RE: [xmca] technology for "seeing thought"-- not a joke

From: David H Kirshner <dkirsh who-is-at>
Date: Mon Dec 15 2008 - 17:19:37 PST

It's disturbing that dream images which we think of as subjective and
personal, can be translated into an objective visual code. From a
Freudian perspective, I wonder what this does to the mechanisms for
mental coping. It seems there are two ways to look at this. Freud saw
our dream images as symbolically encoding meanings--so accessing the
images doesn't necessarily bring us into contact with our underlying
meaning. On the other hand, there must be substantial emotion connected
with the images themselves--otherwise, why would our subconscious censor
out even the memory of the images (i.e., when we forget our dreams)?
Guess, we'll find out soon.

-----Original Message-----
From: []
On Behalf Of Paul Dillon
Sent: Monday, December 15, 2008 2:20 PM
To: xmc a xmx
Subject: [xmca] technology for "seeing thought"-- not a joke

In relation to the persistent issue about what's going on in the brain,
the following news announcement should generate at least a spark of
interest or two. In relation to the potential for new dimensions of
social control it might even merit a campfire.

Scientists develop way to display thoughts
A Japanese research team says it has created a technology that could
eventually display on a computer screen what people have on their minds,
such as dreams.

Researchers at the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories succeeded
in processing and displaying images directly from the human brain, they
said in a study unveiled ahead of publication in the US magazine Neuron.
While the team for now has managed to reproduce only simple images from
the brain, they said the technology could eventually be used to figure
out dreams and other secrets inside people's minds.

When people look at an object, the eye's retina recognises an image that
is converted into electrical signals which go into the brain's visual
cortex. The team succeeded in catching the signals and then
reconstructing what people see. In their experiment, the researchers
showed people the six letters in the word 'neuron' and then succeeded in
reconstructing the letters on a computer screen by measuring their brain
activity. The team first figured out people's individual brain patterns
by showing them some 400 different still images.
Sydney Morning Herald / AFP
December 11, 2008

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