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A new computer program can decode people's thoughts almost in real time, new research shows. Researchers can predict what people are seeing based on the electrical signals coming from electrodes implanted in their brain, and this decoding happens within milliseconds of someone first seeing the image, the scientists found.
the electrodes were hooked up to a powerful computer program that analyzed brain signals 1,000 times a second, determining what brain signals looked like when someone was viewing a house versus a face. For the first two-thirds of the images, the computer program got a label, essentially telling it, "This is what brain signals look like when someone views a house." For the remaining one-third of the pictures, the computer was able to predict, with 96 percent accuracy, what the person actually saw, the researchers reported Jan. 21 in the journal PLOS Computational Biology. What's more, the computer accomplished this task within 20 milliseconds of the instant the person looked at the object
In recent years, scientists have made tremendous strides in decoding human thoughts. In a 2011 study, researchers translated brain waves into the movie clips people were watching at the time. In 2014, two scientists transmitted thoughts to each other using a brain-to-brain link. And other studies have shown that computers can "see" what people are dreaming about, using only their brain activity.
For instance, while I was typing this, I just had a thought cross my mind about a guy throwing a Frisbee to a dog and the dog jumping and catching it in his mouth. Why?