Imagine If You Could Record Your Dreams

14 12 2008

A little while ago my brother asked me out of curiosity where I thought humanity was headed next – meaning, what is the next frontier we’ll explore?  Is space truly the final frontier?  Well, I told him, among other things, that I thought one such frontier could be the human brain/mind.  As a student of psychology I’m endlessly fascinated by the marvels of the human brain and I can see so much potential for further discovery in its study.  

So yesterday, as if to tell me I’m on the right track, I saw an article that described how some scientists have developed computer software that can recreate from scratch images that a person sees by examining the brain activity corresponding to those images.  I think that’s awesome.  Check out the article here.  It explains how this software could be used to create images of what people are thinking or even dreaming.

The positive implications of this research are exciting but, as with so many important scientific discoveries, there could be a serious dark side to this.  The article mentions that one possible use for this tech could be in marketing – what better way to see what the consumer is thinking than by seeing what the consumer is thinking?  But the ability to essentially read a person’s mind could amount to the most intimate invasion of one’s privacy, ever.  There would be many issues to consider with the further development of technology such as this.  But I still find it terribly exciting and I hope the research progresses.  

And I’m interested in knowing what you all, my faithful readers, think about this.  Ideas for implementing this technology?  Conspiracy theories?  Skeptics?

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3 responses

15 12 2008
Fred

I read that article. I think it is very exciting but it is quite scary to imagine if people could actually “see” what I was thinking. Very scary.

15 12 2008
kira

All I can say is Disney is way ahead of you there! (Meet the Robinsons … man I love that movie!)

16 12 2008
Dad

The dream idea is not new to Mickey and I. I don’t know if the link to lesterandmickey.blogspot.com will be “hot”, but I am going to post a full length blog about the play (Parallel Lives) that Mickey and I co-wrote eight months after we met. Our biggest frustration has been our thoughts of “what could have been”, had we only met when we were both 21. For his part, Mickey was in a 6 year and then a 13 year relationship where his partners were “less than committed”, and I put my authentic life on a shelf and watched for 25 years as “another man” (the projection of a heterosexual Mormon) lived his life in my body. Mickey wanted to be able to use the dream idea from “Total Recall” so that he could “give me his memories” of what it was like to be gay in the 1970’s before AIDS. That, more than anything, has been my frustration, and the deepest regret. To have Mickey’s memories from the period of time that we would have been dating (had we been able to meet) would go a long way to repairing that “emotional wound”. There really is no other way to compensate for that loss.

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