Shadows of the Past by Clare Wilson

Mind reading with electrodes in the brain – it is happening.


Quian Quiroga has been implanting electrodes into the brains of human beings, and monitoring the activity in their hippocampi while they perform memory tasks. They literally watched human memories being formed in real time.

Hugo Spiers at UCL has been monitoring the activity of cells in rats’ hippocampi as they learn to run through mazes. Different cells fire as the rats reach different parts of the maze. By looking at the activity in the rats’ brains, Spiers can tell where they are in the maze. He is reading the rats’ minds with a brain scanner. This can also be done while they are asleep. Is he reading their dreams?

New Scientist No. 3049, 28th November 2015, p. 34-39.


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I teach psychology at Graveney School in Tooting, London.