Friday, 23 August 2013 13:10

Medical imaging: software allows reconstruction of read characters Featured

Dutch researchers have succeeded in determining which handwritten characters their subjects have just looked, based solely on brain activity.

Study director Professor Marcel van Gerven and his team from the Computational Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at Radboud University in Nijmegen wanted to read from brain activity which characters were read by a subject. To do so, the scientists used high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). This imaging method shows which brain regions are particularly strongly supplied with oxygen-rich blood, and are therefore particularly active at that moment.

The subjects' brains were scanned whilst a screen in front of them showed a series of handwritten characters. Assistant Professor Marcel van Gerven and his team had previously modified the evaluating software so as to recognise the appearance of characters.

If it received voxel information from the visual cortex of the subjects, the software was able to compare the resulting fMRI images with those characters and reconstruct the characters that had been seen.

The researchers published their results in the journal "NeuroImage".


Original paper:
Sanne Schoenmakers, Markus Barth, Tom Heskes & Marcel van Gerven (2013): Linear Perceived reconstruction of images from human brain activity. NeuroImage.