I don't even remember half the stuff I've consumed in that period.

Re:New scanning device for people going on airplan (2)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 3 years ago | (#37271832)

Wonder what kinda privacy issues this will lead to, magneto's helmet anyone ?

Tinfoil hats have been around for ages. We're ready.

Re:New scanning device for people going on airplan (1)

PPH (736903) | about 3 years ago | (#37271932)

Honest. I was just sitting in my seat when the stewardess walked by. And the first thing that popped into my head was 'blow'. And then the TSA officers stormed the plane and dragged me and every other male passenger off.

Re:New scanning device for people going on airplan (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 3 years ago | (#37272044)

Think back to Steve Bierfeldt of Campaign for Liberty and his been found with "cash" should give you some idea.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3394970594491846292 [google.com]
Add in some "magnetic resonance" medical treatment at the airport before the "diesel therapy" van takes you down town for a long chat with the feds?

Thought crimes? (1)

johncandale (1430587) | about 3 years ago | (#37272366)

Thought crimes?? Better call the Thought Police.

Re:New scanning device for people going on airplan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37272852)

First, Here's the link to the actual paper, not paywalled (link to full text also not paywalled):
http://www.frontiersin.org/human_neuroscience/10.3389/fnhum.2011.00072/abstract

Important points:
1. Nobody writing about this story has mentioned the crucial fact that this is specific to an individual- you have to go through a series of calibration exercises before the technique works. Thus, a general "scanning" device doesn't appear to be even a distant possibility.

2. The method is good at identifying general subject material, but not good at specifics. The example given is that if you're thinking about a carrot, it would be able to indicate you're thinking about food, or even specifically vegetables, but not neccesarily which vegetable.

3. There hasn't been any study of whether the patterns change over time, which would require re-calibration.

4. There hasn't been any study regarding whether or not the test can be intentionally fooled.

5. Other brain research has shown that it's not only simple, but actually intuitive, for Primates in general (not just humans) to alter their brain patterns in order to evoke a reaction in a reactive system.

It's a really neat idea, especially in regards to creating brain-machine interfaces for disabled folks, but again it seems to indicate that while regions of the brain are used for the same general purpose in every human, the specifics are wholly Unique. But when point 5 is considered, it seems to indicate that we will be able to invent some type of "mental pattern language" where people can train themselves to generate a specific pattern which will have an assumed "meaning". This would allow for tech-assisted "telepathic" communication and control of various systems.
But as a "brain scanner"... it's something you'd have to spend a long time working on an unwilling subject to get anywhere.

Re:New scanning device for people going on airplan (1)

eriqk (1902450) | about 3 years ago | (#37289686)

Important points:
1. Nobody writing about this story has mentioned the crucial fact that this is specific to an individual- you have to go through a series of calibration exercises before the technique works. Thus, a general "scanning" device doesn't appear to be even a distant possibility.

You're in a desert, walking along in the sand, when all of a sudden you look down.

Re:New scanning device for people going on airplan (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 3 years ago | (#37273000)

Maybe this is the future of scanning? Stop people if they have any ideas of blowing the plane up in their head.

No plane would ever fly again since the scan would result in 100% of passengers and the entire crew being stopped. I mean, how does one NOT think of blowing up the plane when they know their thoughts are being scanned to find out if they're thinking about blowing up the plane?

Re:New scanning device for people going on airplan (1)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | about 3 years ago | (#37273406)

I wonder about the statistics about the amount of people dieing in a plane blown up by direct action of an individual boarding the plane (other as a distracted pilot) and other deaths (like carcrashes) and the efficiency of effort or measures plus the relation to the public perception of fear and risk.

Re:New scanning device for people going on airplan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37273744)

Do not fear the comma!

Re:New scanning device for people going on airplan (2)

mldi (1598123) | about 3 years ago | (#37274844)

Maybe this is the future of scanning? Stop people if they have any ideas of blowing the plane up in their head. Wonder what kinda privacy issues this will lead to, magneto's helmet anyone ?

Think of any animal, but whatever you do, don't think of a giraffe.

Re:New scanning device for people going on airplan (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about 3 years ago | (#37275120)

I don't know about you but I can think about the word "giraffe" without visualizing a giraffe. i suspect similar would apply here (to play devil's advocate...)

