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Researchers Teach Subliminally; Matrix Learning One Step Closer

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the I-know-kung-fu dept.

Biotech 103

An anonymous reader writes "For the first time ever, scientists from Boston University and ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan have managed to use functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or fMRI to decode the process of learning. As the research stands to date, it isn't capable of much. Rather than working with skills like juggling, the researchers relied on images so they could tie into the vision part of the brain, the part that they have managed to partially decode. Nevertheless, they demonstrated that information could be taught using neurofeedback techniques. And it was effective even when people didn't know they were learning."

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103 comments

Frist! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38340370)

Frist!

Re:Frist! (0)

Aryden (1872756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38340804)

Bill?

Re:Frist! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38343392)

Two weiners, because she knows I love double penetration.

But first (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38340374)

Let us make fMRI machines less noisy and more portable.

My bootyass was cursed! Help! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38340428)

Don't read this... it is a curse...

      In 2007, a little boy named Timothy was standing in the hallway inside of his house. He then turned towards the place where the hallway connects with his mom's bedroom and spotted a box of graham crackers. This made him realize that there was a new rule in his house: anyone who walks past the box of graham crackers must allow the large black man standing near it to fuck their ass! Then, for some reason, he tried to run past the box of graham crackers and was grabbed by the large black man. The large black man looked at his bootyass naked ass and screamed, "There is no hole!" Timothy then escaped and ran into his mom's closet, and the black man followed. The black man then bumped into a cabbage patch kid in the closet and angered it. Timothy managed to escape outside while the black man's ass was turned into a rumblehouse. Then, Timothy noticed that a close friend of his had his car parked in front of his house and was signaling him to get inside. Timothy did so, and the car took off down the road at great speed while Timothy explained his situation to his friend.

      While Timothy was celebrating the fact that he escaped, the car began slowing down; his friend then said, "Now, now, now's the time right now!"

      Timothy asked him what he was doing. His friend grinned evilly and replied, "What slowness can I offer you? I'm copyright owner Madow!" and turned into an old man wearing a butler's outfit.

      The car continued to slow down, and the cabbage patch kid was catching up to them. Timothy then got out of the car (since he could run faster than it was moving) and began running. However, what seemed to be an invisible entity lifted him into the air and thrusted him ass-first around the world at a speed greater than the speed of light! Eventually, Timothy's bootyass naked ass crashed directly into the very cabbage patch kid he was trying to escape from! The cabbage patch kid was then sucked into Timothy's ass as if his ass was a spaghetti noodle (just like grandma)! At that point, his ass became a bouncehouse for the cabbage patch kid, and major tickle was inflicted upon it!

      Now that you have read this, the very same cabbage patch kid will get sucked right up your ass as if your ass is a spaghetti noodle, and major tickle will be inflicted upon it!

      You can prevent this by doing the following: post this comment in three different threads.

Re:My bootyass was cursed! Help! (1)

Eudial (590661) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348606)

TL;DR

Re:But first (2)

durrr (1316311) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342350)

And less likely to turn shopping carts and everything made of metal not bolted down around you into deadly and homing missiles.

Re:But first (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342698)

Physics a bitch ain't it.

In order to get the magnetic fields necessary to do imaging you're going to generate a big magnetic field which is contained to a room and the coils itself are going to make a lot of noise as their fields get switched several hundreds times per second.

Re:But first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342812)

Quite honestly if I go in for MRI and the place is full of shopping carts, spanners and can, I start to worry somewhat...

Red Pill or Blue Pill (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38340376)

The Matrix has you, Neo.

Re:Red Pill or Blue Pill (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 2 years ago | (#38343140)

I know kung-fu!

Uncle diddles (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38340378)

Whos tail do you have to pull to get some gay cock around here?

obligatory (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38340382)

I know kung fu.

Re:obligatory (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38340762)

Schuck on it Trebek. Schuck it long, and suck it hard...

