Sat, Dec 13, 2008  Permanent link
I remember seeing in high school psychology class a video of researchers looking at the visual cortex of a cat (They have more resolute vision than most animals) with a web-like pattern that flashed in front of it being reproduced. That video was from way back in the 1970's, I think.

What I remember asking the teacher is this: If it's just electromagnetic radiation, then isn't mind-reading at a distance possible?

Hell, you can already do it to computer monitors. I'm in a bit of a rush so I can't provide links, but google up "van eck phreaking", TEMPEST (government research into the matter), and TEMPEST for Eliza (*nix app where you can make a little tune on an AM radio next to a monitor, which provides the signal)
chronman     Sun, Dec 14, 2008  Permanent link
This will be another great advancement made in neuroscience.

As far as practicality, its highly inefficacious -for now-.

As was indicated, its quite unresourceful because one must perform extensive analysis/computing for each and every individual. Its quite difficult to begin to quantify more complex and quickly occuring brain patterns in itself, and beyond that, the only thoughts which can be quantified will be the ones which were previously screened.

Subject thought is the biggest set-back for this sort of tech; though in the future, it won't prove to be as significant a problem.

There isn't much anyone should fear because thoughts which existed in your mind prior to being screened, nor will it be able to keep up with the rapid and abstract thought patterns that take place in ones head every few seconds.

What they did was essentially code the computer to identify vague markers of that specific brain pattern which is associated with the image.

Another thing which must be noted is that they compute patterns taking place primarily in primary visual cortex/straite cortex, its a completely different thing to measure the more clouded mental images of the secondary visual cortex -which is active during dreaming/visualization-.


- Marked advancement for neuroscience
- More insight into the mechanism of the brain and how they can be deciphered/manipulated
- Platform for many future advancements
- As mentioned, potential treatment for a few disorders


- Capacity to become intrusive.

It might appear to be a significant threat to privacy, but there isn't really much to worry about. One would have to be an extremely important figure to someone for their interest your thought-patterns to outweigh the significant degree of effort required to code for primitive stimuli.

[What I remember asking the teacher is this: If it's just electromagnetic radiation, then isn't mind-reading at a distance possible?]

It isn't a bad question, this can maybe be achieved in the future. But it would be an extremely uneconomical and unfruitful endeavor.

The greatest obstacle would likely be the physical properties of the waves, more specifically, wave interference. The EM radiation is also relatively low energy, tech which can detect these emissions efficiently would have to be developed.
Self-Evolving     Tue, Jan 20, 2009  Permanent link
Is the "holiest of holies" going to then be directly subject to authority?

For, if one can get literally inside the mind of a person for seemingly innocuous reasons, what is to stop say the FBI, corporations, or a new age of criminals (e-criminals) from doing this as well to serve out their own harmful agendas...perhaps on more than an individual scale?

Although the following question is a moot point because these technologies will arrive sooner than later, no matter what we think, it must be asked:

Is it really worth giving up and irreparably tainting what is the last and most unequivocally sanctified space, our personal space - Mind Space - to be able to record and watch your dreams for entertainment, or to help some schizophrenics find stability, or to even help solve some serious crimes from time to time?

I don't think so.

But, again, since this is almost definitely going to happen, I predict at first grave "human rights abuses of the mind" will occur for an extended period of time, noticeably undermining social stability. It won't be until power structures and people get it out of their systems, a whole new set of "Mental Laws" is firmly established, and we collectively see the grave error of our ways, that we will become the developed entities who possess an unsurpassed level of understanding of ourselves individually and as a species to bring us into the next grand phase of human evolution....or maybe not.