Can We Read Minds?

To a limited extent, scientists are actually able to read minds using technology. For example, they can ask someone a question and based on how the brain reacts, the scientist will be able to know if the person is trying to say “yes” or “no”. Usually a machine known as an fMRI machine is used to measure and observe how the brain reacts. fMRI stands for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The ability of scientists to decipher brain activity from fMRI scans is a growing field of study and some research labs are able to tell what a person is generally thinking about just based on fMRI measurements. Another technique commonly used to “read minds” is the polygraph test. This test is used to determine the probability that someone is telling the truth or lying. Polygraphers rely on many signals such as the heart beat, breathing patterns and electrical signals generated from other parts of the body to determine whether a person is telling the truth or not. The polygraph test is not guaranteed to produce accurate results and is largely dependent on the examiner’s experience and ability to read the signals on the graphs. People can also be trained to beat the polygraph machine. Some people are also naturally able to beat the polygraph machine with no training at all.

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