Monday, April 04, 2011

2-bit cerebroscope

There's a Monroe bit and a Brolin bit:
Whenever the patient focused her thoughts on Brolin, the associated neuron fired more strongly. Cerf arranged the feedback such that the more this cell fired relative to the other one, the more visible Brolin became and the more the image of Monroe faded, and vice versa. The image on the screen kept changing until only Brolin or only Monroe remained visible and the trial was over. The patient loved it, as she felt that she ­controlled the movie purely with her thoughts. When she focused on Monroe, the associated neurons increased their firing rate, the cells for the competing concept, Brolin, dampened their activity, whereas the vast majority of neurons remained unaffected.

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