Re:New scanning device for people going on airplan (1)

mldi (1598123) | about 3 years ago | (#37277616)

I don't know about you but I can think about the word "giraffe" without visualizing a giraffe. i suspect similar would apply here (to play devil's advocate...)

Michael Moore, nude and greased in butter. The vomit on your keyboard proves you wrong :D

Re:New scanning device for people going on airplan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37281660)

Think of any animal, but whatever you do, don't think of a giraffe.

For unknown reasons, the first thing that came to my mind was an elephant. A pink one.

Re:New scanning device for people going on airplan (1)

Sunshinerat (1114191) | about 3 years ago | (#37276494)

This is ridiculous and won't work, here are some scenarios:
- I am pretty sure I can suppress any thought while being scanned. Think deeply about sex and I am pretty sure no neural scanner will find something about my next task.
- What if my thought are; hmm, this is a quite extensive system to figure out if I am potentially about to blow up a plane.
- Sorry sir, you are up for extensive search because you looked at and thought the wrong things about my TSA chick co-worker.

I am pretty sure the mental picture they potentially could take is always a snapshot, and even with my ADD I can think about something different for 5 seconds or so.
If this is the way to go for TSA, they would have instated the polygraph... Just sit down and answer three easy questions then you are good to go.

Re:New scanning device for people going on airplan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277784)

This is ridiculous and won't work

The current methods to identify suspicious people are ridiculous and don't work, either, which doesn't mean they're not employed.

male thought patterns (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37271436)

money, bored, sex ,payday, bored, sex, sex, boobs, sex, hot, bored, sex, party, sex, boobs, anal, sex, porno, sex, fight, sex, money, beer, sex, beach, sex, vacation, sex, payday, sex,

sexism (1)

johncandale (1430587) | about 3 years ago | (#37272390)

I am so tired of this lie. It's gotten to the point of blatant sexism on men. Such hate on such lies

Re:sexism (1)

mooingyak (720677) | about 3 years ago | (#37272484)

Seriously. He's only got beer in there once.

Re:sexism (1)

Sunshinerat (1114191) | about 3 years ago | (#37276548)

The funny thing is that when I read (scanned to be honest) the comment, I processed it as "sex and beer repetitively with some other thoughts mixed in".
Your comment made me reread the comment only to realize I read what I wanted to read not what was forced upon me... (lotsa sex with one drink).
So, I stand by the original poster that this is pretty much my thought pattern...

Re:sexism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37287894)

OP here. I'm a gal, and this is how i see a lot of guys behaving .So your comment has some value. But also keep in mind that WE think the same ways. Sometimes, a lot of time, we are worse than guys are.

It's who we are. We are programmed to do it to reproduce. But all the games that are part of it are fun. Especially the money.

Interesting (3, Interesting)

Psychotria (953670) | about 3 years ago | (#37271538)

For me, reading the article immediately brought to mind the argument as to whether thought is a function of language, or whether language is a function of thought. I think that it's perhaps the latter, but that might only be true for abstract ideas (I don't know... I've never read any philosophy or studies on this, but I have pondered it in idle moments on occasion). Do thoughts rely on language at any point? Do the abstractions rely or draw upon language? And if so, are the thoughts of a non-English speaker "different", in some way, to the thoughts of an English speaker? (I'm just using English as an example -- don't read anything more into it than that). Perhaps egocentrism is something to think about as well. An example that comes to mind is the concept of time (see here [aclweb.org] , here here [ucsd.edu] , and also the Aymaran language [wikipedia.org] . I wonder how this "conversion" from thought/abstractions to language/description/communication really works.

Re:Interesting (3, Interesting)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 3 years ago | (#37271718)

It's pretty complex and no one really agrees. However, I've studied quite a lot of philosophy and from what I remember (this subject came up but wasn't dealt with all that extensively) abstract thought does rely on language, as does logical (organized) thought to some degree. Time would be a decent example. Even without language, we would certainly have some concept of time because it isn't solely an abstract thing, but without language we wouldn't be able to think about it in the abstract or investigate many of its properties. For an example, try imagining space (empty space) without words. It's pretty hard.

However, language is not necessary to thought itself. It is possible to create entire lines of reasoning without proceeding through the "voice in the brain" path, although this process is sometimes called intuition rather than thought (they are not the same). So for instance I might see in an instant that pushing a boulder off a cliff will block the approaching car and give me time to escape (for example), but the process happens so fast language doesn't even enter into it until I reflect on it later or need to talk to someone.

