Reconstruction of complete sentences with brain MRI is now possible thanks to a non-invasive interface
The Neurotechnology Current technology allows decoding of language and motor signals in people who have lost these skills, meaning that the brain cannot convert or process signals into words or actions. So far, the best way to do this is to implant brain electrodes through neurosurgery. One of the goals of current neurotechnology is to achieve non-invasive methods of decoding brain signals. Until now, non-invasive methods only decoded isolated words or short phrases.
Now, the neuroscience and computer science departments at the University of Texas at Austin, USA, have developed a new non-invasive technology capable of reconstructing long sentences using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). magazine Natural neuroscience.
Brain responses from seven volunteer subjects were used to conclude that natural language can be decoded from multiple cortical networks in each hemisphere. The decoding model was trained with images during 16 hours of exposure, so that it was able to associate activated regions according to each sentence. Then, the subjects created a free story, which explained the interface according to the learned model with the highest accuracy in decoding.
In the study, the subject’s cooperation is essential for the training of the model, which is capable of decoding thought. However, future developments may overcome this requirement.
Technological progress should be at the service of people. Decoding devices have already been used to restore communication skills in people with neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. However, as technology advances without a strong biological response, we risk compromising the holistic concept of the person. The person’s intimacy, privacy and dignity are at stake. Although the limitations of technology currently do not allow for mind “reading” without the subject’s cooperation, training must be carried out on each individual, this advance draws attention to the issue of mental privacy.
Adina Roskies, a philosopher of science at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, says that even if the decoder doesn’t work well, problems can arise if lawyers or courts use it without understanding its scientific limitations. For example, In the present study, ‘I jumped [del automóvil]Decoded as ‘I have to push her out of the car’. “The differences are relevant enough to make a major difference in a legal case”Roskis says. Jerry Tang and Alexander Huth, the paper’s lead authors, called for lawmakers to explain in advance at a press conference how mind-reading technologies can and cannot be legally used. (See more here).
Sonia Perez- Ruyperez Perez
Ana Mendes Santos
Fulton Rivera Andrea Ortiz Dream
Master’s students in Bioethics
Catholic University of Valencia