Re:obligatory (0)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341024)

Along with drunken brawling.

Re:obligatory (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342614)

Don't forget Idon'treadthesubtext-fu.

Re:obligatory (1)

FreakyGreenLeaky (1536953) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341970)

Flicks fingers, "show me, bitch."

Citation needed (5, Informative)

anton.karl (1843146) | more than 2 years ago | (#38340390)

This story really needs a link to an original paper.

Re:Citation needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38340410)

You mean fellowgeek.com isn't a peer reviewed journal?!/111

Re:Citation needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38340432)

It would be cooler if Slashdot could embed that knowledge into your brain without you asking. A little creepy and invasive, but the possibilities are interesting to think about. Kind of scary if you think about it too much.

Re:Citation needed (2)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38340974)

I wonder if they've had any success with the opposite -- trying to get rid of memories. I bet there'd be a big market.

Re:Citation needed (4, Informative)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341158)

Getting rid of memories is something that’s already being done, primarily with trauma victims, especially veterans.
It is actually really simple: since the act of recollection pulls the memory from long-term storage and then processes it back through short- and mid-term storage, patients are given drugs that inhibit passing from short-term to mid-term storage. (My mother was also given those after waking up from a coma; even though she was conscious, she remembers almost nothing. Which is good, given that just being plugged in to all those machines is very painful and causes a tormenting feeling of thirst even though you are properly hydrated. A week of those memories would leave serious consequences.)
Anyway, people come to a psychiatrist, drink a pill, and talk about their traumatic experiences, which are then slowly erased from their memories.
It is not always the preferred method; after all, we learn from bad experiences, and it wouldn’t do to erase them all. We’d only make the same mistakes again.

Re:Citation needed (1)

V-similitude (2186590) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342760)

Um, citation needed.

Yes, there are drugs that can prevent you from forming long-term memories such as in painful hospital situations (many people may experience these when getting a tooth removed). However, there's no such thing as deleting memories this way. When you retrieve a memory, you don't do anything to diminish the long-term memory, so it's ridiculous to suggest that talking about an experience while on memory-inhibitors will somehow erase those memories.

Re:Citation needed (1)

GNUman (155139) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341438)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, anyone?

Re:Citation needed (1)

cojsl (694820) | more than 2 years ago | (#38347268)

I wonder if they've had any success with the opposite -- trying to get rid of memories. I bet there'd be a big market.

Yes, inhibiting protein creation while a memory is being recalled, which actually re-creates the memory, can prevent the memory from storing again. There have been human trials. This Radiolab discusses it http://www.radiolab.org/2007/jun/07/ [radiolab.org]

Re:Citation needed (1)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341434)

So you want your brain to be filled with goatse, frosty piss, and first post?

Re:Citation needed (1)

gnapster (1401889) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342068)

(+1, Flamebait)

Am I doing it right?

Re:Citation needed (4, Informative)

zlel (736107) | more than 2 years ago | (#38340500)

is it http://www.sciencemag.org/content/334/6061/1413.full [sciencemag.org] ? "Our results indicate that the adult early visual cortex is so plastic that mere repetition of the activity pattern corresponding to a specific feature in the cortex is sufficient to cause VPL of a specific orientation, even without stimulus presentation, conscious awareness of the meaning of the neural patterns that participants induced, or knowledge of the intention of the experiment. How is the present research on VPL distinguished from previous approaches? Unit recording and brain imaging studies have successfully revealed the correlation between VPL and neural activity changes (1–8). However, these correlation studies cannot clarify cause-and-effect relationships. The studies that examined the effect of a lesion (15) or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) (16, 17) to a brain region on VPL have shown whether the examined region plays some role in VPL. However, these studies cannot clarify how particular activity patterns in the region are related to VPL. In contrast, the present decoded fMRI neurofeedback method allowed us to induce specific neural activity patterns in V1/V2, which caused VPL. "

party's outfits (-1, Offtopic)

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Re:party's outfits (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38344038)

It might be spam, but I understood more of it than the GP :/

The sorry state of science reporting (3, Informative)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38340440)

The article claims that they recorded the brain patterns of jugglers imagining the act of juggling, and then had a non-juggler imagine doing the same thing and rewarded them if they matched those brain patterns, thereby teaching them how to juggle.

