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Computer Program Reconstructs Heard Words From Brain Scans

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the and-play-them-back-in-a-really-creepy-voice dept.

Science 147

sciencehabit writes "In a new study, neuroscientists connected a network of electrodes to the hearing centers of 15 patients' brains and recorded the brain activity while they listened to words like 'jazz' or 'Waldo.' They saw that each word generated its own unique pattern in the brain. So they developed two different computer programs that could reconstruct the words a patient heard just by analyzing his or her brain activity. Reconstructions from the better of the two programs were good enough that the researchers could accurately decipher the mystery word 80% to 90% percent of the time. Because there's evidence that the words we hear and the words we recall or imagine trigger similar brain processes, the study suggests scientists may one day be able to tune in to the words you're thinking."

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147 comments

Time to stop thinking in words. (4, Insightful)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885155)

I'm pretty sure those tin foil hats don't actually work.

Re:Time to stop thinking in words. (4, Funny)

soundguy (415780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885175)

The Faraday hats, however...

Re:Time to stop thinking in words. (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885213)

And they can get really hot when you wear them all day, amirite?

Re:Time to stop thinking in words. (5, Funny)

drfreak (303147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885275)

Not if you solder heat-sinks to the sides. Then the heat-sinks double as stylish ear-muffs.

Re:Time to stop thinking in words. (2)

Zibodiz (2160038) | more than 2 years ago | (#38888275)

Have you ever tried soldering aluminum (foil)?

Re:Time to stop thinking in words. (4, Funny)

drfreak (303147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885305)

Us men already don't think in words. Well, most of the time.

Re:Time to stop thinking in words. (1)

ardle (523599) | more than 2 years ago | (#38888481)

Only when trying to think up justifications for the things we have just done ;-) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRqyw-EwgTk [youtube.com]

Re:Time to stop thinking in words. (1)

sempir (1916194) | more than 2 years ago | (#38889265)

I've tried thinking in words and in pictures and I still need Cialis, so those doods ain't gonna read my mind in the near future!

Re:Time to stop thinking in words. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38885427)

Re:Time to stop thinking in words. (2)

tobiah (308208) | more than 2 years ago | (#38886143)

lol [facebook.com]

Re:Time to stop thinking in words. (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38886323)

lol

Re:Time to stop thinking in words. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38885575)

I'm pretty sure those tin foil hats don't actually work.

That's a lie, one that wouldn't have been implanted into your brain if you were wearing your tinfoil hat. But to be safe, better put two on.

Re:Time to stop thinking in words. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38886459)

Good One!

Re:Time to stop thinking in words. (2)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 2 years ago | (#38889129)

I'm pretty sure those tin foil hats don't actually work.

I think in four different languages. I wonder how much overlap there is between them. Do phonetically-similar words in different languages stimulate the same brain centers, or do words with the same meaning? How about synonyms? Proper nouns? Proper nouns with different names in different languages?

*obliged* to think in words? (4, Interesting)

Herve5 (879674) | more than 2 years ago | (#38889267)

My concern, long-term, is quite the contrary.
If this kind of interface works, we'll rapidly be obliged to think *everything* in words, painfully.

The situation will be back to the medieval times where reading meant reading aloud -indeed the writing was intended to be read aloud. There is a very interesting moment around that time when very scarce educated people start considering reading without talking, for instance, and this is documented (in writing! ;-) by witnesses from the time, who are baffled.

Liberating our reading from the necessity of reading aloud has been something extremely important for our thinking, an importance now almost forgotten.

if we switch to a world where every thought has to be almost vocalized to be interpreted by surrounding machinery, we'll lose our "fast reading" capacity, and I fear we may lose too the capacity to think fast. Really, back to early Middle Ages...

Possible app... (1, Interesting)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885173)

Did anybody else think that this sort of technology could really help with detecting lies?

Re:Possible app... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38885189)

no (hid the body) sure (its in a dumpster) didnt....

Re:Possible app... (5, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885335)

Based on the articles (and other articles using "mind reading" for lie detection) the apparatus would have to be calibrated to each person.

