Brain scan can read your intentions

A team of international researchers has developed a way to look
inside people’s brains and read their intentions before they even act.

The method was 70 per cent accurate at decoding the intentions of
participants from patterns of their brain activity monitored through
functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), according to a study.

Participants were asked to covertly choose to either add or subtract
two numbers and then hold the intention in their minds before being
shown the two numbers.

By separating the task of choosing to subtract or add the numbers
from the actual act of performing the calculation, the researchers were
able to differentiate between the two kinds of brain activity.

A computer was then programmed to recognize characteristic patterns
of activity in the brain that occur in association with specific
thoughts — in this case, whether individuals were planning to add or
subtract a number. Once trained, the computer was able to predict the
decisions of the subjects with 70 per cent accuracy.

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