A mind reading system? Really? Scientists have invented that for the first time in history, will allow any person to type words and phrases letter by letter just by thinking it. And it all occurs in real time without needing the person to move a single muscle or even speak a single word out.
This breakthrough of an invention is great. It will help anyone with motor disabilities, and it could potentially affect all of us. Imagine, no more keyboards.
The researchers—Bettina Sorger, Joel Reithler, Brigitte Dahmen, Rainer Goebel at Universiteit Maastricht's Faculty of Psychology & Neuroscience Department of Neurocognition say this is the first system that translates thoughts into letters in real time, allowing "back-and-forth communication within a single scanning session."
Sorger and her team were inspired by the work of Adrian Owen, and their new system requires very little effort to setup and can become immediately operational.
It works by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to analyze the hemodynamic responses in the brain. These responses are caused by mental images that get tied to each letter of the alphabet using computer analysis algorithms. After its hooked up, a patient can type letters, one after another using their brain. Each letter corresponds to one of the 27 "reliable and differentiable single-trial fMRI signals".
The researchers published their paper in the June 28th edition of the journal Current Biology. It's already been successfully tried in patients. All we need now is a video to show us how awesome this will work.