A map of the brain can tell what you’re reading about

A group of researchers currently or formerly working in the lab of CS Affiliate Prof. Jack Gallant, have developed interactive semantic maps that can predict where different categories of words activate the brain. The researchers used functional MRI to scan the brains of subjects who were listening to or reading stories.  The results were viewed in an interactive, 3D, color-coded map, where words are presented as scribbles of color on a flattened brain cortex.  When the researchers compared the listening-versus-reading brain activity data, they found the maps they created from both datasets were virtually identical. The maps may one day inform interventions for dyslexia, strokes, epilepsy, brain injuries, and auditory processing disorders.