New brain-computer interfaces that "translate" what a person is thinking into words or actions have been developed by scientists.
For their study, researchers from Maastricht University in the Netherlands performed functional MRI brain scans on healthy participants.
The participants were instructed to "type" by performing mental tasks corresponding to different letters in the English alphabet.
The researchers used signals from the participants' brain activation patterns to decode information about the intended letter that a participant was thinking about.
And the alphabet could be used in a conversation with the experimenters without any spoken words.
Now, scientists are hoping that such technology can enable communication with 'locked-in' patients or assessment of consciousness in non-responsive patients.