Brain scanning is advanced enough these days that scientists can understand activity in the brain and relate it to specific thought processes. However, until now the ability to “decode” and “read” people’s thoughts was only possible through physical contact. That is now changing through a new at-distance method known as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

In the past, scientists would need to conduct invasive tests by implanting electrodes into the brain of a person. A report from The Scientist points to a study posted to the bioRxiv database that shows a new noninvasive scanning method.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) instead charts how oxygenated blood flows through the blood. When brain cells are active, they consume more energy and oxygen, which provides information that allows observers to see and measure brain activity.

This method does not track brain activity in real-time like a traditional MRI. However, during the study scientists were still able to decode what people were thinking (albeit without completely accurate translations).

“If you had asked any cognitive neuroscientist in the world 20 years ago if this was doable, they would have laughed you out of the room,” senior author Alexander Huth, a neuroscientist at the University of Texas at Austin, told The Scientist.


It is worth noting the study has yet to be peer-reviewed, so it will be interesting to see if its stacks up to scrutiny. Even so, the signs are encouraging.

And not encouraging in a world domination through mind control kind of way. Instead, the team says the research could eventually lead to new computer interfaces to help people who cannot type or speak.

Tip of the day: When Windows 10 or Windows 11 has issues, it’s not rare to run into startup problems. Corrupted Windows files, incorrect system configuration, driver failure, or registry tweaks can all cause this issue.

Using Windows startup repair can fix boot issues caused by the most prevalent issues. Though it may seem that all is lost when you run into startup problems, it’s important to try a Windows boot repair so you can at least narrow down the source of the issue. If it doesn’t work, you may have to reinstall the OS or test your hardware.