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Japanese Dream Recording Machine

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Uploaded on Apr 3, 2009

Japanese scientists have created the first step toward a device that, by scanning people's brains, could record people's dreams and read their mind.

A science lab in Kyoto, Japan has developed a system of using MRI scanners to resolve images directly from subject's brains.

The current experiments show a subject an image and then reconstruct that image based on scans of the brain's visual cortex.

The team calibrated a computer program by scanning volunteers staring at hundreds of different still images in black, white and grey.

Then, the computer program reproduces the figures and letters that the volunteers had seen, albeit more blurry than the originals.

The next step for researchers will be to study how to visualize images inside people's minds that have not been presented before - a technology that could make it possible to record people's dreams.

[Yoshiyuki Onuki, Tester]:
"Although it's somewhat science fiction-like, for example, if you're 50-years-old and see a really good dream the day before, you could scan that and show it to your kids."

Researchers say the brain-reading technology would also open the way for people to communicate directly from their mind or control electronic devices without using their bodies - making keyboards and buttons a thing of the past.

[Dr. Yukiyasu Kamitani, ATR Institute]:
"Although there are many forms of communication, whether it be the Internet or whatnot, all of them are limited by the body. However, this means that we have a method of communications that can interface directly with the brain."

While the new technology opens the doors to many new possibilities, scientists warn that it could bring about new issues concerning ethics and privacy, meaning that for those wanting to "plug themselves in," they might have to wait a bit longer.

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