Dec 15, 2008

Eyes are the Windows to the Soul - Girls Get the Anime Look with Extra-Wide Contact Lenses - Scientists extract images directly from brain - Secret World of Dreams Unlocked

How irises 'reveal personalities'
The iris in the eye
Patterns in the iris can give away the secrets of your personality
It may be possible to read a person's personality through their eyes, Swedish researchers have said.

They have detected patterns which show warm-heartedness and trust or neuroticism and impulsiveness.

The team from Orebro University read pits and lines in the irises of 428 people.

Experts said the study in Biological Psychology showed that at least some aspects of personality were determined by genetics.

You would not want to arrest somebody on the basis of their iris
Dr George Fieldman, psychologist

Close-up pictures were taken of the study participants' irises, and they also filled out a questionnaire about their personalities.

The researchers looked at crypts (pits) and contraction furrows (lines curving around the outer edge of the iris), which are formed when pupils dilate.

It was found that those with more crypts were likely to be tender, warm and trusting, while those with more furrows were more likely to be neurotic, impulsive and give in to cravings.


The researchers suggest that a neurodevelopmental gene called PAX6 could also play a major role.

It is known to help control the development of the iris in an embryo.

Previous research has also shown that a mutation of PAX6 is linked to impulsiveness and poor social skills.

The team, led by Dr Matt Larsson a behavioural scientist, said: "These findings support the notion that people with different iris configurations tend to develop along different trajectories in regards to personality.

"Differences in the iris can be used as a biomarker that reflects differences between people."

Dr George Fieldman, principal lecturer in psychology at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College, said: "This is very interesting. It shows that some aspects of personality have a genetic base and to identify them in the eye in this fascinating way is significant.

"It is surprising that this is possible. But it seems that the old aphorism that 'the eyes are the window to the soul' has some genetic basis."

He said it opened up the possibility that security services could one day use the technique to analyse people.

Airports, including Heathrow, Manchester and Gatwick are already testing iris scanning to identify people - but are not to check personality traits.

But Dr Fieldman added: "Security services would have to use such technologies with some caution. You would not want to arrest somebody on the basis of their iris."

Girls Get the Anime Look with Extra-Wide Contact Lenses

by Steve Levenstein

Wide-eyed and not-so-innocent?Wide-eyed and not-so-innocent?
Anyone who's seen Japanese comics, cartoon videos or anime art is instantly struck by the common look of the girls - big eyes that, by making the rest of the face look small, add the cuteness and sex appeal prized by many Japanese men. Since no amount of cosmetic surgery will make actual human eyes larger, some girls are trying another way to up their cute quotient: extra-wide contact lenses!

These are no ordinary contacts - they're not only tinted, but tinted prominently in the extra-wide outer ring. The result is the appearance of a bigger, wider iris.

To quote the sales copy, "Wanna get big, watery shiny eyes without any surgery? CRAVE AND ENVY NO MORE!"

The extra-wide contact lenses are made by a variety of companies including Geo and Dueba, and cost in the $30-$50 per pair range. It seems they're not just cosmetic - send in your prescription and the lenses will be made to order.


The site featuring the lenses sells a few other beauty aids, including a painful-sounding "nose clipper" and a Crystal Colagen Breast Mask which demands a posting of its own - keep a big, watery, shiny eye on this blog!

Steve Levenstein


Scientists extract images directly from brain

Researchers from Japan's ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories have developed new brain analysis technology that can reconstruct the images inside a person's mind and display them on a computer monitor, it was announced on December 11. According to the researchers, further development of the technology may soon make it possible to view other people's dreams while they sleep.

ATR mind reader --

The scientists were able to reconstruct various images viewed by a person by analyzing changes in their cerebral blood flow. Using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine, the researchers first mapped the blood flow changes that occurred in the cerebral visual cortex as subjects viewed various images held in front of their eyes. Subjects were shown 400 random 10 x 10 pixel black-and-white images for a period of 12 seconds each.

Scientists develop software that can map dreams

The secret world of dreams has been unlocked with the invention of technology capable of illustrating images taken directly from human brains during sleep.

  By Danielle Demetriou in Tokyo

Last Updated: 3:17PM GMT 11 Dec 2008

The research investigated how electrical signals are captured and reconstructed into images - Scientists develop software that can map dreams
The research investigated how electrical signals are captured and reconstructed into images Photo: GETTY

A team of Japanese scientists have created a device that enables the processing and imaging of thoughts and dreams as experienced in the brain to appear on a computer screen.

While researchers have so far only created technology that can reproduce simple images from the brain, the discovery paves the way for the ability to unlock people's dreams and other brain processes.

A spokesman at ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories said: "It was the first time in the world that it was possible to visualise what people see directly from the brain activity.

"By applying this technology, it may become possible to record and replay subjective images that people perceive like dreams." The scientists, lead by chief researcher Yukiyaso Kamitani, focused on the image recognition procedures in the retina of the human eye.

It is while looking at an object that the eye's retina is able to recognise an image, which is subsequently converted into electrical signals sent into the brain's visual cortex.

The research investigated how electrical signals are captured and reconstructed into images, according to the study, which will be published in the US journal Neuron.

As part of the experiment, researchers showed testers the six letters of the word "neuron", before using the technology to measure their brain activity and subsequently reconstruct the letters on a computer screen.

Since Sigmund Freud published The Interpretations of Dreams over a century ago, the workings of the sleeping human mind have been the source of extensive analysis by scientists keen to unlock its mysteries.

Dreams were the focus of a scientific survey conducted by the Telegraph last year in which it was concluded that dreams were more likely to be shaped by events of the past week than childhood traumas.

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