That's absurd on its face. But then the article tucks away the fact that what the study really only dealt with visual imagery. It used fMRI, which has been around for years and "decodes" the visual process of the brain. So what this study is really about is figuring out visual perceptual learning, not a physical skill like juggling. Using fMRI, they can "improve performance on visual tasks" [infozine.com] .

It says right in the article that they have yet to test if this process works with any other type of learning. It's more likely that it may have uses in rehabilitation and memory learning, or at least provide insight into those processes. There's no Matrix learning here.

Re:The sorry state of science reporting (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38340484)

I don't want to be rude, but everything you just said is in the summary.

Re:The sorry state of science reporting (1, Offtopic)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 2 years ago | (#38340554)

Who reads summaries?

Re:The sorry state of science reporting (1, Funny)

morethanapapercert (749527) | more than 2 years ago | (#38340852)

what is a summary?

Re:The sorry state of science reporting (4, Funny)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342172)

It's like a wintery, only warmer.

Re:The sorry state of science reporting (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38340604)

I was commenting on the linked article, which lists the "process" in this study and uses juggling as an example. Yet the study doesn't involve that process at all, and that's not mentioned until after the hyperbolic headline and several paragraphs.

But you're right that I bucked the usual trend by reading a link first and summary second on Slashdot.

Re:The sorry state of science reporting (1)

avgjoe62 (558860) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342080)

But you're right that I bucked the usual trend by reading on Slashdot.

FTFY.

Re:The sorry state of science reporting (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342330)

Also in the summary was this bit of silliness: "And it was effective even when people didn't know they were learning". People learn without realizing it all the time, no fMri needed.

Re:The sorry state of science reporting (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38340560)

Imagining doing something and actually doing it physically is close to the same thing as far as learning and the brain is concerned. Yes, that means that you can get better at, say, basket ball by sitting in your couch imagining playing basket ball - the rate of learning is nearly the same as actually playing basket ball. Presumably your assumptions of how basket ball works will get out of sync with reality after a while, so you will need to actually go play for real too every once in a while. So there is ridiculous on the face of it about improving your juggling in an fMRI machine without actually doing anything physically, though I didn't RTFA so I don't know if that is what they did.

Re:The sorry state of science reporting (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342214)

The article claims that they recorded the brain patterns of jugglers imagining the act of juggling, and then had a non-juggler imagine doing the same thing and rewarded them if they matched those brain patterns, thereby teaching them how to juggle.

Maybe you should read it a little more carefully. That was a hypothetical procedure which the article specifically states they did NOT do, because they're not at that point yet.

But yeah, this article/attention-getting-blog is crap; they didn't even bother crediting where they got the news from. Here's the actual source:

Science Magazine - Perceptual Learning Incepted by Decoded fMRI Neurofeedback Without Stimulus Presentation [sciencemag.org]

Re:The sorry state of science reporting (1)

DocJohn (81319) | more than 2 years ago | (#38343742)

And worse, it's not even a particularly new finding from this research team. They reported on something similar 3 YEARS ago:

http://pinktentacle.com/2008/12/scientists-extract-images-directly-from-brain/ [pinktentacle.com]

Last, neurofeedback -- a technique that's been around and well-understood for 2 decades now -- isn't likely to teach anyone a skill like juggling. It can help guide you to better understand your bodily responses and reflexes, but it's not like you can imprint one fMRI image onto another person. Neurofeedback takes time and practice, so it's nothing like the Matrix.

