Via Yahoo – Brain Scans Can Read Memories
Humans create memories of locations in physical or virtual space as they move around – and it all shows up on brain scans.
Researchers tracked brain activity related to “spatial memory” as volunteers moved about inside a virtual reality setup. Their new study challenges previous scientific thinking by showing that memories are recorded in regular patterns.
“Surprisingly, just by looking at the brain data we could predict exactly where they were in the virtual reality environment,” said Eleanor Maguire, a neuroscientist at the University College London in the U.K. “In other words, we could ‘read’ their spatial memories.” ….
..Mind-reading research has grown increasingly sophisticated over the years. Another recent study predicted people’s preference for one of two drinks with 80 percent accuracy. And earlier findings showed that people’s brains reflect abnormal activity up to half a minute before making errors.
The latest findings on memory could lead to many more studies that examine how actual memories end up encoded across our brain cells, Maguire said. She and Hassabis want to look beyond spatial memories to see if brain scans can pick up patterns in our memories of the past, as well as visions of the future. Such work could also have clinical implications for understanding diseases that attack memory.
Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse may have faults, but at least it’s based on existing (or possible) science.