Is it Possible to Read Minds with Ultrasound?

Read Minds with Ultrasound

What is happening in your brain as you are scrolling through this page? In other words, which areas of your brain are active, which neurons are talking to which others, and what signals are they sending to your muscles?

A new brain imaging application developed by California Institute of Technology researchers uses functional ultrasound to predict intended movements before they occur.

In the study published in the journal Neuron, it was shown that it is possible to produce detailed images of the dynamics of nerve signals in the target area that cannot be seen with other non-invasive techniques such as fMRI with this less invasive method. The designed algorithm has been tested on primates. On primates, the Algorithm predicted, within a few seconds, what behavior the primate would perform (eye movement or reaching out), the direction of movement (left or right), and when they planned to perform the movement.

Functional ultrasound imaging manages to record brain signals with 10 times greater sensitivity and better resolution than functional MRI. These findings may constitute the first milestone of ultrasound-based brain imaging.

Reference: Norman SL, et al. Single-trial decoding of movement intentions using functional ultrasound neuroimaging. Neuron, 2021;