British scientists have developed a computer that can read human minds, a key breakthrough which they claim takes telepathy a step closer to reality.
According to Eleanor Maguire of University College London and colleagues, the computer is able to decipher thought patterns and tell what people are thinking simply by scanning the brain.
For the research, which focused on the hippocampus, an area at the centre of the brain that plays a crucial role in short term memory, the scientists carried out an experiment involving 10 volunteers.
The subjects were shown three seven-second films featuring different women carrying out an everyday task in a typical urban street such as posting a letter or drinking a cup of coffee from a paper cup.
The volunteers were asked to memorise what they saw and then recall each one in turn whilst inside a magnetic resonance imaging scanner which records the brain activity by measuring changes in blood flow within the brain.
The computer algorithm then studied the electrical patterns and could tell which film the volunteer was recalling with an accuracy of about 50% — which was well above chance