--
Psych Central - Get your psychology on.
http://psychcentral.com/ [psychcentral.com]

me am teh sadz (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38340450)

When did ./ become 4chan minus the pictures? It's hardly worth having mod points these days... I miss you, CmdrTaco.

Does anyone even remember The Matrix anymore? (4, Informative)

TFoo (678732) | more than 2 years ago | (#38340470)

seriously: my wife teaches high schoolers, she made a comment about The Matrix and got a whole room of stares in response. 1999 was 12 years ago...

Re:Does anyone even remember The Matrix anymore? (5, Funny)

walkerp1 (523460) | more than 2 years ago | (#38340570)

I blame the parents. Yes, we could push the responsibility off on educators, but cultural enlightenment should ideally start much sooner. My eight children all saw the Matrix before their fourth birthdays. I also reinforce with annual refreshers.

Re:Does anyone even remember The Matrix anymore? (5, Funny)

devilspgd (652955) | more than 2 years ago | (#38340578)

My eight children all saw the Matrix before their fourth birthdays. I also reinforce with annual refreshers.

It's too bad they never made a sequel.

Re:Does anyone even remember The Matrix anymore? (0)

walkerp1 (523460) | more than 2 years ago | (#38340616)

It's too bad they never made a sequel.

I'll have to disagree. Twice.

Re:Does anyone even remember The Matrix anymore? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38340694)

A sequel was never made.

Re:Does anyone even remember The Matrix anymore? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38340716)

It's too bad they never made a sequel.

I'll have to disagree. Twice.

So you're saying it's a good thing they never made two sequels?

Re:Does anyone even remember The Matrix anymore? (4, Funny)

walkerp1 (523460) | more than 2 years ago | (#38340760)

It's too bad they never made a sequel.

I'll have to disagree. Twice.

So you're saying it's a good thing they never made two sequels?

It's an exclusive or kind of disagreement: !too bad XOR !they never made a sequel.

Re:Does anyone even remember The Matrix anymore? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38340728)

It's too bad they never made a sequel.

I'll have to disagree. Twice.

I'll have to whoosh: http://xkcd.com/566/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Does anyone even remember The Matrix anymore? (0)

walkerp1 (523460) | more than 2 years ago | (#38340792)

It's too bad they never made a sequel.

I'll have to disagree. Twice.

I'll have to whoosh: http://xkcd.com/566/ [xkcd.com]

I'll grant you half-credit for that whoosh. I unconsciously deferred on that bit of geek culture to set up a fun riposte.

Re:Does anyone even remember The Matrix anymore? (1)

savuporo (658486) | more than 2 years ago | (#38340826)

I always thought the first movie was bullshit, and way overhyped. The second two were just inexcusable.

Most. Basic. Sci-Fi concept. Ever.

It's been done to death in modern sci-fi ages before Keanu had this glint in his eye, and much, much, much better.

Re:Does anyone even remember The Matrix anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342420)

http://xkcd.com/566/ and gtfo.

Re:Does anyone even remember The Matrix anymore? (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345308)

Obligatory xkcd:
http://xkcd.com/566/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Does anyone even remember The Matrix anymore? (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 2 years ago | (#38340906)

I think I actually never saw the third film, (which is not to say any sequels were ever made). Or maybe I have repressed that memory.

When I was a kid and saw back to the future, I thought it was the greatest movie ever made. At later inspection, one wonders how it was possible to be so immersed, noticing things that should have broken the spell. I find this happens a lot with movies or TV-shows.

I've often first thought a new show with a new take on a genre being better than anything else so far but later getting a more detached view, seeing patterns emerge and realizing this one too had a similar formula to all the other shows, just slightly renewed.

I remember one perfect film, though. I was about seven at the time. After seeing it an the movies with a classmate we both went galloping giddily through the woods, completely filled with excitement at the epic film. I wonder if they ever made a sequel to that. It was about a horse - "Black Beauty" something.

