President Salovey cuts ribbon for Brain Imaging Center using only his mind

From inside an fMRI machine, President Salovey moved a pair of virtual scissors by focusing on certain images for a high-tech ribbon cutting on Dec. 17.

Yale’s new Brain Imaging Center had an appropriate ribbon cutting to celebrate its opening Dec. 17: President Peter Salovey used virtual scissors to cut a virtual ribbon using his mind.

As university speakers lauded the launch of the imaging center on central campus, Salovey was next door getting a brief training session before he entered a powerful fMRI machine. As attendees watched on a big screen, Salovey on cue moved the scissors up the screen to cut the ribbon by concentrating on certain images. View of a video of the ribbon cutting below: 

The exercise was an example of the marriage of neuroscience and data science, said Yale psychologist Nick Turk-Browne,  who organized the event. The center will assist in a wide variety of research projects, such as tracking changes in brain from infancy through development, searching for networks involved in psychiatric disorders, and even tracking brain activity as people interact with each other, he said.

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