Science fiction movies have long been obsessed with the as yet unattained ability to project the thoughts of humans (dreams, intentions, etc.) onto a video screen. Now a group of Japanese researchers at the ATR Computational Neuroscience Lab in Kyoto have brought us a lot closer to making that technology real.
Using a magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner to detail brain activity patterns in the visual cortexes of volunteers, the scientists were able to reconstruct images from the brain patterns of the subjects. In an official statement, the research group said, "[This] was the first time in the world that it was possible to visualize what people see directly from the brain activity." According to the group, in the not too distant future this technology could be used to illustrate mental images and even dreams.