Re:Does anyone even remember The Matrix anymore? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341042)

Third film.

Neo is Jesus.

Complete with crucifxion-pose sacrificial death..

Re:Does anyone even remember The Matrix anymore? (1)

marnues (906739) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345908)

First film Neo is The One.

Complete with superman flying.

The only difference here is which culture is being alienated. If they had started with the 3rd film and moved backward we would have had a lot of angry Christians bitching about why they took a classic Revelations movie and made it all Eastern philosophy. No one on /. would have noticed since the only _real_ mysticism is Eastern in origin. Give it up, the first movie had as much shlocky nonsense as the other 2. But it was _our_ shlocky nonsense.

Re:Does anyone even remember The Matrix anymore? (1)

CubicleView (910143) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341704)

I've always felt that with enough editing you could probably merge those other 2 movies (the ones that were somewhat like the matrix but not sequels) into one that would be better than the sum of it's parts. I'm not saying it would be a good movie, but at least it wouldn't end with that blasted sunrise scene.

Re:Does anyone even remember The Matrix anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38343416)

Hmm, solipsistic indoctrination anyone?

Re:Does anyone even remember The Matrix anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38340584)

You're a good parent.

Re:Does anyone even remember The Matrix anymore? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38340696)

As a current high schooler I'm calling bullshit. The Matrix was part of most of my friend's childhoods.

No, I'm not getting off your lawn.

Re:Does anyone even remember The Matrix anymore? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38340720)

If you're not getting off it, could you at least do something useful with it?

The garden hose is out back, and the mower in the garage. thanks.

Re:Does anyone even remember The Matrix anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341776)

Some of the oldest of them were 7 when the Matrix came out. I think its conceivable that a room of people who were (at most) 7 when the Matrix came out didn't see it.

Re:Does anyone even remember The Matrix anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341048)

More like Snow Crash. Coming soon: your brain will be infected by a neurolinguistic virus propagated across the internet to your computer monitor infecting your brain using neurofeedback programming with the help of your webcam.

Re:Does anyone even remember The Matrix anymore? (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341182)

We’ve already got memes.

Re:Does anyone even remember The Matrix anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341278)

Actually, more like Chuck (the original flavor from seasons 1-2).

Re:Does anyone even remember The Matrix anymore? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341350)

They don't show those movies in the Amish cinemas.

Re:Does anyone even remember The Matrix anymore? (1)

MenThal (646459) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348454)

Ah, you try doing a Lawnmower Man reference... Even get the crickets by most /.'ers...

What? (2)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | more than 2 years ago | (#38340486)

No martial arts or helicopter flying downloads yet?

Re:What? (5, Funny)

tantaliz3 (1074234) | more than 2 years ago | (#38340542)

I want to learn applied quantum physics. Because it's impossible to learn it the regular way...

Re:What? (5, Funny)

nickdc (1444247) | more than 2 years ago | (#38340684)

Not going to work. You changed the outcome by learning it.

Re:What? (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 2 years ago | (#38340786)

Sure you can. I've done it twice. Each time, reality was replaced with something stranger.

Don't ask what it was like before. I'm fairly sure it would cause a paradox of some sort. I believe that's what happened to the 1970's.

Not to rain on the parade... (5, Interesting)

Zeroblitzt (871307) | more than 2 years ago | (#38340634)

But couldn't this be a terrible thing? And it was effective even when people didn't know they were learning. Translation: It will eventually fall into the hands of someone not-so-nice (politician, corporation, etc.), and suddenly we will "learn" that they are good, or we should buy their product, or elect them to be our leader, etc.

Re:Not to rain on the parade... (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#38340788)

Well, reading the actual article (which ziel gratefully provided a link for [slashdot.org] ) reveals that while the participants didn't know that they were learning visual patterns, they still had to actively participate (their task was to somehow increase a green circle). I'm pretty sure you can't be put into an MRI machine without noticing it (unless you are unconscious or sleeping, but then this scheme cannot work anyway). So if you are put into an MRI, and you fear them secretly teaching you bad things, just refuse to do any mental tasks while there.

