Studying Thoughts and Deliberations Using Single Neuron Recordings in Humans

Moran Cerf, Hagar Gelbard-Sagiv, Itzhak Fried

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Cognitive processes such as imagery, free recall, and internal deliberations are difficult to study because they require the cooperation of human subjects who can express their thoughts to make them accessible to an external observer. Here, we review a series of human single neuron studies were scientists were able to decode internal mental processes, in relatively high specificity, and in some cases prior to their actual manifestation by language or motor behavior. These pioneering studies form the scientific basis for further investigation into the possibility of decoding freely occurring thoughts and deliberations. These studies show that human subjects were able to activate neurons in the human medial temporal lobe tuned for visual categories by thought alone.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSingle Neuron Studies of the Human Brain
Subtitle of host publicationProbing Cognition
EditorsItzhak Fried, Ueli Rutishauser, Moran Cerf, Gabriel Kreiman
PublisherMIT Press
ISBN (Print)9780262027205
StatePublished - 2014


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