Originally posted to PLOS BLOGS in 2012, in this podcast, former PLOS Biology Editor Ruchir Shah talks with Brian Pasley, PhD and Robert (Bob) Knight, MD, about the groundbreaking work behind their influential article in PLOS Biology: “Reconstructing speech from human auditory cortex,” which has received nearly 85,000 views and 61 citations, to date.
As they discuss in the podcast, Bob (left), Brian, and colleagues at the Center for Neural Engineering & Prostheses (CNEP), were able to decode activity in the human auditory system and, based on the brain waves of patients thinking of certain words, to reconstruct those words.
Using a technique called “stimulus reconstruction,” they reconstructed words using activity in a specific region of the human brain called the superior temporal gyrus, or STG. Later in the podcast, you’ll be able to hear some of these reconstructions. They also discuss the implications of this work for neural prosthetics, and the potential ethical implications for “mind-reading.”
You can listen to the Ruchir Shah interview with Bob and Brian by clicking the “Play” button, below.
And, as these authors explain in a June 2014 PLOS Neuro Community Q&A, their research on the auditory cortex laid the groundwork for what they’re now undertaking as part of the BRAIN Initiative.