• John-Dylan Haynes

    Position: Professor Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

    Website: TBA



  • What does our brain reveal about our mind?


    Every thought is associated with a unique pattern of brain activity. In principle, it should be possible to use these activity patterns as "brainfingerprints" for different thoughts and read out what a person is thinking based on their brain activity alone. Indeed, using powerful pattern classification techniques considerable progress has been made in such "brainreading" in recent years. It is now possible to decode which image a person is viewing, which film sequence they are watching, which emotional state they are in and which intentions they hold in mind. This talk will provide an introduction to brain reading with fMRI by showing the general principles and the state-of-the-art techniques. It will also highlight the main challenges and limitations of this new research field. Furthermore, the ethical concerns raised by technical applications of brain reading(such as neuromarketing and lie detection) be discussed.


    John-Dylan Haynes is Professor for Theory and Analysis of Large Scale Brain Signals at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Berlin. Since 2009 he is Director of the Berlin Center for Advanced Neuroimaging (BCAN). His research focuses on the neural mechanisms underlying human cognition, especially on visual awareness, intentions and free will. He obtained his PhD from the University of Bremen, Germany, in 2003 with a thesis on the neural correlates of visual awareness. In 2005 he started his own research group at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig. In 2006 he moved to his current position in Berlin. He has published over 90 international peer-reviewed papers. His research has also been covered in many media reports (including CNN, CBS, BBC, Guardian, National Geographic and Der Spiegel).