Scientists have developed a computerised mind-reading technique which lets them accurately predict the images that people are looking at by using scanners to study brain activity.
The breakthrough by American scientists took MRI scanning equipment normally used in hospital diagnosis to observe patterns of brain activity when a subject examined a range of black and white photographs. Then a computer was able to correctly predict in nine out of 10 cases which image people were focused on. Guesswork would have been accurate only eight times in every 1,000 attempts.
The study raises the possibility in the future of the technology being harnessed to visualise scenes from a person's dreams or memory.