So in 20 years, when the Department of Homeland Security conducts an involuntary "health and wellness" check for your residence, it would be in your best interests to think of something "out there," such as a transexual Asian prostitute shooting ping-pong balls out of her ass.

Then you could behave like Multiple Migs [youtube.com] and toss one off in their face.

Re:Possible app... (1)

phrostie (121428) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885715)

LOL, they said audible words not visuals.

you are evil.

Re:Possible app... (4, Funny)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885779)

If you can visualize that, then you have other problems.

Re:Possible app... (1)

mcavic (2007672) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885971)

I guess I have other problems, because my first thought was "hmm, that seems possible".

Re:Possible app... (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 2 years ago | (#38889449)

Wasn't Tim Curry in that movie?

Re:Possible app... (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 2 years ago | (#38886003)

So in 20 years, when the Department of Homeland Security conducts an involuntary "health and wellness" check for your residence, it would be in your best interests to think of something "out there," such as a transexual Asian prostitute shooting ping-pong balls out of her ass.

Alright.. so to put it simply, you want me to think about Thursdays... got it.

Re:Possible app... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38886539)

... it would be in your best interests to think of something "out there," such as a transexual Asian prostitute shooting ping-pong balls out of her ass.
 

Why you gotta bring your mother into this?

Re:Possible app... (0, Redundant)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885387)

No, no that was just you. You're a very unique and special person. Possibly a genius. We could do with more comments like that on Slashdot. People here never point out obvious (ab)uses of technology.

*facepalm*

*sob*

No. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38885769)

Did anybody else think that this sort of technology could really help with detecting lies?

No. I thought it would be misused {and/or fake), produce the wrong results and innocent people would pay for the crimes of others.

I also thought that it would become another tool of the burgeoning american police state and good for the Jail Industrial complex.

Re:Possible app... (4, Insightful)

tobiah (308208) | more than 2 years ago | (#38888091)

Brains aren't the best place to seek truth

feb 1st (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38885197)

this is feb 1st, not april first

Would`nt it be easier just to eavesdrop? (2)

fatbuckel (1714764) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885199)

No?

Re:Would`nt it be easier just to eavesdrop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38885221)

you can't evesdrop a mute can you?

Re:Would`nt it be easier just to eavesdrop? (1)

fatbuckel (1714764) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885255)

I can eavesdrop on what someone is saying to him? We are talking about listened words,are`nt we?

Re:Would`nt it be easier just to eavesdrop? (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885459)

From the summary:

Because there's evidence that the words we hear and the words we recall or imagine trigger similar brain processes, the study suggests scientists may one day be able to tune in to the words you're thinking.

Political application (4, Funny)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885219)

Hopefully one can apply such technology to the politics soon. The program may be disoriented though, as when a word comes out from a politician mouth, the computer using the real true paths of the brain will understand the exact opposite of such word.

Re:Political application (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38885597)

No, politicians will be exempt on the grounds of national security.

This One Time...on RoboCop (2)

Niscenus (267969) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885903)

I remember, back during the tv series (non-animated), Robocop couldn't tell if a politician was lying because he was so used to never really telling the truth with the words he uses everyday. Hilarious excuse for why Murphy couldn't figure out what was going on.

Re:Political application (2)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 2 years ago | (#38887023)

I hold to the belief that the 'best' politicians (where 'best' here means having the most skill at being a politician) actually believe what they are saying while they are saying it. Before and after they know it's BS, but it's so much easier to come across as authentic if you truly believe in what you're saying, even if only for a short while.

V.I.N.CENT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38885227)

Holy crap, I was just watching The Black Hole this weekend and was thinking to myself "man, if there's one thing that this movie got COMPLETELY wrong it's ESP with a robot." Egg + my face.

This is already secretly used on citizens (0, Troll)

Roark Meets Dent (650119) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885239)

The government has been reading the minds of citizens for years using covertly-implanted neurotechnology that they put in people's heads while they are knocked out. Remember all those "alien abduction" stories of the past 20-30 years?

The neurotech is like a hyper-advanced version of your iPhone. But it lets them send commands to your brain, including verbal thought, audio and video information and motor commands (involuntary movement). They can also decode what you are thinking in real-time.

