Jacking into brains and extracting video

(via), an intriguing study from an article released in Journal of Neuroscience, 1999:

Dr. Stanley is Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University. He is the ultimate voyeur. He jacks into brains and extracts video.

Using cats selected for their sharp vision, in 1999 Garret Stanley and his team recorded signals from a total of 177 cells in the lateral geniculate nucleus - a part of the brain's thalamus [the thalamus integrates all of the brains sensory input and forms the base of the seven-layered thalamocortical loop with the six layered neocortex] - as they played 16 second digitized (64 by 64 pixels) movies of indoor and outdoor scenes. Using simple mathematical filters, the Stanley and his buddies decoded the signals to generate movies of what the cats actually saw. Though the reconstructed movies lacked color and resolution and could not be recorded in real-time [the experimenters could only record from 10 neurons at a time and thus had to make several different recording runs, showing the same video] they turned out to be amazingly faithful to the original.

The picture shows an example of a comparison between the actual and the reconstructed images: Why do I blog this? this is definitely amazing, and very promising in terms of human-machine interactions. Besides, if you're intro brain/mind/cognition stuff, this blog is great. Connected pasta I already blogged about using brain-wave as game-controllers.