November 10, 2014
Brian Pasley, one of the study’s authors, began studying the brain activity of epilepsy patients who had electrodes implanted in the brain while listening to a speech. Advancing their research further, the team discovered that certain groups of neurons in the temporal lobe reacted only to certain stimuli, such as specific frequencies. Their conclusions helped the team create an algorithm to decode the words heard based on brain activity.
The experiment was considered a breakthrough, but scientists were convinced the discovery could lead to more. They then decided to test another idea born from a hypothesis and according to which the process of receiving words when spoken to and thinking for oneself could provoke some of the same neural signatures in the brain, for which they assumed that the algorithm developed previously it would also work to read thoughts.
If you are reading the text in a newspaper or a book, a voice is heard in your head. We are trying to decode the brain activity related to that voice to create a medical prosthesis that helps someone who is paralyzed or withdrawn to speak, “explains Brian Pasley.
via They create a decoder that could “listen” to our thoughts | TICbeat.
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