Outsourcing your brain

Last night on BBC Horizon there was an fascinating programme on the role of the unconscious mind. One of the most stunning pieces was at the end when Prof Paul Sadja of Columbia university showed how they are researching opening up the power of the parts of the brain we don’t know we are using.
As I am interested in how we communicate digitally at distance, and in person, and how we get ideas from one brain to another by transforming them this was bang on target for me, as in my very often used presentation slide 🙂

It was explained as something that is simple to do, and in principle it may well be, but it is still fascinating. A cortically coupled computer vision!
The principle was that a large hi res image needs to be analysed for anomalies. Scanning across the image consciously is tedious, difficult and inefficient.
So instead the professor wore an ECG headset, not unlike an Emotiv headset. He got a reading from the headset of the aha moment when he saw the sort of thing he would need to see in the image.
Then, and here is the clever bit, they broke the image into hundreds of individual and random chunks. The images were then blipped in front of the professor. His brain would spot the anomalies by generating the same aha spike as the control image without him even knowing. So relaxing and letting the images flow over him allowed the entire target image to be evaluated.
This was then put back together and the hot spot areas of interest highlighted.
It was stunningly accurate.
Many of us know that the best ideas come from the sub conscious when we are not forcing them to arrive. This brain outsourcing proved even more power sat there to be discovered.
There is an article here in case the iplayer link doesn’t work to see the actual thing.

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