This is already being dozen to at least thousands of citizens covertly without their knowledge or consent and constitutes a grave human rights violation on a mass scale. Most western governments are doing this and have been for years. For more info just google "synthetic telepathy" and "targeted individuals." Also check out this article:

http://www.karlaturner.org/when-everyone-has-a-brain-implant [karlaturner.org]

Re:This is already secretly used on citizens (1, Insightful)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885299)

And many of us have been trolling government computers by filling our heads with porn, funny imgur images, and an awful lot of of corporate angst. Take that uncle sam!

Re:This is already secretly used on citizens (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885471)

I'm going to go ahead and guess that the government has primarily been targeting the homeless and those 'diagnosed' with mental disorders. Its amazing though most people will go ahead and step over some lunatic ranting about crazy junk on the street and not even see them, he's certain that the government is scanning his all important brain waves and tracking his every movement. Just makes perfect sense when you think about it!

Re:This is already secretly used on citizens (1)

antant007 (1702214) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885621)

What was that? I couldn't hear over your foil hat.

Every parent of a teen could use this system... (2)

SwedishChef (69313) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885253)

At least we'd know that their brains heard and recognized the words.... whether or not they actually understood them is left for another system to determine.

Re:Every parent of a teen could use this system... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885321)

Oh, they understand them all right... they just usually couldn't give a f***.

Re:Every parent of a teen could use this system... (4, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885775)

Nah. You'd have to implant electrodes in their skulls. What teenager would allow someone to screw metal studs into their hea....

....never mind.

Re:Every parent of a teen could use this system... (1)

SwedishChef (69313) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885837)

MOD PARENT UP!!! LOL :)

Oh, the applications are endless! (4, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885259)

  • Allow disabled people to use a computer without a keyboard
  • Sending email or a text message without even having to use equipment like a cell phone (for example "call my lawyer, I'm being arrested for looking Arabic!").
  • Technology enabled telepathy

Man... the 21st century is gonna be so cool!

Re:Oh, the applications are endless! (4, Insightful)

fatbuckel (1714764) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885369)

Or those who will use it for evil, to "prove" that a person was contemplating acts of terror or other crimes. We all know the police don`t have to be 100% sure to arrest suspects. If their "brainscanner" says 60% probability for the word bomb at the airport....

Re:Oh, the applications are endless! (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38886549)

Right up until your SO demands to be tapped into your thoughts 24/7.

The freedom of my mind to wander in private is sacred to me.

Re:Oh, the applications are endless! (1)

Zeroedout (2036220) | more than 2 years ago | (#38887075)

Then you make that person insignificant to you, your ISO ;)

Your logic means we can't have knives in our homes because your SO might get angry and stab you.

Re:Oh, the applications are endless! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38887115)

That's right about the time you find another SO, then. You can even do it with flair by letting her first access to your thoughts include fantasies of you screwing her sister, or better, her mom.

Re:Oh, the applications are endless! (1)

Guppy (12314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38887051)

Allow disabled people to use a computer without a keyboard

I hope this because sufficient reliably and compact that we can get Professor Hawking one, before he loses the last vestiges of voluntary muscular control.

Re:Oh, the applications are endless! (1)

PSVMOrnot (885854) | more than 2 years ago | (#38888813)

  • Allow disabled people to use a computer without a keyboard
  • Sending email or a text message without even having to use equipment like a cell phone (for example "call my lawyer, I'm being arrested for looking Arabic!").
  • Technology enabled telepathy

Man... the 21st century is gonna be so cool!

  • The first, is entirely possible, and is currently doable in a primative but semi-portable state with EEG.
  • The second is a really bad idea; have you not seen/read the forbidden planet. Basicly, mind controlled technology is a monumentally bad idea.
  • The third, perhaps in the sense of truth-saying. What the guys in the article will be reading is a limited set of words, and they can only do it because they have enough samples of each word to train their program in

But, yeah, the 21st century will be cool

A slashdot athlete could see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38885367)

This is just another FMRI trick.

Re:A slashdot athlete could see (2)

PSVMOrnot (885854) | more than 2 years ago | (#38888861)

This is just another FMRI trick.

