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1 researchok  Mon, Oct 3, 2011 7:22:01pm

Incredible.

Biotech will be to the 21st century what computer/info tech was to the 20th century.

2 Michael McBacon  Mon, Oct 3, 2011 7:49:58pm

I’ve been waiting for a development like this for nearly a decade and would love to see something similar for “the mind’s ear”.

3 CuriousLurker  Mon, Oct 3, 2011 7:58:39pm

re: #1 researchok

re: #2 UNIXon

okay, but is anyone going to tell me what it means?

The video is cool, but I don’t get the significance. O_o

4 researchok  Mon, Oct 3, 2011 8:31:39pm

re: #3 CuriousLurker

re: #2 UNIXon

okay, but is anyone going to tell me what it means?

The video is cool, but I don’t get the significance. O_o

Think of it this way: You describe a room/item/ anything tactile to a blind person. Their ‘minds eye’ sees, interprets and thus can recognize their surroundings.

Or, suppose a tactile object emits a certain sound, thus describing an obstacle. A vison impaired person wears a hearing aid to hear these sounds.

Or, it might allow for the sighted to ‘see’ what the vision impaired person sees, interprets, etc. Think of the art creating implications might be.

The potential is huge, even for sighted persons.

This is just the beginning.

5 Interesting Times  Mon, Oct 3, 2011 8:53:08pm

re: #3 CuriousLurker

re: #2 UNIXon

okay, but is anyone going to tell me what it means?

When I was around 12 or 13, I dreamt I owned a very special VCR: it came with electrodes, and if I attached them to my head, it would record everything I imagined and thought.

You can’t begin to comprehend how disappointed I was upon waking up from that dream :(

Then again, if this technology is developed to its full potential, could it someday make that device from my dream a reality?

6 goddamnedfrank  Mon, Oct 3, 2011 8:58:49pm

Think of the mind’s eye like an incredibly complex and totally unknown biological video codec, with the MRI we can see the raw data of the resulting files but don’t know how the information it contains corresponds to the input. So we show a camera the uses that codec a known image and model the observed output, creating a crude map (or as the researchers call it “dictionary”) of how the codec functions. What is being modeled is vastly more complex than this analogy suggests because the brain reconstructs the viewed image in different areas and looks for symbolic and gestaltic relationships far beyond anything we’re used to encoding in a video file, and the MRI images far slower than the videos shown or the brain processes that are interpreting said video.

It gets even more complex because what we see isn’t necessarily what we get, the brain can hallucinate, block out or hide elements in plain sight, and dream. This is just the very, most elementary beginning of being able to, in essence, read a mind with technology.

7 CuriousLurker  Mon, Oct 3, 2011 9:05:20pm

re: #4 researchok

re: #5 publicityStunted

re: #6 goddamnedfrank

I get it now! Thank youuuuu… {{researchok}} & {{pStunted}} & {{goddamnedfrank}}

*happy dance*

8 CuriousLurker  Mon, Oct 3, 2011 9:12:51pm

re: #4 researchok

re: #5 publicityStunted

re: #6 goddamnedfrank

P.S. It helped to have 3 completely different explanations, because now that I’ve put them all together my mind’s eye has something to work with. Before I was just getting snow, heh.

9 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Oct 3, 2011 9:21:55pm

re: #3 CuriousLurker

re: #2 UNIXon

okay, but is anyone going to tell me what it means?

The video is cool, but I don’t get the significance. O_o

The technology now exists to read minds :D

In a few decades, people will just be able to think of images and beam them into each others heads with cheap technology.

or maybe a few years

10 elizajane  Mon, Oct 3, 2011 9:25:27pm

This is really, really amazing.
Aristotle tried to speculate about how the brain dealt with sense perception (especially sight) thousands of years ago in De Anima. And now, in some sense, we know. But in another sense we’ll never know. It would be interesting to put this lab’s research up next to Aristotle and think about what it all MEANS.
This sounds like my seminar at Berkeley next semester!!
Thank you for posting this.

11 CuriousLurker  Mon, Oct 3, 2011 9:28:12pm

re: #9 WindUpBird

The technology now exists to read minds :D

That’s so cool, awesome and scary all at the same time. :)

In a few decades, people will just be able to think of images and beam them into each others heads with cheap technology.

