X-Men Origins: Magneto

MIT, which stands for Mad scientists In Training, has released new research on the recently identified part of the brain that may control morality.

As they are wont, the scientists attempted and believe they were able to magnetically disengage this region in test subjects. In various experiments, the zapped subjects would appraise morally ambiguous scenarios based on the results rather than moral concerns.

For instance: when asked if it was acceptable for a man to let his girlfriend cross the Temple of Doom bridge, zapped subjects answered that it depended on whether she crossed safely or not.

When we asked MIT students if it was safe to bombard portions of the human brain with magnetic waves, they shrugged. “Well, we did get interesting results.”



Ummm … errr … anyways. Straight to the story: Japanese scientists have figured out how to reconstruct images inside a person’s mind. The process that they used is actually fairly straightforward: They observed the visual cortex, and as they showed images to the person, they observed the change in brain activity in the cortex with an fMRI machine. Then, they compiled the data from 400 different images and the brain processes, and associated those changes with the images they were shown.

Then again, they showed them totally new cards, spelling out “neuron.” And, sure enough, they were able to generate those images from the brain. Wooooooo-OOOOOOOOOOOO-ooooooo.

They’re still working with a fairly simple size–10 pixels by 10 pixels, and only a base of 400 images. Eventually, they’ll have to up the pixel size and image pool in order to get a more complete idea of what people are actually thinking about. Possibilities include using it to look into the minds of artists and designers, as well as treating people with hallucinations and disorders.

Fairly standard stuff if you’re comfortable with people poking around in your brain, right? Yeah, that’s what I thought. This gets into a lot of possible bad concepts, such as the simple theory of thoughtcrime itself. I mean, finding out what image best represents your mind might be pretty cool, but do we really want to find out what image represents the mind of an average man from a country known for salacious vending machines? Ewww.