Canadian scientists read minds with infrared scan

Posted in Uncategorized on February 10, 2009 by xtravaluemeal

Researchers at Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation hospital have developed a technique that uses infrared light brain imaging to decode preference – with the goal of ultimately opening the world of choice to children who can’t speak or move.

In a study published this month in The Journal of Neural Engineering, Bloorview scientists demonstrate the ability to decode a person’s preference for one of two drinks with 80 per cent accuracy by measuring the intensity of near-infrared light absorbed in brain tissue. http://www.iop.org/EJ/abstract/1741-2552/6/1/016003

“This is the first system that decodes preference naturally from spontaneous thoughts,” says Sheena Luu, the University of Toronto PhD student in biomedical engineering who led the study under the supervision of Tom Chau, Canada Research Chair in pediatric rehab engineering.

Most brain-computer interfaces designed to read thoughts require training. For example, in order to indicate yes to a question, the person needs to do an unrelated mental task – such as singing a song in their head.

The nine adults in Luu’s study received no training. Prior to the study they rated eight drinks on a scale of one to five.

Wearing a headband fitted with fibre-optics that emit light into the pre-frontal cortex of the brain, they were shown two drinks on a computer monitor, one after the other, and asked to make a mental decision about which they liked more. “When your brain is active, the oxygen in your blood increases and depending on the concentration, it absorbs more or less light,” Luu says. “In some people, their brains are more active when they don’t like something, and in some people they’re more active when they do like something.”

After teaching the computer to recognize the unique pattern of brain activity associated with preference for each subject, the researchers accurately predicted which drink the participants liked best 80 per cent of the time.

“Preference is the basis for everyday decisions,” Luu says. When children with disabilities can’t speak or gesture to control their environment, they may develop a learned helplessness that impedes development.

In future, Luu envisions creating a portable, near-infrared sensor that rests on the forehead and relies on wireless technology, opening up the world of choice to children who can’t speak or move.

Her work is part of Tom Chau’s body-talk research, which aims to give children who are “locked in” by disability a way to express themselves through subtle body processes like breathing pattern, heart rate and brain activity.

Luu notes that the brain is too complex to ever allow decoding of a person’s random thoughts. “However, if we limit the context – limit the question and available answers, as we have with predicting preference – then mind-reading becomes possible.”

Source: The Amazing Eurekalert.org. Be sure to add their RSS feed to your daily habits.

All the art in this article is from the incredible Shawn Kuruneru by way of the equally incredible Fecal Face.

Cloaking Devices Nearing Everyday Reality

Posted in Uncategorized on February 4, 2009 by xtravaluemeal

Researchers at both Duke University and in Japan have created working cloaking devices. I told you so.

We don’t have hover shoes because we have these.

Posted in Uncategorized on February 2, 2009 by xtravaluemeal


, originally uploaded by Ben Pearce.

Did I mention we will live forever?

Posted in Uncategorized on January 30, 2009 by xtravaluemeal

An 'immortal' jellyfish is swarming through the world's oceans, according to scientists.

The Turritopsis Nutricula is able to revert back to a juvenile form once it mates after becoming sexually mature.

Marine biologists say the jellyfish numbers are rocketing because they need not die.

Read More

Seriously people, there are brilliant minds at work who have been researching aging and they are on the verge of some major breakthroughs to curb dying, it’s totally unnecessary as this jellyfish proves.

Read more about it here.

It’s not unnatural, lots of animals have amazing life cycles that seem unnatural to humans, tortoises live hundreds of years, this jellyfish becomes a teenager at will.  Death is the number one cause of death! See you in 3012!

Cyborg beetles commandeered for test flight, laser beams not (yet) included – Engadget

Posted in Uncategorized on January 30, 2009 by xtravaluemeal

Cyborg beetles commandeered for test flight, laser beams not (yet) included – Engadget.

Brain + Universe = Electricity

Posted in Uncategorized on January 28, 2009 by xtravaluemeal

The subject of the structure of the universe has been coming up a lot lately, and I though I would share three great inter-related posts.  The first from the Visual Complexity blog is a good primer. Here’s a blurb, then follow the link to get your juices going.

The image on the left shows a mouse’s neuronal network, with a prominent neuron and a set of branching axons.

The image on the right depicts the “evolution of the matter distribution in a cubic region of the Universe over 2 billion light-years”, in the most realistic simulation ever of the growth of cosmic structure and the formation of galaxies and quasars.

VC blog » Blog Archive » Brain + Universe.

The next step requires you to watch two documentaries on google video.  I’m sorry.  Do it.  Your brain will thank you.

Thunderbolts of the Gods

The Thunderbolts Project offers remarkably simple explanations for ‘black holes’, ‘dark matter’, the electric sun, comets that are NOT made of ice, planetary scarring and many other ‘mysterious’ phenomena. It proposes that much of the currently observable phenomena of deep space can be intelligently explained by already known principles of electricity.

Then check out Immanuel Velikovsky‘s The Bonds of the Past and realize how brilliant we are at losing information.

Religions die when they are proved to be true. Science is the record of dead religions.” – Oscar Wilde

That’s Me & My Sisters

Posted in Uncategorized on January 27, 2009 by xtravaluemeal

, originally uploaded by superbomba.

A lot of people have been saying to me “If you’re in the year 2012 then where’s all your future technology and your space suits?”

Well here you go.

Thanks Superbomba for the photo