October 15th, 2013
11:01 AM ET
Can brain scientists read your mind?
What are you thinking about? You wouldn’t always want the answer to that question available to others, but science may be heading in that direction.
For now, researchers are far from being able to tap into your thoughts. But a new study shows how, just by looking at brain activity, it may be possible to see whether or not you're thinking about numbers.
"The patient doesn’t need to talk to you. They can think about numbers and you can see that red mark (corresponding with activity in a particular brain region) go up," said Dr. Josef Parvizi, associate professor of neurology at the Stanford University Medical Center and senior author of the study. The study is published in the journal Nature Communications.
These patients had electrodes implanted in their brains to locate the source of their seizures. Surgeons perform this procedure to isolate or remove the area where seizures begin.
The researchers used these electrodes that had been implanted for locating seizures to investigate brain activity in relation to thinking about numbers, particularly in the parietal lobe. In previous studies, this brain area has been shown to be important to a person's ability to do numerical calculations.
In one part of the experiment, patients looked at a computer screen while lying down and responded to prompts regarding the accuracy of statements. They would press "one" if the sentence or mathematical equation were correct, "two" if incorrect.
Each time a patient would perform a calculation, a group of neurons in the parietal lobe - specifically a region called the intraparietal sulcus - was very active, Parvizi said.
In another part of this study, researchers used a computer to trace the activity of the same group of neurons in the patients in an unconstrained setting. They recorded conversations between patients and experimenters, and juxtaposed the brain activity data to show the correlations between spiking activity in the math-related brain region and quantitative statements that patients made.
When patients were seeing, thinking or talking without a script, it seemed that the natural activation in the parietal lobe tended to occur right before they said something quantitative, Parvizi said. It didn't happen every time, of course; more research would be needed to verify these findings.
Oxford University researcher Roi Cohen Kadosh called this “an innovative study that shows a nice relationship between neuronal activity during experimental setting and everyday situations.” But he pointed out that it is unclear whether the same results would be seen in healthy people, whose brains had not experienced seizures. Other studies have found multiple brain areas related to numerical understanding.
The bottom line: Just by looking at the data about brain activity, it may be possible to know when a person was thinking about numbers.
This is much simpler than trying to decode more specific thoughts from brain activity patterns. There's no way for scientists to know if you are daydreaming about hiking with your romantic partner, worrying about finishing a big project or making a grocery list.
"We are light years behind in doing such a thing. There is absolutely no way for us to kind of record what exactly the patient is thinking because that needs a lot of complicated decoding," Parvizi said.
Instead, this study presents a method of studying brain activity in order to get a general sense of what a person is experiencing through thoughts.
"Of course, it's just a matter of time (before) you're going to be able to decode brain activity in very complex conditions, such as thinking," Parvizi said.
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.
Very nice write-up. I definitely love this site. Keep it up!
Kết Quả Futsal Việt Nam Vs Lebanonvtv3 online hdTheo thể thức thi đấu, đội thắng ở cặp đấu này sẽ giành tấm vé đến Lithuania trong ngày hội bóng đá lớn nhất thế giới mang đến futsal. Tuyển futsal Việt Nam bước vào trận play-off lượt đi tranh vé dự play-off World Cup 2021 với sự tự tin. Tuy vậy, HLV Phạm Minh Giang bày tỏ, toàn đội không ngán Lebanon tuy nhiên sẽ tìm cách để khắc chế sức mạnh của đối thủ bởi trên băng ghế huấn luyện là nhà cầm quân Ramiro Lopez, người từng dẫn dắt futsal Tây Ban Nha.|Dựa vào lịch thi đấu, bạn hoàn toàn có thể sắp xếp việc làm
The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it does not disappoint me as much as this one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read through, however I really thought you would probably have something helpful to say. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something that you can fix if you weren't too busy looking for attention.
Has anybody shopped at JT Vapors? 😉
Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful article. Thank you for providing this information.
This blog was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Thanks!
I want to create my own website but I have no experience. A classmate recommended me to instead create a blog so that I can get experience. . What free blog site should I use?. Any tips?.
Your style is really unique compared to other folks I've read stuff from. I appreciate you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this web site.
This site was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something that helped me. Thanks!
I'm pretty pleased to find this site. I want to to thank you for your time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoyed every bit of it and I have you saved to fav to check out new information in your web site.
I love to write creative things such as poetry and short stories, but I don't know what I would be able to do with the creative writing degree. . . Besides an author or poet, what can I do with a creative writing degree?.
An interesting discussion is value comment. I believe that you need to write extra on this matter, it may not be a taboo subject but usually individuals are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers
I like reading a post that can make men and women think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!
I really like looking through a post that will make men and women think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!
Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It will always be helpful to read through content from other writers and practice a little something from their websites.
Hi, I do think this is a great site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to return yet again since I bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.
I love it when people get together and share ideas. Great site, continue the good work!
You should take part in a contest for one of the greatest websites on the net. I most certainly will highly recommend this blog!
Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful post. Thank you for providing this information.
premature babies wikipedia https://pharmaceptica.com/
Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful article. Thank you for supplying this information.
how much research goes into cbd annually
Hey very cool site!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your website and take the feeds also厈I am happy to find a lot of useful info here in the post, we need work out more strategies in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .
Great information. Lucky me I ran across your site by accident (stumbleupon). I've saved it for later!
Great articles. Thank you for the information how can i practice spanish?
An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a friend who had been conducting a little research on this. And he actually bought me lunch due to the fact that I found it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to discuss this topic here on your site.
I could not resist commenting. Very well written!
Everything is very open with a clear description of the challenges. It was definitely informative. Your website is extremely helpful. Thank you for sharing!
I need to to thank you for this very good read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have got you book marked to look at new things you postÖ
Intrinsic Muscles Of The Handhttps://www.posts123.com/user/773933/alleypeak7All products intended for use with legal smoking/vaping mixtures only .
You're so interesting! I do not think I have read through something like this before. So great to discover somebody with a few unique thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that's needed on the web, someone with a bit of originality!
You ought to take part in a contest for one of the highest quality blogs on the web. I will highly recommend this blog!
I'm more than happy to discover this site. I need to to thank you for your time due to this fantastic read!! I definitely loved every part of it and I have you book-marked to look at new stuff in your web site.
I savor, result in I found just what I used to be taking a look for. You have ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye
Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon everyday. It will always be useful to read content from other authors and use a little something from their web sites.
Tỷ Lệ Bóng ĐáTỷ Lệ Kèo Bóng Đá, Tỷ Lệ Cá Cược, Tỷ Lệ Kèo Nhà Cái casino jackpotHai trận đấu của lượt cuối mỗi bảng bắt buộc phải thi đấu cùng giờ. Kết thúc vòng bảng, đội nhất, nhì các bảng và four đội xếp thứ ba có thành tích tốt nhất sẽ giành quyền vào vòng sixteen đội.
Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful article. Thank you for supplying this information.