Re:Not to rain on the parade... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342978)

If corporations can convince people to wear headgear that can measure brain activity, either EEG or fMRI (fMRI headgear is far-future tech, I know) and give access to the results, some bad shit's gonna happen. I was watching a feature yesterday that showed a marketing firm that uses EEG outputs to fine-tune advertisements to make them as irresistible as possible to specific individuals. At what point does it cross the line from advertisement to mind control? Or to look at it another way, this would allow advertisers to systematically ruin anything we take pleasure in by killing it with hollow advertisements, but I think de-facto mind control is more likely since advertising could be closely targeted.

The only significant barrier to mass adoption of such headsets within the next 50-100 years, given an incentive, is basically fashion - and if they could be embedded in the skin of the scalp like a tattoo so that they'd be invisible under hair, that wouldn't be an issue. Then it could be run from body heat or wirelessly beamed power, and linked to your phone via a wireless PAN for extra Facebook points or whatever.

Re:Not to rain on the parade... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346198)

Or to look at it another way, this would allow advertisers to systematically ruin anything we take pleasure in by killing it with hollow advertisements

For that they don't need any new technology. They are already very good in it.

what makes you think? (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 2 years ago | (#38340860)

That this hasn't already happened? They just have found neurological proof how it works, that is all.

Re:what makes you think? (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38340968)

If it had already happened, why would we be allowed to talk about it?

Re:what makes you think? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341558)

Because you are ineffective of acting on your stance.

Parade is appropriate (1)

Rashdot (845549) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341212)

Welcome to the new MRI taught army.

Re:Not to rain on the parade... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341706)

I'm not even sure we're demonstrated that it's a good thing yet. For example, there's a difference between being able to recite "the Nile is the longest river in Africa" and being able to answer the question "What's the longest river in Africa?"

http://www.huxley.net/bnw/two.html

Fake edit: "eventually" ? You're optimistic.

Re:Not to rain on the parade... (2)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342464)

But couldn't this be a terrible thing? And it was effective even when people didn't know they were learning. Translation: It will eventually fall into the hands of someone not-so-nice (politician, corporation, etc.), and suddenly we will "learn" that they are good, or we should buy their product, or elect them to be our leader, etc.

They already do that, no fMri needed. Where do you think all the middle and low income tea partiers come from? These poor fools have been trained to vote against their own interests! Why do you think people actually believe the idiotic idea that voting for a losing candidate is a wasted vote (someone "on the street" in a Sunday news show just yestarday said he wasn't voting for Ron Paul because a losing vote was wasted). Why do people think McDonald's tastes good? Why do people continue to buy Sony products?

Brainwashing has been around a long, long time.

Re:Not to rain on the parade... (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38344388)

Yeah, they just have to convince to to visualize, over and over, whatever they want you to learn.

Re:Not to rain on the parade... (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38344426)

All they have to do is convince you to visualize whatever they want you to learn. Over and over. Responding to feedback until you have it perfect.

Re:Not to rain on the parade... (1)

tantaliz3 (1074234) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345932)

Yup. Been there, done that. Corporations discovered it long ago, pushed coke(acola), got banned(then sold the patents to the government who gleefully use it every day.)

Languages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38340996)

I wonder if, with some more development, this could be used to learn foreign languages more easily, with the addition of audio.

There's a few languages I would love to learn, but I avoid it because I remember the horror that was French class in school.

Re:Languages (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342996)

French pronunciation is bloody difficult, no way around it, unless the teacher was an ass or something this won't help any more than lessons.

The Matrix? Try... (1)

barlevg (2111272) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341498)

The first thing I thought when I saw this wasn't the Matrix. It was Dollhouse. Followed by Chuck.

It does exist (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341570)

Its called the Fox News Network.....

