Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Scientists can see your thoughts! (or almost)

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There must be some strain of voyeurism inherent to science. Why else would experts be so dang keen on viewing people’s thoughts inside their heads?

The above is the brainchild of researchers at UC Berkeley, who explain their work thus:

The brain activity recorded while subjects viewed the first set of clips was fed into a computer program that learned, second by second, to associate visual patterns in the movie with the corresponding brain activity. Brain activity evoked by the second set of clips was used to test the movie reconstruction algorithm. This was done by feeding 18 million seconds of random YouTube videos into the computer program so that it could predict the brain activity that each film clip would most likely evoke in each subject. Finally, the 100 clips that the computer program decided were most similar to the clip that the subject had probably seen were merged to produce a blurry yet continuous reconstruction of the original movie.

There’s more technical info on the video’s YouTube page. Now, s’cuse me while I go brush up on my Occlumency.

Don’t bother pointing out that it only works against actual Legilimency or I will smite you. I fear for my neurological intimacy, dangit!

(via @ebertchicago)