Researcher claims to read thoughts from neuronal activity

Mind reading developments seem to pop up every so often, but this particular case is somewhat extraordinary. How so? Probably because a University of Leicester researcher has outright proclaimed that his team "can read human thoughts from neuronal activity." Reportedly, Dr. Rodrigo Quian Quiroga and colleagues were able to optimize a decoding algorithm and use it to "infer the stimulus from the neuronal firing," and during tests in which patients were presented with a vast database of images, the team was seemingly able to "predict what picture the subject was seeing far above chance." Beyond giving sci-fi drama creators a bit more to work with, the technology could also be used to transmit thoughts to bionic appendages in order for paralyzed individuals to better care for themselves. Still, there's quite a few ethical / clinical issues that would have to be worked out before this stuff ventured beyond the lab, but we definitely can't argue with the premise.

[Via Physorg, image courtesy of University of Leicester]