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Reconstructing the movies in our mind


Narrator:       This is Science Today. Using state-of-the-art brain imaging and computer simulation, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, are able to reconstruct movie clips that people have already viewed. Neuroscientist Jack Gallant says the goal was to build a computational model that describes how the earliest stages of vision process information.

Gallant:         One way you can think about the problem of understanding the brain is that we want to build a dictionary that allows us to translate between things that happen in the world and brain activity measurements. Natural vision is a little like watching a movie, so essentially we're trying to build a model that describes how your brain responds to movies. And then given some brain activity, we want to be able to reconstruct the movie that you saw...and this worked!

Narrator:       This is a major step in reconstructing internal imagery, such as memories or dreams and it could one day lead to a better understanding of what goes on inside the minds of patients who can't communicate verbally.

Gallant:         So, this kind of technology could help these people by essentially allowing them to communicate with the outside world directly from brain activity.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.