Military Fund Mind-Reading Research

18 August 2008 (Last Updated August 18th, 2008 18:30)

The US military has awarded university researchers with a $4mn grant to study ways to read people's thoughts. The military is hoping that the research could perhaps lead to technology capable of reading brain signals and translating these signals into decipherable thoughts. <

The US military has awarded university researchers with a $4mn grant to study ways to read people's thoughts.

The military is hoping that the research could perhaps lead to technology capable of reading brain signals and translating these signals into decipherable thoughts.

Military applications for the technology are astounding, and include reading thoughts of soldiers who suffer brain injuries and interrogation.

The project is a collaboration between researchers from the Universities of California, Irvine, Carnegie Mellon and Maryland.

Scientists will begin experiments using electroencephalography (EEG), which uses electrodes placed on the scalp to measure the brains electrical activity.

Volunteers will wear an electrode cap and will be asked to think of a specific word. Scientists will then try to determine if thoughts associated with that word will manifest in any specific pattern of electrical activity.

Lead researcher and head of UC Irvine's cognitive sciences department, Michael D'Zmura said that the research is still far away from having any military applications.

"To have a person think in a free manner and then figure out what that is, we're years away from that. This will never be used without somebody’s real, active cooperation," said D'Zmura.

By Daniel Garrun.