Robots with human vision on the horizon after scientists crack brain's 'Enigma code'

Robots with human vision on the horizon after scientists crack brain's 'Enigma code'
The new discovery finally reveals what the two parts of the brain say to each other when they process images
16:28, 22 APR 2016 UPDATED 18:29, 22 APR 2016

Scientists have cracked the brain's 'Enigma code' which could pave the way to create robots capable of human vision.

The code, compared to the secret Nazi encryption machines in the Second World War , details exactly what the two regions of the brain communicate when processing visual images.

Researchers hope the new discovery could lead to creating bots with the potential for human-like vision.

Until now, scientists have only been able to tell whether two parts of the brain communicate, not what they are saying.

The new discovery has been compared to the Enigma code, which was thought impossible until a team of scientists led by Alan Turing deciphered it.

This information could also enable scientists to interpret brain activity, creating opportunities to study how the brain changes with age or disease.

Philippe Schyns, professor of psychology at Glasgow University's Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, said: "With Enigma, we knew the Germans were communicating, but we didn't know what they were saying.

"Just like if you're walking down the street and you see two people talking in the distance: you know they are communicating with each other, but you don't know what they are saying.

"Communication between brain regions has so far been like these examples: we know it's happening, but we don't know what it's about.

"Through our research, we have been able to 'break the code,' so to speak, and therefore glean what two parts of the brain are saying to each other."

This human-esque vision could be harnessed through using the research to create machine vision algorithms and the information and strategies humans use when performing different recognition tasks.

Prof Schyns added: "Through these discoveries, by knowing how to code and integrate these messages between different parts of the brain, we could one day give robots the same visual capabilities as people."


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