But only because they didn't read TFA:

Electrocorticographic (ECoG) recordings were obtained using subdural electrode arrays implanted in 15 patients undergoing neurosurgical procedures for epilepsy or brain tumor.

They used a much more invasive method for this one.

What number am I thinking of? (4, Funny)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885371)

69 dude!

Re:What number am I thinking of? (1)

goldaryn (834427) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885745)

69 dude!

This is odd, all the blood is draining out of his brain, and a small tent has appeared in his.... oh!

Oh no! Thought police... (2, Insightful)

U8MyData (1281010) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885379)

We are f*cked, seriously. If this kind of thing gets out and is exploited for commercial or polical purposes there will not be enough room in the "hills" for everyone. I think my next career will be in techological responsibility and law. I don't need to remind anyone here that the "man" has finally taken ownership of policing technology. The day I have feared for most of my career is finally here.

Re:Oh no! Thought police... (2)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885599)

Or we could demand brain scans of politicians to see what they really intend to do if elected. But I guess defeatism works too.

Coming soon to a stolen Firefox near you... (5, Interesting)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885403)

"Must think in Russian."

[ For you youngsters, see Firefox [wikipedia.org] . ]

Re:Coming soon to a stolen Firefox near you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38886691)

history...first movie i went to without parents...

Re:Coming soon to a stolen Firefox near you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38889063)

I guess when you think "mama", the pattern is the same, like when you think "mother". So thinking in foreign language won't save you.

BTW - did these patterns were uniqu between people, or universal? Because if they are unique, they would need to calibrate the thought-reader before you can read your mind, and you could trick them, by thinking about other words, than they show you (or made you to think).

All in all - occlumency will be real :)

You must think in Russian, think in Russian (1)

Latinhypercube (935707) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885445)

"You must think in Russian, think in Russian"

Obligatory Firefox quote...

(Clint Eastwood had to think in Russian to fire weapons on his brain reading stolen Russian Fighter plane in "Firefox")

Brain Scanning "traditional" interrogation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38885479)

How long until it's accurate/reliable enough to start using it on terror suspects or any other detained individual? Me thinks it's already there based on the recordings. I can CLEARLY make out the words, "kill, satan, kill, kill, kill" in the recording. Oh, wait, that's my megadeath album...

Re:Brain Scanning "traditional" interrogation (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885791)

Just for the record, Megadeath really doesn't write satanic music; though they're speed/death metal, Dave Mustang tends (mostly) to sing about the grim, self imposed fate of Mankind, and how stupid and evil we are to each other.

I think that you were thinking of Slayer...

Re:Brain Scanning "traditional" interrogation (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38886163)

How long until it's accurate/reliable enough to start using it on terror suspects or any other detained individual?

For the purposes, accuracy and reliability are not necessary... Don't believe me? Just step in shoes of TSA (how many terrorists did they catch?) and/or those who created/filled Guantanamo Bay (they managed to do it without gizmos).

lame comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38885495)

If you threaten at my fingers with a sharp object I will move my hand away away. If you then ask a friend to threaten my fingers with various objects unseen to you and I suddenly move my hand you can reasonably guess which one was the sharp object. Just because they're using fancy equipment to look at brain activity and a bit of pattern recognition doesn't mean they're not making a simplistic observation on wild assumptions.

This isn't mind reading. Get over it.

This place is such a waste of internet space.

No need to rush to the Tinfoil Shop kids (2)

Unsichtbarer_Mensch (710092) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885537)

For this experiment, electrodes had to be *surgically implanted* into the test persons' skull. It's not like they remotely measured their electrical brain activity. So for now you can relax ...

Re:No need to rush to the Tinfoil Shop kids (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885763)

electrodes had to be *surgically implanted* into the test persons' skull.

Looks like it's time for everyone to upgrade to the titanium hat.

Re:No need to rush to the Tinfoil Shop kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38887861)

Any idea of the research cycle in biomed eng. these days? Proof of concept for non-invasive techniques is less than 3 years away.

The other word (1)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885553)

Well Waldo was the nickname of one of my girlfriends who used to do kinky things to me. She didn't wear glasses or wear stripy sweaters either. So I wonder what they are actually scanning - the word sound or the memory of the word?
Maybe that'll account for those in the 10-20% range who don't register all to well.

