I thought this was a joke when I first read it, but scientists from Japanâ€™s ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories have developed software that can map brain activity to an image. Subjects were shown letters from the word neuron and images were reconstructed and displayed on a computer screen.
A spokesman at ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories said: “It was the first time in the world that it was possible to visualise what people see directly from the brain activity.
“By applying this technology, it may become possible to record and replay subjective images that people perceive like dreams.” The scientists, lead by chief researcher Yukiyaso Kamitani, focused on the image recognition procedures in the retina of the human eye.
It is while looking at an object that the eye’s retina is able to recognise an image, which is subsequently converted into electrical signals sent into the brain’s visual cortex.
The research investigated how electrical signals are captured and reconstructed into images, according to the study, which will be published in the US journal Neuron.
I’m not sure how much brain activity from the retina has to do with activity during dreams, but it’s interesting nevertheless (although I am sure – like all interesting science – it is slightly hyped by the media).