Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Science Technology

Brain Imaging Reveals the Movies In Our Mind 141

wisebabo sends word that scientists from UC Berkeley have developed a method for scanning brain activity and then constructing video clips that represent what took place in a person's visual cortex (abstract). The technology is obviously quite limited, and "decades" away from any kind of sci-fi-esque thought reading, but it's impressive nonetheless. From the news release: "[Subjects] watched two separate sets of Hollywood movie trailers, while fMRI was used to measure blood flow through the visual cortex, the part of the brain that processes visual information. On the computer, the brain was divided into small, three-dimensional cubes known as volumetric pixels, or 'voxels.' ... The brain activity recorded while subjects viewed the first set of clips was fed into a computer program that learned, second by second, to associate visual patterns in the movie with the corresponding brain activity. Brain activity evoked by the second set of clips was used to test the movie reconstruction algorithm. This was done by feeding 18 million seconds of random YouTube videos into the computer program so that it could predict the brain activity that each film clip would most likely evoke in each subject. Finally, the 100 clips that the computer program decided were most similar to the clip that the subject had probably seen were merged to produce a blurry yet continuous reconstruction of the original movie."

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Brain Imaging Reveals the Movies In Our Mind

Comments Filter:
  • misleading demo (Score:5, Informative)

    by Thud457 ( 234763 ) on Friday September 23, 2011 @09:42AM (#37490636) Homepage Journal
    The video showing the original source and "output" is misleading.
    The output is not synthesized directly from the fMRI data.
    Rather, they take a bunch of samples from youtube and try to find a sample that generates the closest match the fMRI data.

    Still impressively neat. It's just that they need to more explicitly explain what they're doing.

"Call immediately. Time is running out. We both need to do something monstrous before we die." -- Message from Ralph Steadman to Hunter Thompson