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Press Release 08-091

A Computer That Can 'Read' Your Mind

Research team's work with brain scans and computational modeling an important breakthrough in understanding the brain and developing new computational tools

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Images from computer-predicted and actual functional magnetic resonance imaging scans.

Predicted fMRI images for "celery" and "airplane" show significant similarities with the observed images for each word. Red indicates areas of high activity, blue indicates low activity.

Credit: Courtesy of Science


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Predicted and actual fMRI scans of the brain focusing on brain activity associated with words.

Carnegie Mellon researchers predicted the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) activation pattern for concrete nouns such as "celery" by statistically analyzing each noun's co-occurrence with 25 verbs such as "eat," "taste," and "fill" in a text database. The predicted brain activity is created by combining the fMRI signatures for each of these verbs weighted according to the frequency of their co-occurrences with the noun.

Credit: Courtesy of Science


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Photo of Tom Mitchell and Marcel Just of Carnegie University.

Tom Mitchell, head of the School of Computer Science's Machine Learning Department at Carnegie Mellon University and Marcel Just, a professor of psychology who directs the Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging at Carnegie Mellon University.

Credit: Carnegie Mellon University


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