Scientists want MRI to read minds

Jan 01, 2007

A magnetic resonance imaging machine at the University of Illinois at Chicago tracks neurons in a way that reveals how real-time thoughts form, a report says.

The Chicago Tribune said the machine is one of the world's most advanced MRI machines. Scientists said the machine's ability to reveal real-time thoughts by tracking the firing of individual neurons in the brain could lead to a major breakthrough in the diagnosis of strokes, autism, Alzheimer's and other disorders.

But Dr. Keith Thulborn, director of UIC's Center for MR Research, which houses the machine, said the main goal is to find out what people are thinking.

"We'd like to get to the stage of reading thoughts," he said.

Although there could be positive implications for such a measure, ethical questions are already arising, reported the Tribune.

Martha Farah, director of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, said she has worries over how people may use such technology.

"People may be thrown in jail for being suspected terrorists on the basis of a brain scan," she told the Tribune. "Some kid may be put in the wrong educational track on the basis of a brain scan."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Stem cells faulty in Duchenne muscular dystrophy

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fun cryptography app pleases students and teachers

7 hours ago

Up on Google Play this week is Cryptoy...something that you might want to check out if you or someone you know wishes entry into the world of cryptography via an educational and fun app. You learn more about ciphers and keys; you ...

Recommended for you

Stem cells faulty in Duchenne muscular dystrophy

7 hours ago

Like human patients, mice with a form of Duchenne muscular dystrophy undergo progressive muscle degeneration and accumulate connective tissue as they age. Now, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have ...

Here's how the prion protein protects us

12 hours ago

The cellular prion protein (PrPC) has the ability to protect the brain's neurons. Although scientists have known about this protective physiological function for some time, they were lacking detailed knowledge ...

Regulation of maternal miRNAs in early embryos revealed

13 hours ago

The Center for RNA Research at the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) has succeeded in revealing, for the first time, the mechanism of how miRNAs, which control gene expression, are regulated in the early embryonic stage.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.