Machines that Read your Mind – Melbourne

Suitable for:
general public

Machines that Read your Mind – Melbourne

3rd May 2017
6 to 8 pm

Deakin Edge, Melbourne, Australia

Free, but please register as seats are limited

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Operating a machine with thoughts alone. Brain implants that restore memory. Letting locked-in people communicate. Brain scans that show which movie a person watched or their capacity for criminal behaviour.

Barely a week goes by without another headline about our ever-increasing power to read the human mind.

To find out more, come along to Machines that Read your Mind

  • See a demo of a device that reads brain signals, and uses them to operate a computer
  • Learn how brain-machine interfaces work
  • Discover what brain-machine devices are currently available – and what’s coming
  • Hear how people outside of neuroscience feel about this work: does it excite them, scare them, offer them hope?
  • Discuss the potential benefits of “reading the mind”, as well as the downsides

Our experts include

  • Professor Michael Ibbotson – neuroscientist at the National Vision Research Institute in Melbourne, studies how the brain encodes information. He is involved in Australia’s push to develop bionic eyes and technologies to record from millions of nerve cells simultaneously. Michael has applied his discoveries to robotics.
  • Ms Ann Nolan – tech entrepreneur with a background in psychology, community development, human/tech interaction and screen-writing. She is co-founder of Snobal, a startup building VR tools for business. Snobal was the Victorian Merit Recipient at the 2015 iAwards. @annnolan
  • Assistant Professor Femke Nijboer, by video link – neuropsychologist at Leiden University in the Netherlands who works in patient-centred tech development, neuro-engineering and ethics. Femke works with people with locked-in syndrome to help develop the brain-computer interfaces they want. @FemkeNijboer
  • Dr Nick Opie – biomedical engineer, and founding director and Chief Technology Officer at SmartStent, a Melbourne company developing the “Stentrode”, a paper-clip sized device that records brain signals from blood vessels close to the brain.

Please send your questions via Twitter using #braindialogue, or email We will also take questions on the night.

Organised by The Brain Dialogue, an initiative of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative Brain Function.

Logo for The Brain Dialogue

Hosted by the National Vision Research Institute, Australian College of Optometry and the University of Melbourne.

This event is part of Melbourne Knowledge Week, 1 – 7 May 2017, proudly presented by the City of Melbourne.