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Ultimate Technology For Reading Minds

Researchers monitoring brain activity can now determine what action a person is planning before he carries it out.

Although it is currently only possible to know what someone is going to do just moments before it happens, the implications of the breakthrough are huge. Police, for example, would love to know what a criminal is intending to do during a tense armed stand-off.

Or like in Orwell’s 1984, it could be used by Thought Police for psychology surveillance to find and eliminate members of society who are capable of the mere thought of challenging ruling authority.

Lead researcher Jason Gallivan, of the University of Western Ontario, said, “This is a considerable step forward in our understanding of how the human brain plans actions.”

The scientists found that by using the signals from many brain regions, they could predict, better than chance, which of the actions the volunteer was merely intending to do, seconds later.

Co-author Jody Culham said, “Neuro-imaging allows us to look at how action planning unfolds within human brain areas without having to insert electrodes directly into the human brain.”

The new findings could also have important clinical implications.Mr Gallivan said, “Being able to predict a human’s desired movements using brain signals takes us one step closer to using those signals to control prosthetic limbs in movement-impaired patient populations, like those who suffer from spinal cord injuries or locked-in syndrome.”

The findings are published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Photo Courtesy of World of Good
Photo Courtesy of Phillie Casablanca