"My mind is my own church." ~ Thomas Paine
August 7, 2005 2:34 PM   Subscribe

Mind Reading.
posted by Citizen Premier (14 comments total)
Wow. So perhaps subliminal advertising really works...
posted by shivohum at 2:46 PM on August 7, 2005

-5, Overrated
posted by Ryvar at 2:50 PM on August 7, 2005

A team at University College London found with fMRI they could tell what a person was thinking deep down even when the individual was unaware themselves.

Forgive me, but when someone tells me they know what I'm thinking, I'm skeptical. When someone tells me I'm actually thinking something I didn't know I was thinking, I'm suspicious. I didn't need Ryvar's link to get the idea that these researchers are talking up their results overmuch. (Though additional links are, as always, welcome--thanks Ryvar.)
posted by voltairemodern at 3:06 PM on August 7, 2005

A terrible book set in the near future (The 4th K, Mario Puzo) involved a lie detector that measured brain activity and was infallible. Some day...
posted by jonson at 3:23 PM on August 7, 2005

What am I thinking right now?

I'm skeptical, too.

This is like noticing cave drawings. Not posessing a rozetta stone.

When they can print out a thought in text, or video of what my mind is thinking, not just noticing that neurons flash over in such and so area of the brain, I'll be worried/excited/anxious.
posted by Balisong at 3:26 PM on August 7, 2005

I get the feeling that it’s the journalists pushing the “mind reading” angle so they can get a flashy title.
The more practical, and momentous, applications of this research probably have to do with handicapped people. How cool would it be to be able to, for instance, control a computer withouot having to move any part of your body?
posted by signal at 4:04 PM on August 7, 2005

What am I thinking right now?

You're thinking these scientists are full of crap. See, I can read minds.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:05 PM on August 7, 2005

Okay, so they can't read your thoughts. But I bet they can tell when you're thinking about sex.
posted by sfenders at 4:13 PM on August 7, 2005

voltairemodern, did you read the article? It said the scientists were able to identify the image that was flashed quickly on a screen, even when the subject couldn't.

I get the feeling that it’s the journalists pushing the “mind reading” angle so they can get a flashy title.
Well, I sure did! I know this isn't exactly "mind reading," but it's a start into a scientific field that has a big future.
posted by Citizen Premier at 4:25 PM on August 7, 2005

Overzealous journo.

Still it is an interesting start. The problem is that even if we have enough resolution to look at single neurons/synapses and follow the action potential, we don't know nearly enough as to what those circuits mean. Not to mention, there are lots of different signals and plasticity going on - it's not as simple as just action potential.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 4:38 PM on August 7, 2005

It bothers me that the scientists are [at least quoted by the journalists as] talking about applications where I read your mind or you read mine, but not where I read my own mind. Isn't the killer app the ability to understand our own minds first? Could it be the next step in altering/overcoming human nature?
posted by NickDouglas at 5:16 PM on August 7, 2005

Yes it could.
I have always been a strong advocate to holding the key to one's own mind.
It's when others hold the key that I worry.
posted by Balisong at 5:24 PM on August 7, 2005

What bugs me isn't just that they use a loaded catchphrase for the headline, but that they then skew the article to align with the headline, forcing me to try to deduce what it actually is that the study has uncovered. Why can't we find a middle ground between glossy pop science and academic obfuscation?
posted by squidlarkin at 9:32 PM on August 7, 2005

I've often wondered if you could decipher thoughts from analysing the brain activity. Looks like someone else has thought the same thing and is putting it into research...

Am very intrigued at the possibilities. Perhaps it can lead to another form of creative expression - just think, and it will be.
posted by divabat at 6:21 AM on August 8, 2005

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