Friday, December 12, 2008

machine sees images inside your brain

the blog i got this from seems to be down at the moment, so i'll just repost the whole thing here:

Researchers from Japan’s ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories have developed new brain analysis technology that can reconstruct the images inside a person’s mind and display them on a computer monitor, it was announced on December 11. According to the researchers, further development of the technology may soon make it possible to view other people’s dreams while they sleep.

The scientists were able to reconstruct various images viewed by a person by analyzing changes in their cerebral blood flow. Using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine, the researchers first mapped the blood flow changes that occurred in the cerebral visual cortex as subjects viewed various images held in front of their eyes. Subjects were shown 400 random 10 x 10 pixel black-and-white images for a period of 12 seconds each.

While the fMRI machine monitored the changes in brain activity, a computer crunched the data and learned to associate the various changes in brain activity with the different image designs.

Then, when the test subjects were shown a completely new set of images, such as the letters N-E-U-R-O-N, the system was able to reconstruct and display what the test subjects were viewing based solely on their brain activity.

For now, the system is only able to reproduce simple black-and-white images. But Dr. Kang Cheng, a researcher from the RIKEN Brain Science Institute, suggests that improving the measurement accuracy will make it possible to reproduce images in color.

“These results are a breakthrough in terms of understanding brain activity,” says Dr.
Cheng. “In as little as 10 years, advances in this field of research may make it possible to read a person’s thoughts with some degree of accuracy.”

The researchers suggest a future version of this technology could be applied in the
fields of art and design — particularly if it becomes possible to quickly and accurately access images existing inside an artist’s head. The technology might also lead to new treatments for conditions such as psychiatric disorders involving hallucinations, by providing doctors a direct window into the mind of the patient.

ATR chief researcher Yukiyasu Kamitani says, “This technology can also be applied to senses other than vision. In the future, it may also become possible to read feelings and complicated emotional states.”

The research results appear in the December 11 issue of US science journal Neuron.

[Source: Chunichi]

Thursday, December 11, 2008

epic copywriting fail: penshoppe

penshoppe's latest ad campaign.

the video is even worse. it's on youtube.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

komikon, komikon, komikon

so yeah i went, just didn't blog about it till almost two weeks later. so what?

here's my haul:

i went a bit overbudget thanks to a used copy of scott mccloud's understanding comics (it's there beneath the SKP tome), but i did win two issues of batch '72 in the caricature contest, so that evens things out a bit.
a teeny tiny bit.
it doesn't really even things out.
well i guess i should just be thankful the el indio book (compilation? restoration?) didn't come out in time for the 'kon, or i would have been in quite a financial dilemma.
i thought about buying arnold arre's andong agimat but it was selling at non-discounted prices... why is that? why? why?
lotsa people this year, compared to the last 'kon i attended, which was the first one in '05. back then i basically bought one of each from all the indie comics booths, but this year i had to pick and choose. and what i didn't choose was superheroes. dunno why, just didn't. also stayed away from too manga-ish indies, and this one yaoi-looking indie, and i-draw-like-a-fifth-grader-ish indies, and historical-revisionist-pre-colonial-phlippines-was-a-magical-world-where-everybody-has-tattoos-ish indies.
well, that last one isn't true. i did buy a skyworld ashcan. i'll post a review when i get the chance.

moleskine contest at

the moleskine notebook i won arrived today via overnight delivery--thoughtfully wrapped in several layers of heavy magazine paper:

it's a reporter-style plain notebook, with the binding along one short side. but if i lay it down "landscape" instead of "portrait", it looks just like my traditional sketchbook, only smaller. and about twenty times more expensive.

speaking of class, this little note on the front page gave me a laugh:

moleskine's target market is apparently so rich it offers cash rewards for the return of misplaced notebooks.
in dollars.

the notebook came with a manual. really.

moleskine--it's the YC bikini brief of notebooks.

jokes aside though, thanks to mr. jasper ong of and djong of down a notch. i'd also like to express my gratitude to the "atmoshperic noise" at for spewing out my name after being fed the list of finalists. if you'd like to try your luck, there are two more moleskine contests lined up this month.

and on a final note: due to my reluctance to actually write on the sumptuous, empty pages, first dibs on my notebook was awarded to the established artist of the family:

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

taking back the blog

so i'm turning this back into a personal blog now.

say, didja notice the "smiley face in the sky" last night?

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