Heh, well whoever invents the brain bleach to get rid of the icky ones will be a bazillionaire. I think maybe some people’s thoughts are better kept in the dark where no one can see them. O_o

12 CuriousLurker  Mon, Oct 3, 2011 9:39:36pm

re: #10 elizajane

This is really, really amazing.
Aristotle tried to speculate about how the brain dealt with sense perception (especially sight) thousands of years ago in De Anima. And now, in some sense, we know. But in another sense we’ll never know. It would be interesting to put this lab’s research up next to Aristotle and think about what it all MEANS.
This sounds like my seminar at Berkeley next semester!!
Thank you for posting this.

You’re welcome. The only reason I even posted it was because someone tweeted the link and it bugs me when I don’t understand something. I’d much rather be thought an idiot than leave my curiosity unsatisfied, heh.

It IS amazing now that I understand what it means, so now I’m really glad I asked!

13 reine.de.tout  Mon, Oct 3, 2011 9:44:58pm

Oh, wow.

I just finished a psychological suspense novel, where someone in the book used a device that pictured and FELT what was in his mind while he had sex with a woman … and then also RECORDED it, so that anyone who played this back on the proper equipment would experience what he experienced.

The idea of this being something real It seemed pretty far out there to me, but apparently … it’s not.

So, what WOULD happen if what was in your mind’s eye was being recorded unknowingly and could be used by anybody in the world to see what you were seeing or feel what you were feeling at a given moment in time? Weird.

14 CuriousLurker  Mon, Oct 3, 2011 9:51:43pm

re: #13 reine.de.tout

Yeah, it’s pretty freaky-cool, huh?

Watch, some Israeli biotech company will get a hold of it and run with it. They’re always inventing stuff, or so it seems based on all the stuff Bob posts. Wouldn’t it be cool if they could solve the I-P conflict with it somehow? Okay, I know I’m dreaming, but still…

15 goddamnedfrank  Mon, Oct 3, 2011 10:24:08pm

re: #9 WindUpBird

The technology now exists to read minds :D

In a few decades, people will just be able to think of images and beam them into each others heads with cheap technology.

or maybe a few years

It’s going to be a fairly long wait for the tech to become anything close to cheap. The field strength of an average medical MRI machine runs between 1.5 to 3 Tesla (experimental medical models have gone as high as 8T.) and relies on superconducting circuits to function. The cooling systems for these circuits require their own expensive safety devices and precautions, you need oxygen monitors, powerful venting fans and exhaust systems in case a quench boils off a bunch of helium and asphyxiates you. Now permanent rare earth magnets currently top out just below this 1.5T threshold, but there’s some hope of doubling their strength through nanoparticle exchange coupling (a complex way of saying a very fine particle mixture of traditional iron-cobalt and rare earth compounds.) The article also doesn’t mention if an injection of IV contrast dye is required for the procedure.

So while there’s some hope that this might be on the long term horizon there are some very high hurdles to making the technology affordable for the masses.

16 goddamnedfrank  Mon, Oct 3, 2011 10:46:28pm

In case anybody wants a visual indication of how strong an MRI field actually is. This is the effect that Lenz’s Law has on a chunk of solid aluminum placed near an operating core:

17 CuriousLurker  Tue, Oct 4, 2011 7:57:44am

re: #15 goddamnedfrank

Wow, I had no idea about any of that. How do you people know such things?? It’s pretty impressive. ;)

re: #16 goddamnedfrank

Whoa. It’s weird that there are so many types of energy (?) out there that we can only perceive by observing their effects on other objects. What’s even more amazing to me is that some humans got curious enough about those things to sit down and think about them and invent ways to measure them, and in some cases, even “see” them with various devices. Science rocks.

You were talking earlier about how the brain can hallucinate or block things out…I was just reading about that guy with prosopagnosia and also about peope with synesthesia, and it’s all fascinating. The human brain is an amazing thing, if for no other reason than it can ponder itself.

Now I’m headed off once again into thinking about the nature of reality. How real is it? Oh, it’s real enough alright—I was reminded of that a few months ago when I stubbed my toe on a metal bed frame, heh, but still…

18 (I Stand By What I Said Whatever It Was)  Tue, Oct 4, 2011 9:23:38am

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