Generally I think it is agreed that some concepts require words to be properly thought out, and that thought can be influenced by language (although that is another rather large debate), but thought itself doesn't require language. Take an abstract syllogism (i.e. every A is B, every B is C, therefore every A is C, aka a "Barbara" syllogism). Thinking of that (the formal syllogism without referring it to some real things) without words seems pretty nearly impossible (I believe it is). I can't even imagine how you would try. Of course it's still a pretty unanswered question how language and thought are exactly related.

Re:Interesting (4, Interesting)

JordanL (886154) | about 3 years ago | (#37271814)

Another interesting aspect of the argument comes from experiential knowledge that people find difficult to think about or express in language. An example would be the experience some people have after emptiness meditation.

Emptiness meditation involves stopping all conscious thought, as best you can. It could entail either shutting down the language centers of the brain, or shutting down the frontal cortex, I'm not sure, but after doing so what people often report is described as "understanding". A thought process that is outside of language, and in that way, outside of reality from the perspective of the subject. (This is why these experiences are often described as "transcendent").

What I find interesting is that the process involves a method of thinking purely without language, but is described as "not thinking" or "stopping thought". So tied language is to our thoughts.

One possibility I've heard before is that through essentially shutting down the frontal cortex, or at least having a different region of the brain "lead", the subconscious (not in the Freudian sense, but the non-thinking brain that is talked about in books like "The Power of Now" or "Blink") is allowed to both direct and utilize areas of the brain that it commonly does not. This experience could be perceived as either "true self", as some people report, or "conversation with God", as others do, as the process would be perceived differently depending on the person involved.

Re:Interesting (1)

markjhood2003 (779923) | about 3 years ago | (#37281008)

Do you not visualize when thinking and imagining things? Mental imagery is more basic to abstract thought than language. Imagining empty space without words is easy; finding the words to describe it is more difficult. Even your syllogism example, in my mind, immediately appears as a set of concentric circles: A in the center, B surrounding A, and C circumscribing both. That mental image to me seems to convey the truth of the syllogism far more directly than expressing it in words.

Re:Interesting (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37271764)

You're basically talking about Whorfianism AKA linguistic relativity [wikipedia.org] . Strong Whorfianism suggests that language has a deep restrictive influence on cognition (for example, speakers of a language which lacks temporal tense might have trouble understanding the flow and passage of time). Weak Whorfianism, on the other hand, suggests that the effects of language on thought are subtle, but not non-existent. Strong Whorfianism has essentially been discarded in modern linguistics, but weak Whorfianism is still the subject of research and interest.

One interesting example of weak Whorfianism is color recognition. Speakers of languages with names for many colors are often more-easily able to distinguish between different colors than speakers of languages with fewer color names. For instance, English has "blue," while Russian has "" and "" (dark blue and light blue, respectively). The two Russian words for "blue" have no morphemes in common; they are completely different words for two different kinds of "blue." So there is no way to directly translate "blue" into Russian. I'm unsure if any studies on linguistic relativity have dealt with Russian and English speakers specifically, but if such a study yielded results similar to other studies, it would have revealed that Russians are better at distinguishing between shades of blue than English speakers.

Re:Interesting (1)

gr8dude (832945) | about 3 years ago | (#37272744)

Slashdot didn't render those words, I think you refer to "goluboy" (light blue, looks like cyan but more blueish) and "sinii" (blue).

> So there is no way to directly translate "blue" into Russian.
Hmmm... How is "sinii" not suitable for this? Now, the fact that "goluboy" also maps to "blue" is a different problem; the constraint is not on the Russian end, but on the English one :-)

Re:Interesting (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37275668)

Are you azure about that? Not sure if we're cyan eye to eye on the subject. Lapis English speakers pretend you didn't say that, since you might be walking on eggshell. You probably don't want to worry about some aqua marine showing up at midnight either. Even if things didn't turn out violet, you could be a baby and teal over and go all turquoise or something.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37280190)

Point taken (and nicely done), but those words aren't really part of the standard lexicon, although you could probably turn that into an interesting example of genderlect. But as a (male) native speaker of English, I have no idea what most of those colors are.

Re:Interesting (1)

cffrost (885375) | about 3 years ago | (#37281078)

[A]s a (male) native speaker of English, I have no idea what most of those colors are.

They're blue.

