Researchers have cracked a tough nut – brain’s “Enigma code”, establishing new ways for the creation of robots that could possess human vision.
Scientists have known for quite some time what parts of the brain communicated when viewing images and recording the data being looked at. However, not until very recently have scientists been able to know exactly what types of information are being sent back and forth. These findings are being compared to the Nazi Enigma encryption machines during World War II.
Professor of psychology at Glasgow University’s Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, Philippe Schyns says the latest discovery is a very large step towards a far better understanding of brain activity. He says this will create many opportunities to better and more conclusively understand brain networks and how they change over time due to natural aging or when exposed to various health concerns. The most exciting bit of news is that this could one day lead to the creation of robots that can see just as humans do. He compares this latest research to the Enigma, where it was known Germans were sending a message but what was unclear was the actual message itself.
This new information may be able to help researchers with machine vision algorithms through tracking the information and strategies humans use when acting out challenging tasks related to recognition. Scientists used a photograph of Salvador Dali’s Slave Market With The Disappearing Bust of Voltaire in order to finally crack the code. Dr. Robin Ince explained that by showing little portions of different sections of the photo, they were able to see how the brain interacted with the image as brain signals were recorded during the viewing process.
Tracking what is being communicated between different regions of the brain is a critical part of studying the very complicated function of brain networks. Once a standard is set, this information could help those suffering with, say, brain degenerative diseases where there are errors in how communication is sent or what signals are being falsely created. The study was published in Scientific Reports and is entitled Tracing the Flow of Perceptual Features in an Algorithmic Brain Network.