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 May 11, 2005
MRI May Help Detect Subconscious Thoughts
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Scientists may be able to tell what a person is subconsciously thinking by measuring the brain's blood and neurological patterns with an MRI, two new studies published in the journal Nature Neuroscience suggest.

In one experiment, researchers at University College London measured brain activity in the visual cortex, which analyzes information sent by the eyes. By viewing the brain activity of study volunteers, the scientists were able to predict subliminal images flashed on a computer screen better than the volunteers who viewed the images themselves, BBC News Online reported.

A separate study by Japanese researchers found that when people were shown stripes tilted in different directions, there were subtle differences in the pattern of brain activity reflected by the MRI.

The scientists created a computer program to analyze these different brain patterns and found it could predict the direction of the stripes that had been shown to volunteers with "remarkable accuracy," the BBC report said.


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