Unique Russian study: a person’s personality was determined by the strength of his thoughts

Unique Russian study: a person’s personality was determined by the strength of his thoughts


Scientists have learned to identify people by brain activity

Russian scientists have learned how to make a “brain print” by analogy with a fingerprint. At the Institute of Management Problems. V.A. Trapeznikov RAS conducted a study on human identification based on brain activity. Senior researcher at the IPU RAS Daniyar Wolf told MK about a method by which it will be possible to protect oneself from fraud with biometric data with one hundred percent reliability.

This work is closely related to technologies for controlling cyber-physical systems using the so-called “power of thought.” Everyone is aware of the latest achievement of Elon Musk’s company, which implanted a chip in the brain of an immobilized patient, who began to successfully control a computer mouse with the power of thought. Our scientists from the Institute of Computer Science of the Russian Academy of Sciences have gone further in the field of interpretation of brain waves - they were the first in the world to learn to identify people based on neurosignals.

– We know different ways of identifying a person: by fingerprints, by face, by retina, etc. What is the advantage of identifying a person by a brain signal?

– All previously developed methods allow a certain percentage of fraud with biometric data: a fingerprint can be copied, a machine can be deceived with both the face and the retina, for example, by presenting the desired photograph to the camera. But this number will not work with the bioelectric activity of the brain; it cannot be faked. This is perhaps the only identification method in which a person must appear alive in front of the computer.

– How is the picture of individual brain activity written?

– We have been working on medical cybernetics for several years, collecting a database on the alpha and beta rhythms of the brain using an electroencephalogram. At some point I asked myself the question: are brain waves unique to each individual person? Thus began research in this direction.

This is what the original signal looks like, which was obtained electroencephalographically. Photo courtesy of D. Wolf





You know how an electroencephalogram is collected: a cap with electrodes is placed on the patient’s head, each of which is aimed at a corresponding area of ​​the brain, reflecting auditory, visual and other potentials. These potentials can be represented as spectrograms. So we decided to conduct an experiment among several dozen volunteers - men and women from 17 to 23 years old. After making sure that each of them was in a normal, unaltered state, had good vision and did not have any neurological diseases, we put an EEG cap on each of them and exposed the retina to the eye using an LED. We fired flashes at a certain frequency - 1, 8 and 14 Hertz. The signal hits the retina and then goes to the brain. And his response electrical signal with a certain frequency was recorded by an electroencephalograph.

We presented the obtained electroencephalogram data in the form of spectrograms, reflecting the peculiarities of the brain activity of each participant in the experiment, and then used them to train the neural network to identify our volunteers.

– How accurately could artificial intelligence determine a person’s identity?

– So far the accuracy is 70 percent, and we continue to work to increase it. It must be said that at the first stage we did not strive for absolute accuracy of the result - it was important to show in principle that the EEG data is individual.

This is what the spectrograms of the received signals look like (the yellow lines are the evoked potentials). Photo courtesy of D. Wolf





– In what direction will you move in your research in the future?

– In the future, having trained the machine on a large material of brain rhythms, we want to test the hypothesis about whether they have common gender and age differences, whether it is possible to understand at the first stimulation of the retina with an LED whether a person is sober or not. Instantly identifying a person’s altered consciousness based on brain function would be the most reliable way to avoid allowing such a person to drive. A huge number of directions for scientific and engineering research open here.



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