The obvious.. (1, Troll)

rykin (836525) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885577)

I'm surprised no one has yet to point out the best potential target of such a device: women. We don't even need to know what they're thinking. We simply can use the device as it is currently to see if what we say is what they hear.

X labs project (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38885633)

I'm sure Google Droids are working on this now, so they can deliver even MORE ads when you're even more susceptible to suggestion.
Oh, my, such innovation.

Hawking (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38885673)

I seriously hope they develop the technology well enough to use it for Stephen Hawking while he's still with us. Imagine hearing him speak at the rate he thinks!

Re:Hawking (2)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38886491)

3 ways it could go:
So fast, it's like listening to a dolphin
Same speed, but only really big words he's been dying to use for decades but didn't have time to spell out.
Math. All math all the time. i.e equations to describe what he wants for breakfast.

Taking the Long Way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38885761)

There's already technology that can read muscular results of subvocalization. EMGs with electrodes on skin around the vocal tract combined with software are able to decipher subvocalized ("thought") words with a high degree of accuracy as of at least 8 years ago.

Combine that with a UV laser of the sort that's being developed for a wireless taser application, you could ditch the wires in the future and just point a device at a person's throat area and read out their subvocalizations. Most people aren't even aware of them, especially masseter muscle activity (EMG study).

So much for wisdom of the crowds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38885781)

Remote version of this already exist, the entire thing is online. do some research morons.

Wake me up when... (1)

afortaleza (791264) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885937)

Wake me up when they get to 3D images.

Re:Wake me up when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38887317)

Perhaps you should hold your breath instead?

Challenged accepted! (1)

dsinc (319470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885941)

Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra. Kadir beneath Mo Moteh!

Reposting my comment due to government censorship (-1, Troll)

Roark Meets Dent (650119) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885943)

The government has been reading the minds of citizens for years using covertly-implanted neurotechnology that they put in people's heads while they are knocked out. Remember all those "alien abduction" stories of the past 20-30 years?

The neurotech is like a hyper-advanced version of your iPhone. But it lets them send commands to your brain, including verbal thought, audio and video information and motor commands (involuntary movement). They can also decode what you are thinking in real-time.

This is already being dozen to at least thousands of citizens covertly without their knowledge or consent and constitutes a grave human rights violation on a mass scale. Most western governments are doing this and have been for years. For more info just google "synthetic telepathy" and "targeted individuals." Also check out this article:

http://www.karlaturner.org/when-everyone-has-a-brain-implant [karlaturner.org] [karlaturner.org]

Re:Reposting my comment due to government censorsh (1)

Sparx139 (1460489) | more than 2 years ago | (#38886041)

You weren't modded down due to government censorship, you were modded down because you're bat-crap crazy.

Re:Reposting my comment due to government censorsh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38886061)

...except brain surgery is not something you just "do" trivially. It's not like you just crack someone's skull, shove in an IC and battery, and then close it back up like nothing happened, with no damage (visible or neurological) and a short recovery period. Plus, if they did what we're currently able to do, which is pretty advanced I'll give you, it would take more $$$ than it would be worth, because even our advanced technologies are not nearly fine-grained enough to enable what you're talking about.

Just great (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38886147)

Because there's evidence that the words we hear and the words we recall or imagine trigger similar brain processes, the study suggests scientists may one day be able to tune in to the words you're thinking.

So the TSA should be rolling this out in 2-3 years whether it's ready or not. I can see it now. They'll be monitoring how peoples brain reacts while a recoding recites works like: "Bomb" "Ammonium nitrate" "Communist" Or the program states you are thinking the following: "5 oz. of toothpaste" "Bottled water" "Why are these fucking idiots doing this?" Clearly only a terrorist would think such things.

Re:Just great (1)

Bonobo_Unknown (925651) | more than 2 years ago | (#38887857)

Shit I am going to be fucked at boring meetings.

User Specific Profiles (1)

trickotomy (947120) | more than 2 years ago | (#38886249)

So one must have *individual* apriori scans for intelligible interpretation... meh.