Salmon (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341574)

So, did they also try a dead salmon? [prefrontal.org]

Just think what this could mean: well-educated zombies!

Already here?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341646)

Much like staying in a Holiday Inn Express!!

"isn't capable of much"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341800)

As the research stands to date, it isn't capable of much.

My, aren't we being blasé?

We have pictures of what it means to learn.
Not only are we looking into the brain, but we can distinguish actual learning from other processes.
If that doesn't blow your brain, you should reboot your brain.
(and, if it does blow your brain: take a picture! ;-)

PS: where I wrote "we", I meant "other, smarter people than me".

tinfoil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342044)

Has anyone tested the efficacy of tinfoil for countering this?

Had it for a long time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342218)

It's called television. People watch it day and night and it embeds all kinds of "knowledge" in their heads much of which is designed to mislead them but the come to believe it is true.

mapping knowledge is not difficult. (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342472)

Its about core or prime knowledge.

I.e. you do not try to remember all possible mathematical equations or results for that would be impossible, instead your lean the abstract symbols, meanings and rules of use of mathematics, from there you can formulate and extrapolate any mathematical result. There is no spoon feeding here, you are the one who bends.

Of course this is all abstract, even the visual self image of you juggling, is only in your mind. Its like using a computer, you can know all there is to be found in text books about computers, but until you actually do, you won't really know. Its the feedback loop used in everything from learning to hitting a target with a guided missile. Where without the feedback loop, you are lost. Just as the United States has become lost due the shutdown of the founding father intended feedback loop, for the people by the people. A government lost and afraid even of its own people and now thinks only of their own security and war to prove themselves to only themselves, or so they imagine.

Knowledge without proper feedback in use is dangerous. Knowledge without love is empty .

http://abstract-beliefs.blogspot.com/2011/12/abstraction-physics-non-fiction-matrix.html [blogspot.com]

Full Metal Panic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342574)

Sleeplearning.

Or maybe Matrix-style "upload kung-fu" in 10 seconds?

Bonus: "This comment will not be saved until you click the Submit button below. You must wait a little bit before using this resource; please try again later."
Captcha: Interval

Laugh... (2)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#38343806)

It's called television and it's been programming people for decades.

First thing I'm going to learn.... MATH!!! (1)

BLToday (1777712) | more than 2 years ago | (#38343894)

All of it. Math is a lot more useful in life than kung-fu.

Re:First thing I'm going to learn.... MATH!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38344130)

Same here. ALL of it at the current graduate level. I think you need a special gene to be able to move beyond that. One I do not possess.

Blech (1)

AtomicDevice (926814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346020)

Every fMRI story I read is summarized basically by "Guy 1 puts Guy 2 in fMRI and now ALL THE SECRETS OF THE BRAIN HAVE BEEN REVEALED AND WE CAN CONTROL LAZERS WITH OUR MIND".

That would be like saying "I looked in a telescope and NOW I AM EMPEROR OF SPACE"

fMRI is a painfully inexact technique, and sample sizes for fMRI studies are generally very small (either very few subjects or few trials compared to a non-MRI study), because of the expense of MRI time and the difficulty in finding subjects who will actually do what you tell them to do (think about this, concentrate on that, for an hour, in an MRI, without moving at all). Add onto that the incredibly poor spatial and temporal resolution (relative to the speed and scale of the brain), the incredible noisiness of the results, the fact that fMRI measures blood flow (NOT neural activity, although the two are certainly closely related).

A good analogy might be looking at a CPU with an infrared webcam and trying to figure out how it works. With very careful investigation you could certainly figure some stuff out, but it would be extremely difficult and slow, and you'd never be able to get beyond a certain level of detail.

Bottom line, while fMRI studies can be very useful, it takes lots of corroborating studies to make any firm statement about how the brain works, and you certainly would be hard pressed to say you 'decoded' anything about the brain in just one study.

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