Military wants to study mind-reading

Instead of mentally projecting your mentalism thoughts, type them here.

Postby jerry lazar » 08/16/08 02:18 PM

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/08/15/mind.r ... index.html

Military wants to study mind-reading

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Here's a mind-bending idea: The U.S. military is paying scientists to study ways to read people's thoughts.

The hope is that the research could someday lead to a gadget capable of translating the thoughts of soldiers who suffered brain injuries in combat or even stroke patients in hospitals. But the research also raises concerns that such mind-reading technology could be used to interrogate the enemy.

Armed with a $4 million grant from the Army, scientists are studying brain signals to try to decipher what a person is thinking and to whom the person wants to direct the message.
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Postby Spellbinder » 08/17/08 10:34 AM

Oooh! Oooh! Me! Me! For 4 million dollars I will put a collandar connected to a lot of wires on my head and read the enemy's mind. He can even shuffle the ESP deck and cut the cards!
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Postby Bill Palmer » 08/17/08 11:43 PM

From the aforementioned article:
John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, a Virginia-based defense research firm, said the technology is still too nascent to be of practical use for the military.

"They're still in the proof of principle stage," Pike said.

A message left with the Army was not immediately returned Friday


I wonder whether this organization is based closer to Langley (CIA) or Virginia Beach (Edgar Cayce Foundation).

Maybe the Army tried to return the message, but nobody at CNN.com was thinking. ;)
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 08/18/08 11:37 AM

Be interesting to perform a Rorshach or TAT while the subject is in a fMRI device. Enough data from that sort of procedure and one might well expect some patterns to emerge.
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Postby Riley G Matthews » 08/27/08 08:46 PM

We did that in Stargate...
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 08/27/08 10:34 PM

Oh puleeeeze - Stargate? What is that about? Do folks here know what the TAT is (thematic apperception test) and why one would want to go looking for those patterns - and if present (they should be) what that would mean?

Been awaiting findings on this stuff for over twenty years - another few decades is not a biggie.

Though I do suggest a quick re-read of 1984's book within a book or a trip to the wiki ...
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Postby 000 » 08/28/08 05:55 AM

' Translating thoughts' through gadgets is about as likely an event as the attendees at the annual seance making contact with Houdini.
Now where is Uri Geller when you need him?
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Postby Dick Christian » 08/28/08 07:45 AM

You should know better Riley. The "Stargate" (just one of the names given to the program) project did not involve mindreading, it involved remote viewing. It was run first by the Army at Fort Meade in Maryland and was either transferred (or proposed to be transferred) to the CIA. It was either terminated (or rejected) by the CIA after a controversial review known as the AIR (which, as I recall, is an acronym for Army Intelligence Review) Report which discredited the Army's claims of success. Supporters of the program have asserted that the AIR committee was staffed with pseudo-skeptics who were predisposed to reject the premise of remote viewing.

A number of books have been published about the Army's remote viewing project, including The Ultimate Time Machine and Mind Trek, both by Joseph McMoneagle, Psychic Warrior by David Morehouse, Tracks In The Wilderness by Dale E. Graff, Remote Viewing by Jim Schnabel, and Remote Perceptions by Angela Thompson Smith all of which should still be in print. McMoneagle and Morehouse were both among the "remote viewers" who participated in the project and Dale Graff was one of the directors or the project.

I believe that an abstract of the AIR report may be available online.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 08/28/08 09:16 AM

Same guys who can't find Osama Bin Laden? Nuff said.

If folks are up to reading (which can be more educational than writing) there's a story by Greg Egan called TAP which directly addresses a basic issue regarding what it means to know/experience a thing - and just one of its public aspects as a social issue.

Now back to science - and there are some early studies about brain activity during some cognitive activity which look promissing.

Anyone here have access to an fMRI setup?
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Postby Dick Christian » 08/28/08 12:34 PM

Jonathan Townsend wrote:Same guys who can't find Osama Bin Laden? Nuff said.


Yep, except those guys (the remote viewers) are no longer looking 'cause the program was terminated years ago. :)

In any event my comment was in reference to Riley G's post mentioning the Stargate program -- something entirely unrelated to the current scientific work you are talking about which deals with the ability to use MRI brain scanning technology as a means of studying the cognitive process in order to learn how it works and how/if that knowledge so acquired can be put to use. The potential for applications of interest and possible exploitation for military and/or intelligence gathering purposes is significant.
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Postby Dick Christian » 08/28/08 12:41 PM

I wonder whether this organization is based closer to Langley (CIA) or Virginia Beach (Edgar Cayce Foundation).


For what it's worth, Global Security is located in Alexandria, VA just a few miles from DC, the Pentagon and CIA HQ at Langley.
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Postby Tom Frame » 08/28/08 07:29 PM

Jonathan Townsend wrote:Be interesting to perform a Rorshach or TAT while the subject is in a fMRI device. Enough data from that sort of procedure and one might well expect some patterns to emerge.


In my "real" job, I'm a licensed psychotherapist, so I'll chime in. A PET (Positron Emission Tomography)scan could prove to be more revealing, as it displays which specific areas of the brain are being activated. You would have to modify the TAT and Rorschach cards to be broadcast in the subject's line of sight while they are in the scanner. And you would have to decide if you want the subject to verbally respond to the cards or not, as the mere act of verbalization would alter the activations.

Still, there is a world of difference between drawing correlations between a stimulus and the brain's response, and the lofty goal of literally reading minds, i.e, discerning specific words, thoughts, images or feelings.

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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 08/28/08 07:35 PM

I was unaware PET technology could get a good map of brain activity (radioactive oxygen decays?) in time slices to see a fleeting process. Also, was under the impression fMRI equipment was less frightful to the person being "watched".

Agreed that reliable correlations of activity are not the same as reading the thought process itself.

Jon (only did undergraduate degree in psych)
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Postby Tom Frame » 08/28/08 08:40 PM

PET scans are truly amazing, not only for their real time displays of brain activation, but for the sci-fi methodology. Positrons are positively charged electrons. They are anti-matter particles! Anti-matter!! Isn't that great?
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Postby Riley G Matthews » 08/31/08 10:48 AM

Dick Christian wrote:You should know better Riley. The "Stargate" (just one of the names given to the program) project did not involve mindreading, it involved remote viewing.


So true my friend. The project names changed (Stargate, Grill Flame, etc) involved TRV...
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