Last night at the World Science Festival in New York, leading neuroscientists took the stage to discuss current research into functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), a type of scan that indirectly measures neural activity by measuring the change in the blood oxygen level in the brain. Neurons require oxygen in order to fire, so if a person is thinking about or looking at a specific image, by looking at the oxygen levels the scientists can see the patterns that "light up" in the brain, and link them to a specific word or image. Study results in this field are astonishing. Work out of Frank Tong's lab at Vanderbilt University, one of the event's panelists, shows that the researchers can read the orientation of an object that a person is looking out -- say a striped pattern that goes off to the left or the right -- 95 percent of the time. His group also, with 83 percent accuracy, can predict which of two patterns an individual is holding in their memory.