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UC Berkeley Recreates Thought As Digital Video

It’s official, scientists have officially cracked into your mind.
September 26, 2011, 2:30pm

Watch that.

Watch it again.

In what is perhaps the most significant breakthrough in cognitive neuroscience since the MRI itself, scientists at UC Berkeley have figured out a way to reconstruct brainwaves into digital video. Stop.

Read that again.

In a landmark study published Thursday, for the first time in human history, actual visual experiences have been reconstructed as movies. Satoshi Kon just had a coronary.

The study involved three subjects spending extended periods of time inside MRI machines watching movie trailers. The resulting brainwaves were then referenced against a special computer software that uses a bank of 18 million seconds of random YouTube clips as its palette. Most simply put, brainwaves are broken down into voxels (3D pixels), and the voxels are then matched up with clips that cause similar brain activity. The resulting videos are low-quality, but with a hauntingly uncanny similarity to the images they were reconstructed from. Thoughts, essentially, as movies. And that just happened.

Below is a 30-second video showing the initial image and resulting reconstructions, alongside the similar brain-wave inducing clips used in the study. While there’s no word yet on when the software used will be open-sourced (jokes!), here’s to the last few days of your thoughts being trapped inside your own head. This is, officially, the future.

Place your comments about the tremendous implications this has about collective unconscious theory below. Seriously. This actually just happened.

(via Gizmodo)