While doing research for my new novel, I came across a few fascinating articles that made me realize that I need to start reading Science and Nature magazine if I am to keep abreast of the future as it develops (and passes me by):

Looking Through Cat’s Eyes is an article that recounts the success of an experiment performed at UC Berkley in which scientists attempted to tap into the electrical activity in a cat’s thalamus in order to view what the cat was actually seeing.

And you know what? They bloody well managed to do it. Check out these images:

The top row shows what the cat was looking at, while the bottom row is the reconstructed image gleaned from the cat’s thalamus. The article proceeds to speculate that by refining this technique, it “will be possible to record what one person sees and “play it back” to someone else either as it is happening or at a later date.” Think about it.

Remember that Ralph Fiennes movie, Strange Days? This is how the plot summary begins:

Lenny Nero deals in dreams. Formerly an LAPD vice cop, he now deals in illegal ‘squid’ recordings – recordings made directly from the cerebral cortex of the participant, which allow the viewer to feel and experience everything the participant experiences as if they were there…

That was a science fiction movie, made in 1999, the same exact year that Dr’s Dan, Li, and Stanely were recording the visual inputs of a cat. It’s now 2008, and I’ve got to wonder–how much farther have we come along?