Re:Interesting (1)

monkyyy (1901940) | about 3 years ago | (#37271916)

"as to whether thought is a function of language, or whether language is a function of thought"

hmmmm i dont humans are binary, so its not like programming where u have to choose weather class/function "thought" or "language" has to come first they

i.e. both can freely reference each other w/o breaking up the code and putting it in a curtain order, it can be compiled and run while the code is being written, and changed by itself and debugging on the fly

"thought/abstractions to language/description/communication really works."

could we really describe it using thought/abstractions and language/description/communication, its a system that seems to be impossible to itself

Re:Interesting (1)

wherrera (235520) | about 3 years ago | (#37272338)

We commonly communicate thoughts, at least on this forum, in words of language. So thinking about things posted in this forum is mostly verbal thinking. If we were instead for example listening to an instrumental number while dancing, we might be doing more in the way of nonverbal thinking.

Verbal thinking uses a lot of the left side of the upper brain and might mostly utilize language function. Nonverbal thinking is not mostly a function of language.

Re:Interesting (1)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | about 3 years ago | (#37273210)

I am no psychologist or biologist, but if viewed in terms of information theory and abstraction layers, the language layer is higher than the thought layer. Thought may be closer to the hardware (figuratively - literally I have no idea), but language provides a simpler, easier way to organize and express those thoughts. Without language, there would be less order, and the patterns we remember would be far more complex. For example, it is very difficult to communicate thoughts without language. Language is what provides that higher level of abstraction that simplifies expression.

But there is more to it than simplification, since language itself can then become a though, act to shape thoughts, and intentionally or unintentionally alter interpretations. Furthermore, when full languages are acquired, they come with a lot of cultural and epistemological firmware so to speak. Language is used intentionally to enforce certain ways of thinking, and it will also unintentionally shape how certain observations are interpreted when expression is automatic or forced.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that much of our intelligence would not be possible without language. Yes, biologically, we should be just as capable, but as far as our articulation and spread of knowledge is concerned, it would be impossible to be where we are without language. Take mathematical formulas. We would not be able to express them or understand them without being able to communicate in mathematical terms first.

Re:Interesting (1)

HyperQuantum (1032422) | about 3 years ago | (#37273530)

For me, reading the article immediately brought to mind the argument as to whether thought is a function of language, or whether language is a function of thought.

It's the latter IMO. Couldn't someone who is born deaf have thoughts before he learns sign language? I guess he can. Do you need language (spoken, written or visual) to be able to imagine something, like what happens when you drop something and it hits the floor? No. You might argue that people can use images as some kind of 'language' when thinking. People who have been blind all their life can't do that. So people seem to think by using patterns from sensory inputs because they're so familiar and easy to use. But are they required for thought itself? I'm not sure. I'd think thought is about something more low-level, like a sense of logic or intuition, and emotion. Of course, sensory inputs ARE required for learning about our environment. If someone is born without any senses, he will never be able to develop into a real person. Interaction with the environment (manipulating it and getting feedback) is necessary for learning.

Re:Interesting (1)

PJ6 (1151747) | about 3 years ago | (#37274360)

It may be different for different people, but I think in pictures, not words, and most of the time these pictures aren't visually expressible. Some concepts are practically impossible to communicate.

Language can be terribly limiting, but only in how easily an idea can be passed from one person to another.

text to think? (2)

msheekhah (903443) | about 3 years ago | (#37271574)

text to think? at least we got Linux interface covered

Re:text to think? (1)

eriqk (1902450) | about 3 years ago | (#37289756)

$ text2think
text2think: command not found

Drat. Must still be in Sid.

ESP is not a joke (1)

E.I.A (2303368) | about 3 years ago | (#37271630)

I have been pondering for years, the protocol for ESP (PSI), and know through research that the function is extremely real. Although the mechanism remains obscure, for any who would spew venom at the subject of ESP, you might do so first in the direction of Daryl Bem (http://dbem.ws/), who works in the parapsychology dept. of Cornell. Then before tearing the eyes out of open-minded victims, go to the CIA's Crest Database, and search "remote viewing". http://www.foia.cia.gov/search_archive_results.asp [cia.gov] We will soon have little choice but to acknowledge a deep and disturbing correlation between such things, and the content of this article.

Re:ESP is not a joke (1)

Man Eating Duck (534479) | about 3 years ago | (#37273820)

I have been pondering for years, the protocol for ESP (PSI), and know through research that the function is extremely real.

