Posted in Blog Archive

Posted by abeodbart December 20, 2011 at 8:44 am


“While it may not help you learn how to Kung Fu fight or fly a B212 Helicopter, a neurofeedback method of learning is reminiscent of something we might have seen in the movie, The Matrix.

The technique would provide more immediate and long-lasting knowledge in tasks that demand a significant level of visual performance, like hitting a curve ball or learning to play the piano.

Researchers from Boston University (BU) and ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan recently demonstrated that they could induce brain activity patterns to match a targeted state by decoding a person’s functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan of their visual cortex.

In the future, researchers envision a person watching a computer screen and having their brain patterns manipulated to match those of a desired level of task performance, perhaps of an athlete or someone healing from an accident or disease.

Their findings were published in the most recent issue of Science.

“Adult early visual areas are sufficiently plastic to cause visual perceptual learning,” lead author and BU neuroscientist Takeo Watanabe said in a National Science Foundation press release.

However, there is one wrinkle in this Matrix-style approach to learning: the method worked on subjects even when they weren’t aware of what they were learning.

“We found that subjects were not aware of what was to be learned while behavioral data obtained before and after the neurofeedback training showed that subjects’ visual performance improved specifically for the target orientation,” Watanabe said.

Fascinating — sure — but this does open up the door to hypnosis and mind control, which Watanabe is keenly aware of.

“We have to be careful,” he said, “so that this method is not used in an unethical way.” Sounds like a good plot line for the next Matrix movie.”

Via Discovery News (Thanks Annette)

December 20, 2011 at 3:20 pm
roz says:

gee, having yer brain patterns manipulated sounds really appealing, eh?

December 21, 2011 at 12:56 pm
Shaun Banks says:

Should be useful for the military.

So Theoretically speaking our brain patterns could be manipulated so that we can do many things – I guess that would be based on the assumption that the individual could put the theory into practice??

Just think we could all have our brains manipulated to have the ability to paint like Van Gogh – Artistic interpretation is nothing more than a resultant property of a complex neural network which can be recorded and downloaded – Call me Roy Batty but that sounds like a load of crap.

Decoding a person’s functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan – “That bit of his brain lights up when he does this and that” – Is that really decoding our thought patterns. They are just playing brain pinball. They can make your brain light up like someone else’s.

January 24, 2012 at 4:35 pm
Jack says:

For the last years we had lot of techniques on memorising or learning developped. But it seems like no one was really there to try to benefit from those techniques. So instead of technique we developped a true Weapon that would not in fact be so helpful. Because when everybody knows, no one truely knows. It looks like everything we want to be good turns into a Bad thing.
see for example Einstein’s quotes..

So the question we’re asking now is a bigger one : Is SCIENCE really INHUMAN or not?

In my mind such technologies should not be developped at Any level. There’s already Hypnosis that rises a lot of questions. Everything looks pretty clear in my mind about it.
When you know for example that when people are FREE, they often somehow ‘instinctively’ destroy PEOPLE and THEMS, even when they

January 24, 2012 at 4:48 pm
Jack says:

*The end. It has to be long*

have good intentions.. They are a true THREAT for Themselves..
Anyways, I feel sorry but this is not like a nice problem to solve. This is a true HEAVY problem we cannot solve ourselves.

and something else to say

Another thing to KNOW is that we have to stay human beings. Not to become in anyway machines. Nowadays, it’s hard to say if people still feel TRUE feelings.. There should only be a few exceptions, like Derren Brown, and they should not appear so often on the screen.
Anyways, I have to talk to such people. THANKS for reading.


January 24, 2012 at 7:13 pm
wibble says:

I’ve heard of more basic neurofeedback using EEG before, though mainly for motor rehabilitation after brain injury.

I don’t know how detailed and accurate it could get, but I see the fMRI approach as similar to F1 drivers using their team mates telemetry in the simulator to overlay the other drivers lap & throttle/break/steering trace to help fine tune their style to get a better lap time…
…human telemetry; whatever next!

On a more flippant note; I don’t know about the Matrix, that post left me more in mind of this quote:

“I woke up. The pain and sickness all over me like an animal. Then I realized what it was. The music coming up from the floor was our old friend, Ludwig Van, and the dreaded Ninth Symphony”


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