MRI shines light on brain’s future imaginings

MRI shines light on brain’s future imaginings


Know what you’re having for dinner? A brain scan might be able to tell you.

The idea of being able to identify events in the recent future based on up-to-the-moment brain scans may be possible, according to a group of scientists out of the U.S.

Several patients who underwent voluntary MRI scans produced results showing that a specific part of the brain was very active when the patients were thinking about future events. For you current or aspiring medical professionals out there, the three parts of the brain that showed the most recent electrical activity were the left precuneus, the right posterior cerebellum, and the premotor cortex. All three are already identified as firing the imagination of body movements.

The scientists, at the University of Washington, hope to use these results as a steppingstone to greater efficacy in rehabilitation of stroke victims, among other things. Many victims of stroke and other debilitating attacks can no longer imagine future events. By knowing which parts of the brain perform those functions, scientists can focus on how to stimulate them.

As for what you’re having for dinner, that’s up to you. You might change your mind a time or two between now and then, giving your premotor cortex quite a workout in the process.