April 29, 2009 Scientists may have discovered a way of reading people’s minds. New technology means that neuroscientists can use “functional MRI” or fMRI to see what is happening inside someone’s brain when they are thinking specific thoughts. A current research program at Carnegie Mellon University looks set to prove that in the future we may be able to use brain imaging to see what’s going on in people’s heads. But if you can’t wait for the scientists to come up with the goods, the Psyleron Mind Lamp could be a fun way to explore whether your mind can alter the color of a lamp.

Researchers at Princeton University developed the Mind Lamp concept as part of a mind-matter interaction project. The researchers claim that the Mind Lamp changes color due to “electron tunneling”, a quantum-level phenomenon that directs the random event generator (REG) inside the lamp to change the lamp color.

The lamp has a microprocessor that checks for statistical patterns in the REG – these patterns adjust the red, green, blue and white color balances of a set of high-powered LEDs. This causes the lamp to change its color and move through deep shades of white, red, orange, yellow, green, cyan, blue, purple, and magenta.

The researchers claim – and at this point the science sounds a bit fuzzy to the lay observer – that the internal REG can be influenced by the human mind whether by intention, emotion, thought or subconscious processes. Apparently years of research have shown that REGs can be influenced by human consciousness. Even if the research sounds mind-boggling, the lamp is visually striking and most likely a source of light entertainment for family and friends.

For USD$149, you can have your own Mind Lamp and test the power of your mind. You’ll also receive a six-foot (1.8m) power cord and a booklet explaining the research, theory and providing some examples of how to use the lamp. See Mind Lamp for more information and user reviews.

Jude Garvey

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