Scientists have found a way to decipher actual words from a person’s brain waves, a feat that sounds very much like mind-reading, a new study shows.
The research may sound like scary science fiction -- once a person’s brain waves can be read, will any thought be private? -- but the positive implications are enormous for patients who have lost the ability to speak through damage, such as stroke, or disease.
In the study, scientists worked with a group of epilepsy patients who were undergoing treatment for intractable seizures. Sensors were implanted deep in their brains in an effort to locate the source of seizures, so doctors could remove the malfunctioning tissue, according to the new report published in PLoS Biology.
Normally that process takes about a week, says the study’s lead author, Brian Pasley, a neuroscientist at the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at the University of California, Berkeley.
“During that time the patients are just sitting around in their hospital rooms,” Pasley explains. “And some of them were generous enough to participate in our experiment.”
While the patients’ brain waves were being recorded, Pasley and his colleagues read words to them. Later, the researchers ran those brain waves through a program they hoped would translate the brain’s electronic signals into actual sounds. It worked. Based only on the recordings, the computer was able to pluck out the words spoken to the patients.
Previous research has been able to reconstruct what a person is looking at from brain scans.
Researchers are still a long way from actually reading people’s minds, but it may be possible one day, says Pasley, who acknowledges the technology’s potential to unlock communication for people who can’t speak -- as well as invade our most private thoughts.
“There are ethical concerns,” Pasley says. “Not with the current research, but with the possible extensions of it. There has to be a balance. If we are somehow able to encode someone’s thoughts instantaneously that might have great benefits for the thousands of severely disabled people who are unable to communicate right now. On the other hand, there are great concerns if this were applied to people who didn’t want that."
‘Lack of public debate on immigration caused Stockholm riots’ 2013 05 25
Mishra Mrutyuanjai raises some points that we discussed with Mikael Jalving about in our Red Ice Radio program, in January earlier this year.
Sweden should put its political correctness aside and start an open debate on immigration as it’s the only way to avoid a repeat of the Stockholm riots, Mishra Mrutyuanjai, Swedish Democrats movement member, told RT.
Stockholm is reeling as ...
Stockholm riots spread west on sixth night 2013 05 25
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Stockholm experienced a sixth straight night of riots early Saturday, with cars torched in several immigrant-dominated suburbs, as Britain and the United States warned against travelling to the hotspots.
Nearly a week of unrest, which spread briefly Friday night to the medium-sized city of Oerebro 160 kilometers (100 miles) west of Stockholm, have put Sweden’s reputation as an oasis ...
Marc Abramsson from the National Democratic Party comment on the Husby Riots in Stockholm 2013 05 25
Sweden could be paying a tough price for its policies on immigrants and multiculturalism. A Stockholm suburb erupted into violence for a few hours, as crowds of angry, masked youths from migrant families burned cars, smashed windows and hurled stones at police officers.
What’s believed to have fueled the riot was the death of a 69-year-old man, allegedly shot by ...
‘They don’t want to integrate’: Fifth night of youth rioting rocks Stockholm 2013 05 25
Youth gang riots in the Swedish capital Stockholm have entered fifth straight night. Hundreds of mostly immigrant teenagers tore through the suburbs, smashing windows and burning cars in the country’s worst outbreak of violence in years.
At least six vehicles were torched throughout the city late on Thursday while the police called for reinforcements from other Swedish cities bracing for further ...
The Ata ’Alien’ Humanoid May Have An Earthling Cousin 2013 05 24
When a new documentary promised to unveil DNA tests on a 6-inch-tall humanoid found 10 years ago in Chile, everyone weighed in with an opinion.
UFO researchers hoped this might finally be proof of alien visitations. Skeptics were sure it was nothing more than shameless movie promotion.
The latest ripple in this controversy might be the most bizarre turn yet.
And by "ripple," ...