Brain scan faster than scan

  • Thread starter fredreload
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Main Question or Discussion Point

So if I scan the brain precisely at the synapse level by observing the sodium firing, it is easy for me to obtain the result behind by a few milisecond, but what if I want to get the result ahead by a few milisecond, is it possible to predict a person's thought? And if the scan is my real brain it would be like back to the future type of setting?
 

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  • #2
Choppy
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I'm not sure I understand the question.

If you're interested in the "Back to the Future" movies the science fiction forum is over here.
 
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  • #3
jim mcnamara
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@fredreload
I think you have it backwards. Ideation (creating a thought) is one of the products of all the computing going on in the brain. Think of it this way: Your brain is a massively parallel processor. So, you have it backwards - "thoughts" are second: neural processing is first. If you insist on linearity, which is not a great idea anyway, especially in this case. In any case you are asking for time travel with a brain scan. No.

Otherwise @Choppy is correct - take your question to the speculation section - Science Fiction.
 
  • #4
Ygggdrasil
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There was a study from a number of years ago reporting that brain scans show that the brain "decides" to take an action before the individual is consciously aware that they've made the decision:
Haynes and his colleagues imaged the brains of 14 volunteers while they performed a decision-making task. The volunteers were asked to press one of two buttons when they felt the urge to. Each button was operated by a different hand. At the same time, a stream of letters were presented on a screen at half-second intervals, and the volunteers had to remember which letter was showing when they decided to press their button.

When the researchers analysed the data, the earliest signal the team could pick up started seven seconds before the volunteers reported having made their decision. Because of there is a delay of a few seconds in the imaging, this means that the brain activity could have begun as much as ten seconds before the conscious decision. The signal came from a region called the frontopolar cortex, at the front of the brain, immediately behind the forehead.
http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080411/full/news.2008.751.html

Here's the citation for the paper: Soon et al. 2008. Unconscious determinants of free decisions in the human brain. Nature Neuroscience 11:543. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nn.2112[/URL]

So, there is precedence for the idea that brain scans may be able to predict an individual's thoughts and decisions (at least before the individual is conscious of them). However, I don't actively follow this field, so I'm not sure whether the results have held up, as papers using fMRI imaging are [url=http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/controversial-science-of-brain-imaging/]sometimes problematic[/url] and can pick up many [url=http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/2009/09/16/fmri-gets-slap-in-the-face-with-a-dead-fish/]false positives[/url].
 
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  • #5
Pythagorean
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The first well known experiment was conducted by Libet (easy Google). These experiments have been used, largely, to investigate the existence of free will.
 
  • #6
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Well I'm thinking the very act of brain scanning creates a separate instance of yourself. I think mind needs a trigger for a specific event so it might be cause an action based(increase blood flow in certain area, generate thought).
It's an infinite loop? No idea
 
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