Mind reading machines may sound like they belong firmly in the realms of science fiction, but they may be closer to reality than you think. Researchers have developed a technique that can produce a digital image of what a person is picturing in their mind, simply by reading the electrical activity of their brain.

As part of a new study, accepted for publication in the journal eNeuro, a team from the University of Toronto Scarborough (UT) used a noninvasive test known as an electroencephalogram—which is usually used in the diagnosis of brain tumors, epilepsy and other conditions—to record this electrical activity in participants who were presented with visual stimuli on a computer screen.

The researchers hooked up the volunteers—13 healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 27—to the EEG via electrodes placed on their heads. They then showed the participants the faces of 140 individuals, one-by-one, on the computer screen, while recording their brain activity.”

Hosts: Cenk Uygur, Ana Kasparian, Simone Boyce, Katie Halper

Cast: Cenk Uygur, Ana Kasparian, Simone Boyce, Katie Halper