Source Pravda.Ru

Scientists claim first in using brain scans to predict intentions

At a laboratory in Germany, volunteers slide into a donut-shaped MRI machine and perform simple tasks, such as deciding whether to add or subtract two numbers, or choosing which of two buttons to press.

They have no inkling that scientists in the next room are trying to read their minds using a brain scan to figure out their intention before it is turned into action.

In the past, scientists had been able to detect decisions about making physical movements before those movements appeared. But researchers at Berlin's Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience claim they have now, for the first time, identified people's decisions about how they would later do a high-level mental activity in this case, adding versus subtracting.

While still in its initial stages, the techniques may eventually have wide-ranging implications for everything from criminal interrogations to airline security checks. And that alarms some ethicists who fear the technology could one day be abused by authorities, marketers, or employers.

Tanja Steinbach, a 21-year-old student in Leipzig who participated in the experiment, found it a bit spooky but wasn't overly concerned about the civil liberties implications.

"It's really weird," she said. "But since I know they're only able to do this if they have certain machines, I'm not worried that everybody else on the street can read my mind."

Researchers have long used MRI machines to identify different types of brain activity, and scientists in the United States have recently developed brain scans designed for lie detection.

But outside experts say the work led by Dr. John-Dylan Haynes at the Bernstein Center is groundbreaking.

"The fact that we can determine what intention a person is holding in their mind pushes the level of our understanding of subjective thought to a whole new level," said Dr. Paul Wolpe, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, who was not connected to the study.

The research, which began in July 2005, has been of limited scope: only 21 people have been tested so far. And the 71 percent accuracy rate is only about 20 percent more successful than random selection, reports AP.

Still, the research conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, about 150 kilometers (90 miles) southwest of Berlin, has been generating strong interest in the scientific community.

"Haynes' experiment strikes at the heart of how good we will get at predicting behaviors," said Dr. Todd Braver, an associate professor in the department of psychology at Washington University, who was not connected with the research.

"The barriers that we assumed existed in reading our minds keep getting breached."

He announced his intention to create a news service called "Pravda," which means "truth" in Russian. Well, we are Pravda. The Pravda.Ru website has been working professionally in Russia since 1999

Elon Musk wants Pravda, but we already have it

The co-author of this disaster is the Dutch government, which did not find either strength or desire to save the lives of its citizens who were flying on that plane. The Dutch authorities did not demand Ukraine to comply with international aviation regulations

Blame MH17 on Russia: International investigation turns into demonic circus

On the second day of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, a plenary meeting was held, in which Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan and IMF head Christine Lagarde took part

World leaders unite with Russia at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum
Comments
Elon Musk and a Truth called Pravda
Science Has Once Again Declared: ‘We Were Created’
World leaders unite with Russia at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum
What would you do if you were Kim Jong-un?
There's only one man who can help Russia and the West bury the hatchet
World leaders unite with Russia at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum
World leaders unite with Russia at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum
World leaders unite with Russia at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum
The Netherlands and Australia officially accuse Russia of downing MH17 over Donbass
The Netherlands and Australia officially accuse Russia of downing MH17 over Donbass
The Netherlands and Australia officially accuse Russia of downing MH17 over Donbass
How low will America go?
German expert explains why European Union and Russia develop ties speedily
How low will America go?
Elon Musk wants Pravda, but we already have it
Blame MH17 on Russia: International investigation turns into demonic circus
How low will America go?
How low will America go?
Skripals fall under heavy British pressure
Skripals fall under heavy British pressure
Skripals fall under heavy British pressure