Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New pathways to communication: researchers read brain waves

        Good Day Humboldt County!

Today’s new road leads us down a path that may sound ominous at first (shades of Big Brother), but it’s actually a move in the right direction when it comes to treating epilepsy patients. That doesn’t mean this new technology will only be used for good. I foresee another path, a darker one, for this technology. Our military will use it to read prisoner’s minds. For all I know, they’re already doing that. What’s next? Americans arrested for anything having their brains picked?

There’s always two paths to choose from. The road to enlightenment, and the road to destruction, when it comes to technological advances in our society. Now the story:

“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.

Researchers ran 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.” (Read the rest here)

Time to walk on down the road…

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