Intru­sive Brain Read­ing Sur­veil­lance Tech­nol­ogy PT.2

Intru­sive Brain Read­ing Sur­veil­lance Tech­nol­ogy PT.2

From the way Back Machine Dec. 7 2008
View from a cats eye.

Not to clear, but the other view is from a com­puter con­nect to the cats brain, which is!

In 1999 researchers led by Dr. Yang Dan, an assis­tant pro­fes­sor of neu­ro­bi­ol­ogy at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley, anaes­thetized a cat with sodium pen­tothal, chem­i­cally par­a­lyzed it with Nor­curon, and secured it tightly in a sur­gi­cal frame. They then glued metal posts to the whites of its eyes, and forced it to look at a screen that showed scene after scene of sway­ing trees and turtleneck-​wearing men.

This was not a form of Clockword-​Orange-​style aver­sion ther­apy for cats. Instead, it was a remark­able attempt to tap into another creature’s brain and see directly through its eyes. The researchers had inserted fibre elec­trodes into the vision-​processing cen­tre of the cat’s brain. The elec­trodes mea­sured the elec­tri­cal activ­ity of the brain cells and trans­mit­ted this infor­ma­tion to a nearby com­puter which decoded the infor­ma­tion and trans­formed it into a visual image. As the cat watched the images of the trees and the turtleneck-​wearing guy, the same images emerged (slightly blur­rier) on the com­puter screen across the room.

web­mas­ter note: The arti­cle also states
“The com­mer­cial poten­tial of the tech­nol­ogy is mind-​boggling.

(It’s not just the com­mer­cial poten­tial that are mind-​boggling)

with this tech­nol­ogy your cat could one day be spy­ing on you!

It goes on to state:

For­get helmet-​cam at the super­bowl; get ready for eye-​cam. Or how about this — never carry a cam­era again. Take pic­tures by blink­ing your eyes. It would work great unless you had a few too many drinks on vacation.

Some peo­ple just can’t see the big picture…

some links for the interested:


White paper

More Pub­li­ca­tions

Prim­i­tive “mind-​reading” devices make progress, researchers report

Posted April 24, 2005
Cour­tesy Nature Research Jour­nals
and World Sci­ence staff

Without lit­tle fan­fare, mind read­ing has left the pages of science-​fiction fan­tasy and begun tap­ping on reality’s door.

In new exper­i­ments, researchers say they have built devices that decode, from brain scans, sim­ple aspects of men­tal states.

The machines tell whether peo­ple are visu­al­iz­ing one or another of a set of pat­terns they have viewed, the sci­en­tists say. In some cases the devices know bet­ter what has passed through a person’s mind than he or she does, accord­ing to researchers — offer­ing a pos­si­ble glimpse into the uncon­scious.

Mind-​reading, as futur­is­tic and improb­a­ble as it sounds, is not com­pletely new.

Lie detec­tors, which have existed for decades, arguably are crude mind read­ers. Some humans are superb lie detec­tors, for that mat­ter.

More recently, more sophis­ti­cated tech­nolo­gies have added to this mind-​reading arse­nal. Asso­ci­at­ing brain activ­ity pat­terns as they appear on brain scans with spe­cific emo­tions has become a rou­tine part of brain research, for instance.

Researchers have also taken stabs at pro­gram­ming com­put­ers to deci­pher the con­tents of the “mind’s eye.”

As we look around, objects and scenes cause pat­terns of activ­ity in the part of our brain devoted to vision. In 1999, Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia at Berke­ley researchers reported hav­ing used a com­puter to roughly recon­struct the scenes a cat was view­ing. The com­puter read sig­nals from wires record­ing elec­tri­cal activ­ity in 177 of the animal’s cells, from a brain area that receives visual infor­ma­tion from the eye. (Click here for pic­tures of the recon­struc­tions along­side what the cats had actu­ally seen).

The new find­ings go a step fur­ther: researchers now report hav­ing decoded men­tal imagery with­out the use of such wires. Instead, they employed a brain scan­ning tech­nol­ogy called func­tional Mag­netic Res­o­nance Imag­ing, which shows how active dif­fer­ent brain regions are based on their oxy­gen usage.

More­over, the researchers say brain scans can be decoded to find out not just what peo­ple were shown, but which char­ac­ter­is­tics of the image they were con­cen­trat­ing on, and even whether they saw some­thing too briefly to remem­ber it.

The research, from two sep­a­rate sci­en­tific groups, is pub­lished in the May issue of the research jour­nal Nature Neu­ro­science.

Yukiyasu Kami­tani and Frank Tong found that when peo­ple were shown stripes tilted in dif­fer­ent direc­tions, there were sub­tle dif­fer­ences in the pat­tern of brain activ­ity that showed up on the scans. Kami­tani is with the ATR Com­pu­ta­tional Neu­ro­science Lab­o­ra­to­ries, Kyoto, Japan and Frank Tong is at Prince­ton Uni­ver­sity, Prince­ton, New Jer­sey.

They cre­ated a com­puter pro­gram that could learn to rec­og­nize the dif­fer­ent pat­terns by ana­lyz­ing exam­ples of pre­vi­ous scans, and their rela­tion­ships to dif­fer­ent stripe angles asso­ci­ated with them.

The pro­grams learned to dis­cern which stripes had been shown for a given scan with high accu­racy, Kami­tami and Tong wrote.

Fur­ther­more, when sub­jects were shown a plaid pat­tern made up of two dif­fer­ent sets of stripes but asked to pay atten­tion to only one set, the pro­gram was able to tell which one the sub­jects were think­ing about.

“The mind-​reading approach pre­sented here pro­vides a poten­tial frame­work for extend­ing the study of the neural cor­re­lates of sub­jec­tive expe­ri­ence,” that is, of what hap­pens in our brains as we think, wrote the researchers.

“Our approach may be extended to study­ing the neural basis of many types of men­tal con­tent, includ­ing a person’s aware­ness, atten­tional focus, mem­ory,” and inten­tions and choices, the authors wrote.

Using a sim­i­lar analy­sis of brain scans, John-​Dylan Haynes and Geraint Rees of Uni­ver­sity Col­lege Lon­don, U.K., wrote that they could tell what peo­ple had seen bet­ter than the peo­ple them­selves.

When two images were flashed on in quick suc­ces­sion, sub­jects only saw the sec­ond one and were unable to make out the first. Yet the authors said their com­puter pro­gram could dis­tin­guish the pat­terns of brain activ­ity cre­ated by the invis­i­ble images, even though the peo­ple could barely guess at what they had seen.

The find­ings could also sug­gest new direc­tions for stud­ies into the still poorly under­stood dif­fer­ence between con­scious and uncon­scious thought, the researchers wrote. “Whether to be rep­re­sented in con­scious expe­ri­ence infor­ma­tion has to cross a thresh­old level of activ­ity, or per­haps needs to be relayed to another region of the brain, is an intrigu­ing ques­tion for fur­ther research.”

Last Updated ( Fri­day, 07 March 2008 )

Admin’s note: Where do you think the research is at now?


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