Scientists Recreate Movies From Brain Activity

Process could someday let us look in on dreams
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2011 8:04 AM CDT
Scientists Recreate Movies From Brain Activity
This screenshot from ABC News shows a bit of reconstructed video alongside the original YouTube clip, in footage provided by Dr. Shinji Nishimoto.   (ABC News)

(Newser) – Scientists at UC Berkeley have made a major advancement in the field of mind reading, reconstructing YouTube videos based on brain scans from people who’d seen them. Researchers would put subjects into an MRI machine and track their brain activity as they viewed videos. Once they’d build a model of how a subject’s mind processed the video, “we could read brain activity for that subject and run it backward … to try to uncover what the viewer saw,” one study coauthor tells ABC News.

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Using the scans they were then able to reproduce the videos—though they’re blurry. “This is a major leap,” the co-author says. He thinks the technique could eventually be used to reconstruct dreams or memories, if it turns out the brain processes those things similarly to how it processes movies. “It’s our next line of research.” (More details on how the experiment worked, along with a video, at PC Magazine.)

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