Kathryn Lindsay
October 14, 2015 12:37 pm

Finally, a real life Sorting Hat that we don’t have to go all the way to Hogwarts to use. Okay, so, it’s technically not an actual hat and more like a brain scan (and it’s a little more complicated than just putting on a hat), but it will do an analysis of your intelligence and use that information to figure out what kind of person you are. Intrigued yet?

All of this information is figured out using a functional MRI. Usually, this type of scan is used to map brain activity in a person performing certain tasks. Before now, it was only really useful in comparison to other functional MRI scans. But Emily Finn has figured out a way to make it more about the individual.

After combining the information of a large number of brain scans that took place over over two days, researchers compared brain activity while a person was resting to while they were doing cognitive tasks, and grouped the nodes used into ten functional networks. They found that two networks were the most individualistic: medial frontal network and the frontoparietal network. The frontoparietal network, when the brain was at rest, could identify people with 98% to 99% accuracy.

The next step is to prove that these so-called “brain fingerprints” can predict real world behavior, although scientist John Gabrieli admits there are risks to this:

Both Finn and Gabrieli think the most helpful function of this discovery would be to identify or predict mental disorders, which would allow doctors to treat the diseases before they actually affect the patient.

This research is pretty important, and also pretty mind-blowing. Yes, even more mind-blowing than a real talking hat.

(Image via Warner Bros. Pictures)

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