Total Recall (1)

guttentag (313541) | more than 2 years ago | (#38886497)

Anyone who's seen Total Recall knows:

  1. Technology can only write data to the brain
  2. It takes a freaky-looking mutant to read the data

Anyway, there's a difference between observing patterns in the way a person's neurons react to hearing a word and actually reading their thoughts. And I'm sure everyone fires different neurons when they hear the same thing... probably just as unique as a fingerprint.

  • When someone says Farrel is going to play Hauser in the 2012 remake of Total Recall, my mind is thinking "Will Ferrell is totally wrong for that part!"
  • Another person is thinking Colin Farrell might make a good Hauser (just kidding, no one is thinking that... Have you seen The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus?).
  • Another person is thinking "is Hollywood just going to remake everything to death?"
  • And yet another person is thinking, "I wonder what they're serving for lunch today."

Bonus points if you thought all four.

oh good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38886615)

some monitoring program is going to be disgusted and offended one day.

this can inhibit stuttering in speech (2)

simoncpu was here (1601629) | more than 2 years ago | (#38886749)

This technology can be used to inhibit stuttering for persons with this disorder. You see, there's this phenomenon where stuttering can be inhibited if a stutterer speaks in approximate unison with other speakers (choral speech). A device was thus developed that attempts to mimic choral speech by echoing a stutterer's speech with a few milliseconds delay (delayed auditory feedback). It's effective, but not 100% effective since a stutter needs to overcome the initial stuttering block (i.e., he needs to speak so that it can be echoed later). With this technology, a device can simply read your mind so that you can speak in unison with the "mind reading device". I hope there would be a portable version of this soon.

Call me When... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38887035)

They can scan in someone's brain and run a somewhat decent simulation of it on a computer....

it's so cool (1)

Pirulo (621010) | more than 2 years ago | (#38887249)

just don't give one to the wife

I miss the days (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38887253)

I miss when tin foil hat jokes were hip.

I See Potential (2)

The Wild Norseman (1404891) | more than 2 years ago | (#38887915)

I think this'll be pretty cool in practice.

Imagine that; once this kind of system is in place, all I'd have to do to shut down my computer, for example, is to simply think of the word 'shutdo

Unique for each person ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38887955)

> each word generated its own unique pattern in the brain

It would do, each is a different sound pattern.

The real question is: does each word generate the _same_ pattern in each person or is each word a brain pattern unique to each person.

If it is the latter then forget about monitoring random people.

Thinking without spoken language (1)

Snospar (638389) | more than 2 years ago | (#38888519)

If you are born completely deaf, what language do you think in?

Thoughtcrime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38888651)

I wonder if this will be considered in ACTA, since you might be able to reconstruct a song that you have heard this way.

The future of slashdot. (1, Redundant)

qwak23 (1862090) | more than 2 years ago | (#38888869)

eye for one do eye really want to use that meme everyone uses that damn meme eye for one welcome what brain something oh yeah baby why don't eye oh my god what is that alt eff four alt eff four ---- huh what the ---- was that beep there it is again neural interface help contents beep a beep indicates that the automatic profanity filter is currently enabled well we can't have that ---- file setting deselect automatic profanity filter apply fuck fuck fuck fuck okay much better now none of that goddam beeping okay so eye for one welcome our new our new our new eye wonder what the wife is making for dinner tonight tacos maybe or yakitori yakitori would be awesome but so would tacos maybe tako tacos eye wonder if wasbai and guacamole would go well together they are both green foods that are the same color should taste awesome together oh if only that were true well wasabi flavored kit cats are awesome so eye suppose if chocolate and wasabi can go together guacamole and wasabi probably could work something overlords something overlords oh why didn't eye see that earlier the integral on the left side of the integral represents the length of the curve between the origin and ex comma eff of ex while the right side is the distance between the origin and ex comma eff of ex so yeah the left side will always be greater that makes sense cool okay so overlords overlords eye for one welcome our new hands free slashdot user overlords yeah that sounds good stupid meme eye should post that anonymously though okay tab back over to slashdot so eye can

Practical applications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38889041)

Surely this is only practical if everyone thinks the same thing when they hear the same word? If not, you'd need a mental dictionary for everyone before you can translate their thoughts. It'd be handy for people with motor neurone and the like, though.

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