Scientists have developed a technology that enabled them to harness brain waves and reconstruct images of what people perceive.
The study by University of Toronto scientists uses electroencephalography (EEG) to gather brain activity and subsequently reconstruct images seen by test subjects. Researchers asked study participants were fitted with EEG equipment and were shown images of faces. The EEG picked up on the brain activity and using that data scientists digitally recreated the image in subject’s mind.
This is not the first time scientists have been able to reconstruct images based on visual stimuli using neuroimaging techniques, but this is the first time EEG has been used for the purpose. Other techniques like the fMRI offer a much detailed view of the activities being performed by the brain, but EEG is portable, common and inexpensive and hence it has a much more practical potential.
Scientists say that their latest study provides validation that EEG has potential for this type of image reconstruction. EEG’s capability to do so has long been doubted by many scientists and researchers.
Using EEG data for image reconstruction has great theoretical and practical potential from a neurotechnological standpoint, especially since it’s relatively inexpensive and portable.
The team now intends to test how image reconstruction based on EEG data could be done using memory and applied to a wider range of objects beyond faces. But it could eventually have wide-ranging clinical applications as well. The technology could have immense potential including forensic uses wherein law enforcement agencies can gather eyewitness information on potential suspects rather than relying on verbal descriptions provided to a sketch artist.
The study is published in the journal eNeuro. Check out the video below: