Marvin Chun – Mind Reading with Functional Brain Imaging: Are We There Yet?

17 March 2015 (Tuesday), 6.30pm - 7.30pm
Professor Marvin Chun

Venue: University Town Auditorium 3, College of Alice & Peter Tan, University Town, NUS 

Many futuristic movies have scenes where people are put in brain scanners to reveal secrets of the mind. Are such capabilities in the realm of science fiction, or are they technically feasible in modern day?

Recent advances in medical imaging, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), have given psychologists and neuroscientists unprecedented access to the workings of the human mind.

Incorporating powerful computational tools, fMRI can decode what you see, what you remember, and even help predict your mental health or school performance. Although too primitive to cause worry now, the increasingly sophisticated ability to decode minds raises important ethical questions concerning mental privacy, biomarkers of illness, fairness, free will, and the neural distinction between life and death.

About Marvin Chun

Professor Marvin Chun is the Richard M. Colgate Professor of Psychology; Neurobiology and Cognitive Science at Yale University.

Professor Chun’s lab uses brain imaging to understand the neural networks’ underlying visual behavior. His long-term goal is to predict and improve performance in tasks involving memory, attention, conscious perception, or decision-making. At Yale-NUS, Professor Chun chairs the Yale Faculty Advisory Committee. At Yale, he teaches Introduction to Psychology, for which he received the William DeVane Award for Teaching and Scholarship, and the Lex Hixon Prize for Teaching Excellence.