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While it sounds like something from Science Fiction, new MRI technology has been created that can read minds.

Milenium Magnetic Technologies (MMT) has created Cognitive Engram technology which can record brain patterns, and make inferences about the thoughts and emotions of the participant. The idea emerged from lead researcher, Donald Marks, discovering different brain activity patterns when participants were shown different faces. Psychology applicants should investigate to what extent emotions can be investigated in objective, scientific conditions.

Subsequent research found that through MRIs, thoughts could be reconstructed from the patterns without the need of the face stimulus – all external stimuli changed the activity patterns of the brain and thus allowed interpretations as to the mood of the participant to be made.

While the technology to record thoughts is advancing rapidly, the ability to play back these memories is very limited. Marks likens it to having low resolution or “fuzzy” images playing back through a video connection. While the visual reconstruction is not clear, the ability to store memories in a raw data form holds great potential for Medicine students interested in memory-deteriorating diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.

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