"You really shouldn't have!"

How would you like to have been able to read minds this holiday season as your gifts were opened? How about, instead, having your mind read?

Useful of course as a diagnostic tool, a downsized MRI might be employed in the future to communicate with sufferers from ALS or others who are otherwise physically unable to describe what they are thinking. The technology has been used recently to connect certain brain states with thoughts, and now the technique is getting better, incorporating predictive software that researchers can use to "read" minds, or make predictions about subsequent meditations instead of simply correlating current brain states with mental states.

David Chalmers, perhaps the best known thinker about thinking, describes such efforts as one halting step toward understanding the deepest of human mysteries, conscious reflection.