Hello from Joshua Tree, where magic is happening (and it’s not too late to buy a ticket, we can take your credit card at the door)! New research using functional MRI analysis of the brain suggests that it is possible for scientists to reconstruct images of what people have seen in the past. This could mean that the question of what people who report close encounters of the third kind are actually seeing when the encounters happen could be solved once and for all.

On CNN, Brandon Keim of the Wired website quotes neuroscientist Jack Gallant as saying, “It’s what you would actually use if you were going to build a functional brain-reading device.” According to Keim, the results “the magician’s card trick where you pick a card from a deck, and he guesses which card you picked. The magician knows all the cards you could have seen,” except that with this new research, “the card could be a photograph of anything in the universe. The magician has to figure it out without ever seeing it.” Like a Gray?

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