An fMRI for your thoughts

So, this is how science fiction writers feel:

The output from our latest experiment had set my skin tingling; a 3D output video showing our concurrent thought patterns as we recalled details of a concert we’d both attended. The patterns seemed to dance with each other, mostly in rhythm but occasionally mis-stepping. Linking the machines would smooth out the irregularities, but more importantly, allow us to share and shape each other’s thoughts directly.

And then, in the world of real life research:

The results revealed that feeling strong unpleasant emotions synchronized brain’s emotion processing networks in the frontal and midline regions. Experiencing highly arousing events synchronized activity in the networks supporting vision, attention and sense of touch.

Of course, the idea that people experiencing a similar event have similar thought patterns isn’t new, but it is fascinating. Last year, I wrote a short story which toyed with the implications of such an idea, specifically, if the patterns of activity could be linked and then used to feed back on each other. Check it out if you have 10 minutes, I was quite proud of it.

I am tempted to try to develop the idea further, because it’s a fascinating concept: imagine if thought patterns could be shared. Depending on the mechanism of it happening, the uses of such technology could vary from novelty to profound…

Now, the research doesn’t suggest the patterns can be manipulated, and that’s my jump of artistic license. If you could share a thought with someone – a concept that is too difficult, or personal, to express with words, what would it be?

A creepy picture to help you think, from the Shadow Catchers exhibition at the V&A last year.

A creepy picture to help you think, from the Shadow Catchers exhibition at the V&A last year.

Categories: Thoughts | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “An fMRI for your thoughts

  1. I`d like to reach my subconcious.

  2. Chris

    The intensty and depth of the love one feels for one’s children.


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