Mind Reading Machine Uses Brain Signals

Mind Reading Machine Uses Brain Signals

By: Bill Waters
Staff Writer
Published: Sep 9, 2021

Mind reading machine created by the University of Utah can detect words from brain signals.

Mind reading machine uses brain signals. Researchers have created a machine can understand a person's mind by reading brain signals. In fact, the reading machine can detect the words "yes," "no," "hot," "cold," "hungry," "thirsty," "hello," "goodbye," "more," "less."

Reading machines are something right out of a sci-fi movie, but this one is real. Scientists used two grids of 16 microelectrodes implanted beneath the skull but atop the brain, of an epileptic patient. He already had part of his skull removed for another operation.

Brain signals were converted into words. Using the experimental microelectrodes, the scientists recorded brain signals as the patient repeatedly read each of 10 words that might be useful to a paralyzed person: yes, no, hot, cold, hungry, thirsty, hello, goodbye, more and less. When the subject stated the words back to a computer, the brain signals matched the word 76 percent to 90 percent of the time.

According to the researchers, each spoken word produced varying brain signals. Consequently, the pattern of electrodes that most accurately identified each word varied from word to word. "We have been able to decode spoken words using only signals from the brain with a device that has promise for long-term use in paralyzed patients who cannot now speak," stated Professor Bradley Greger, a bioengineer at The University of Utah, in Salt Lake City.

During a more complex test of distinguishing brain signals for one word from signals for the other nine words, the researchers initially were only 28 percent accurate. However, this is better than the 10 percent random chance of accuracy. "It means it works, and we now need to refine it so that people with locked-in syndrome could really communicate," stated Greger. "We can make the grid bigger, have more electrodes and get a tremendous amount of data out of the brain, which probably means more words and better accuracy," he added.