Mind reading might soon be a reality


“Can you imagine a movie director waking up with an image of a new scene in her head, and just being able to dump her dream” into a computer. Those were the words of  Dr. Mary Lou Jepsen, the executive director of engineering for Oculus, who intends to leave her job in August so as to form Open Water, a new startup that is aimed at reading your mind. Not just that, Jepsen also feels this new technology will enable humans communicate with animals, “Dolphins are supposed to be really smart,” she told Xconomy. “Maybe we can collaborate with them.”

The announcement was made on May 5 at the Women of Vision Awards. During an interview with Xconomy, Dr. Jepsen explained what Open Water is all about and what it hopes to accomplish. Jepsen intends to MRIs more affordable and functional by increasing the resolution and making the devices wearable, also as said earlier, help humans communicate visually or via their thoughts using brain scans. But can this be possible? according to her, yes;

What I try to do is make things that everybody knows are utterly, completely impossible—I try to make them possible

Looking at the timeline of her career you agree it encompasses physics, computer science, media technology, art, electrical engineering, and many more, “That all comes together for me” she says.

Part of what motivated her to startup Open Water was her own health “I’m a brain tumor survivor,” she says. Jepsen had a brain tumor removed in 1995, and since then has taken pills “twice a day every day for the last 21 years to stay alive.”this led to an increased interest in neuroscience.

This could one help people who cannot speak or have trouble communicating or expressing their thoughts, or even assist patients who are paralyzed or have had a stroke.

Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system. Traditionally, neuroscience has been seen as a branch of biology. However, it is currently an interdisciplinary science that collaborates with other fields such as chemistry, cognitive science, computer science, engineering, linguistics, mathematics, medicine (including neurology), genetics, and allied disciplines including philosophy, physics, and psychology. It also exerts influence on other fields, such as neuroeducation, neuroethics, and neurolaw.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of organs and structures inside the body. MRI scanners use strong magnetic fields, radio waves, and field gradients to form images of the body. Since its early development in the 1970’s and 1980’s, MRI has proven to be a highly versatile imaging modality. While MRI is most prominently used in diagnostic medicine and biomedical research, it can also be used to form images of non-living objects. MRI is widely used in hospitals and clinics for medical diagnosis, staging of disease and follow-up without exposing the body to ionizing radiation.

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