The window between when he think about something and when it can be perceived by others remains a wide chasm. What if I told you scientists have learned to decode brain signals or, in other words, predict human thought in real time? This could have an astounding affect in how we perceive medicine.
Predicting human thought
Understanding the human brain and its means of perception is difficult. It can be even more difficult where patients with neurological disorders are concerned. Impulses from the patient’s brain are used to discover the origin of the disorder’s symptoms. Reading these messages as they occur is the key.
At the University of Washington, neuroscientists have discovered a way to better understand the human brain – human thought, to be exact. In a study, published in PLOS Computational Biology, scientists used electrodes to understand the mechanics of epilepsy. The brains of seven patients, suffering from this disease, were observed, using implants. The objective was to learn the source of the epileptic seizure, thus recording the very time a trigger caused a reaction. Scientists also conducted further studies of the brain, while the electrodes were at work.
Rajesh Rao, UW Computational Neuroscientist, said,
“Clinically, you could think of our result as a proof of concept toward building a communication mechanism for patients who are paralyzed or have had a stroke.”
During the additional studies, scientists were able to pinpoint the accuracy of what the brain sees when shown a series of pictures. The test subjects viewed images of houses and faces appearing for 400 milliseconds and were asked to recognize any upside-down buildings. The algorithm was able to detect with 96% accuracy what the subjects were seeing in real time! It took only 20 milliseconds for the computer to detect the correct image from the patient’s brain.
It might not seem like much to you but wait. Understanding what goes on within the brain, as well as understanding this when it actually happens, is monumental in solving problems and curing defects. Medical science is well on its way to improving the human condition so that we can live longer lives with high-quality content. This means more days filled with positive experiences. We can always hope, right?
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