“Permit your dreams to see the daylight.” ― Bernard Kelvin Clive

Video Record your dreams! This is no Sci-fi. All of us at some point have day dreamt about a scenario where you simply dream or visualise and a movie gets created of what you are seeing in your head! It would be so cool and at least the dreamers would have a brand new career option of becoming movie makers.

It seems so enticing but farfetched as well. Not Really! Yes now it is possible! That’s what researchers at University of California, Berkeley are finding out.

The scientists there have created a system to capture visual activity in human heads and recreate it as digital video clips. It simply means that at some point in time you will be able to record and see your own dreams on a screen. That’s totally kick ass isn’t it?

A lot of people will raise an eyebrow and say this can’t be true! , but according to Professor Jack Gallant—UC Berkeley neuroscientist and coauthor of the research published in the journal Current Biology—”this is a major leap toward reconstructing internal imagery. We are opening a window into the movies in our minds.”

Honestly I was zapped. It’s way too exciting! I mean look at the implications, you can watch your dreams with your friends and family.

HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN?

I quote the research.“Our natural visual experience is like watching a movie,” said Shinji Nishimoto, lead author of the study and a post-doctoral researcher in Gallant’s lab. “In order for this technology to have wide applicability, we must understand how the brain processes these dynamic visual experiences.”

Mind-reading through brain imaging technology is a common sci-fi theme.Nishimoto and two other research team members served as subjects for the experiment, because the procedure requires volunteers to remain still inside the MRI scanner for hours at a time.

They watched two separate sets of Hollywood movie trailers, while fMRI was used to measure blood flow through the visual cortex, the part of the brain that processes visual information. On the computer, the brain was divided into small, three-dimensional cubes known as volumetric pixels, or “voxels.”

“We built a model for each voxel that describes how shape and motion information in the movie is mapped into brain activity,” Nishimoto said.

The brain activity recorded while subjects viewed the first set of clips was fed into a computer program that learned, second by second, to associate visual patterns in the movie with the corresponding brain activity.

Brain activity evoked by the second set of clips was used to test the movie reconstruction algorithm. This was done by feeding 18 million seconds of random YouTube videos into the computer program so that it could predict the brain activity that each film clip would most likely evoke in each subject.

Finally, the 100 clips that the computer program decided were most similar to the clip that the subject had probably seen were merged to produce a blurry yet continuous reconstruction of the original movie.

Reconstructing movies using brain scans has been challenging because the blood flow signals measured using fMRI change much more slowly than the neural signals that encode dynamic information in movies, researchers said. For this reason, most previous attempts to decode brain activity have focused on static images.

“We addressed this problem by developing a two-stage model that separately describes the underlying neural population and blood flow signals,” Nishimoto said.

(Information courtesy UCB)

Now this huge! Capturing your dreams on video to replay at will. Mind-blowing! But will this make us happier or un happier? What’s your take on it? I am waiting for your feedback.

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