Thursday, March 12, 2009

How a New Device Can Predict Preference for Drinks

There is an invention that works like a mind reader out there. It's really a device that specifically predicts the kind of drink you will choose as demonstrated in laboratory experiments by Sheena Luu, a doctoral student in biomedical engineering at the University of Toronto. So far, it is 80 percent accurate, which is enough to say that it is like a mind-reading device or gadget.

In the experiment, the subjects were first made to rate drinks on a scale of one to five. Then, they were made to wear a headband. They were then presented with two drinks to choose from on a computer monitor one after the other. Then they were then asked to mentally choose one. Later, the device was used again, but this time, it's to predict which drink will be chosen. It's able to do so with 80 percent accuracy.

The secret behind the cool device? Well, the headband was used to measure near infrared wave activity of the brains of the subjects as they made their decisions in the second phase of the experiment. According to Luu, when the brain is active, the oxygen in the blood increases, and, depending on the concentration, absorbs more or less light. She adds that in some people, the brains are more active when they don't like something, and in others, they're more active when they do like something.

Use the force! This toy is a real brain-wave device that allows you to raise the ball in the cylinder by the sheer force of your will! Try it by buying it! Lots of endless incredible scientific fun!

Find more great science toys in the Play Science blog!

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