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The mind's eye revealed

New technology uses brain scans to see what a person is watching

5:11pm, September 28, 2011

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Researchers have just wrapped production on a special movie of the mind that stars a brain scanner, a sophisticated computer program and millions of YouTube videos. By monitoring people’s brains as they watched movies and then re-creating what they saw, the new release has tiptoed closer to technology that can read minds by decoding mental activities, researchers report in an upcoming Current Biology paper.

“It’s very dramatic. It really is like Minority Report,” says neuroscientist James Haxby of Dartmouth College, referring to the 2002 Tom Cruise vehicle in which decoded visions from psychic brains help identify criminals before any crime is committed.

In the study, researchers led by Jack Gallant of the University of California, Berkeley used a type of brain scan called fMRI to record brain activity in three people (who were all coauthors on the paper) as they watched hours of

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