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Brain Scans Read Minds?

Updated on December 9, 2011


Brain | Source

Recently I read an article in which a study was being done to attempt to use brain scans to understand what people are thinking about. Measuring the activity of the brain scientists were able to understand simple things. The first step was to show people objects and have then perform actions to measure the brain activity. Once they understood how the readings measured for each object they were about to get a separate group of people to think of objects and were able to know what the objects were according to the brain scan readings.

Another part of the experiment involved a group of lucid dreamers. While in a controlled dreamlike state the lucid dreamers were asked to squeeze their hands move their feet, etc. Each time they performed an action in their dream state the brain registered the movement just as it did when they were actually moving however during the dream state their bodies were not actually moving.

Yet another experiment had a database with thousands of brain scans connected to images in a computer system. Each time someone connected for a brain scan would think of an object the computer would attempt to match the scan to an image. The computer was very accurate.

As these experiments progress it seems an eventuality that scientists will one day be able to read complex thoughts with brain scans. With all of these experiments leading in a direction of reading minds one has to ask several questions. Even now a court can order a brain scan and people are required to comply.

If it becomes a common thing for scans to reveal your thoughts does that mean that the legal system has control and ownership of your thoughts? Also would to right not to incriminate oneself be null and void as officials could just easily scan you for anything they want including confessions. Would we one day be required to comply for mandatory brain scans simply to check that we are not engaged in anything illegal? Would we lose the privacy of even our inner most thoughts? Could we be persecuted for our beliefs by an oppressive regime as they could simply read our thoughts to know what we agree and do not agree with.

There is a great potential for human advancement and so many ways it could help us but there are also many instances I can think of for horrible abuse of such knowledge. My questions are many and I am sure there are many more I haven't thought of but it is certainly something to think about.

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    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      Dardia - that would be awesome to record dreams for sure, I suppose there are a lot of repercussions to this developing technology, we'll see what develops in the future.

    • Dardia profile image

      Darlene Yager 6 years ago from Michigan

      Very interesting hub. I have always wished that I could record my dreams because I have some quite bizarre ones. Of course I wouldn't want it used against me though.

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      smarter4ever - thanks for the vote up!

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      tirelesstraveler - true science is power in this day and age, it is a lot to take in I know. Thanks for commenting.

    • smarter4ever profile image

      smarter4ever 6 years ago from Wisconsin

      Very interesting hub. Voted up!

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 6 years ago from California

      Very interesting hub. Have to mull over it for awhile. Disturbing if you put too much power in the hands of scientist

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      Sueswan - true, if a court order can order a brain scan and the scan can read your thoughts they become no longer your own.

    • profile image

      Sueswan 6 years ago

      Very interesting and thought provoking.

      Mandatory brain scans? Scary if you ask me.

      Voted up and interesting

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      rasta1 - I haven't actually heard of haarp but I'll check it out!

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 6 years ago from Jamaica

      If people are are able to predict thoughts by just observing facial gestures and pupil dilation, imagine what they can do with brain imagery. Have you ever heard of haarp

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      Jeff I am a little perplexed by your response but certainly interesting.

    • profile image

      Jeff 6 years ago

      When laying there totally aware of my surroundings. My mind argued many things. Just then realising many of the thoughts were not my own. Leaving my body in a snap findg myself aboard a large plane full of instrument's and flight suited individuals pumping signals into my mind and the minds of the people below. A strange frequency came from me, jamming their signal. After some confusion, the man in-charge started towards a micro phone that was next to a stunned Blondie woman sitting at a panel of instruments. I told the man, their efforts were in vain. I best not catch them again. They were pumping confusion and violent suggestions into our minds.

      On a positive note, the experiments you wrote about in your hub. Showed that the brain reacts about 3 seconds before a event. This helped mainstream come out of the closet to admit consciousness is not local.

      On a negative note, the brain washing tactics of the elite may have gotten a mind control boost ie, MK-Ultra or Manchurian candidate type of mind control. As mentioned in my hub called Wake Up & Change it.

      Programmed To Kill

      Can't wait to read more, you appear to be awake and aware.


    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      It was actually a few different sources. Two articles were on CNN. It is probably easily searchable on the internet.

    • profile image

      ChuckG 6 years ago

      Where did you read the article?

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      Thanks for the vote up m76gmm

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      Derdriu - thanks for commenting.

    • m76gmm profile image

      m76gmm 6 years ago

      Nice one

      voted up


    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      Credence2 - I understand, as far as I'm concerned no one should really know your inner most thoughts but yourself. But I would be hard pressed to be against them using it on serial killers and high level criminals. But that said we'd have to ask ourselves where the line would be drawn.

    • profile image

      Derdriu 6 years ago

      Terrektwo: What an atypical, pioneering and revolutionary look at the advantages and disadvantages of brain scanning the minds of others! You do a great job of identifying why we would want to go ahead -- better communication, greater understanding -- and why we would proceed carefully -- lack of privacy, mind control.

      Thank you for sharing, etc.,


    • Credence2 profile image

      Credence2 6 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      I dunno, terrektwo, sounds kinda ominous and scary to me. That is the ultimate power and I cannot trust anyone with it.

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      adeleblanc - true true.

    • profile image

      adeleblanc 6 years ago

      INTERESTING! yes, it is much more interesting to read complex thoughts, but it'll arise some ethical questions too.

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      writer20 - Thanks for voting up if they get to the point where they can read complex thoughts that will be very very interesting :)

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 6 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Great useful hub, voted up and interesting.


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