I have a feeling that if I jokingly advised you to "Check your tinfoil hat" you'd actually reach up and do just that :)

Re:ESP is not a joke (1)

E.I.A (2303368) | about 3 years ago | (#37311996)

Is so firmly fastened that I would "actually" be deeply suspicious of your suggestion. But you could always tell me how I look in in it.

This is only what they report in the public media (0)

Roark Meets Dent (650119) | about 3 years ago | (#37271640)

If you want to know where the technology is REALLY at, check this out: http://www.google.com/search?q=covert+implantation [google.com] Warning: If you care about human rights and oppose experimentation on non-consenting subjects, this is disturbing material.

Teenage test subjects (1)

GaryOlson (737642) | about 3 years ago | (#37271732)

OMG!
STFU!
BFF?!
CUL8R.

I'm using one now! (5, Funny)

BlackSabbath (118110) | about 3 years ago | (#37271756)

It's pretty cool boobs, when you can boobs just think of boobs anything and it gets boobs directly input boobs.
I think I'll beer go have a beer lie down.

Boobs for now.

Re:I'm using one now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37271836)

(oYo)mg!

Freud (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37271850)

We already know what's on a slashdot's mind.
Now imagine a little feedback, like an Eliza program conversation.
Result: talking dirty on steroids.

End result: sex doll perfection.

other species (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37271960)

What bout hooking up cats n women to this? Imagine a twitter feed from this hooked up to a lab rat

moRd 'down (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37272576)

an3 mortiFying

Not really about text (2)

ygslash (893445) | about 3 years ago | (#37272724)

Although the authors do use the word "text" in the abstract, that is not what this study is about. They are not reading any characters or glyphs from the brain.

They built a map of the way some relationships between concepts are represented in the brain. Then they were able to observe the activation of those brain structures and get some information about what the person was thinking.

That is very cool, but it doesn't really have much to do with text.

They did use both text and pictures as stimuli. I think the authors are emphasizing "text" in order to make it clear that they believe they are finding high-level semantic concepts in the brain, not just visual images.

I, for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37272916)

welcome our new invisible skweeky overlords

Tesla (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37274102)

Tesla thought of this first, but not to generate text but images.

Next step: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37274946)

Validating telepathy and remote viewing? This research does suggest, after all, that a persons thoughts can be externally ascertained directly from the brain, albeit via a powerful MRI, not wishful thinking.. no pun intended.

Scary thoughts... (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | about 3 years ago | (#37274968)

Scary in a way...

But scary in a whole bigger array when they get this perfected and can scan your brain from distance. If they got this perfected I'm sure law enforcement would love this... would they need a warrant? I'm not going to start a political war by naming individuals- but I can think of certain presidents who would allow this to go ahead without a warrant.

Vegetative patients (1)

Luyseyal (3154) | about 3 years ago | (#37275898)

I know they use MRI already for helping with diagnosing patients in a vegetative state. However, I can see how this would be useful in really fleshing out exactly how unconscious the person is. (Oh, they're dreaming. Not vegetative.)

-l

/I am not a doctor. If that is the most uninformed statement ever, sorry. :)

Objects in my mind (1)

utoddl (263055) | about 3 years ago | (#37277428)

"about physical objects such as a carrot, a horse or a house."

What about a battery or staple, correct?

visual cortex (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277678)

This is like searching for "porn" on a desktop and checking the disk drive to see what hits.
How about tapping into the data stream output of the visual cortex that produces whole images and scraping that?

Separately how is the brain indexed?
Some kind of symbolic organization with multiple cache layers complex hashing?

It's being done to people without consent (1)

Roark Meets Dent (650119) | about 3 years ago | (#37282542)

The interesting thing about this cutting-edge technology is that in many cases it is being tested on people who are not even aware that they are subjects of experimentation. And when they become aware, the subject will often complain and their statements can be matched to mental illness definitions so that psychiatric laws can be used to deprive them of their civil rights, helping to bring them even further under control. If you give a damn, check out http://www.google.com/search?q=%22targeted+individual%22+%22synthetic+telepathy%22&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a [google.com]

Wow! (not) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37284430)

This is not a huge advance - just a fun experiement with little practical value. OK, if your thoughts are limited to the words "horse", "carrot" or "house" without any additional context, this machine might just be able to print out "your thoughts". But a few of us have rather more sophisticated mental processes than that, and I don't think the machine would keep up.

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