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Always forgetting your not-so “memorable” data? Never fear – the end of the password could be in sight, as our brains might be able to do the work for us.


Researchers at Binghamton University, New York, have been looking into the way our brains react to words, and found that brainwaves could be used to replace passwords.

45位志愿者参与了试验,试验检测他们阅读75个首字母缩略词名单时大脑发出的信号,缩略词包括FBI, DVD等。科学家记录他们看每组字母时的产生的反应。结果显示,每位志愿者看不同缩略词时的大脑反应都不尽相同。也就是说,电脑可以通过这些脑电波识别每一位志愿者,且准确率可达到94%。

The scientists looked at the brain signals of 45 volunteers as they read a list of 75 acronyms, such as FBI and DVD, and recorded their reaction to each group of letters. Each participants’ brain reacted differently to the acronyms, meaning that the computer was able to identify each volunteer with 94 percent accuracy.


It is this “brainprint” that could be used by security systems to verify a person’s identity, the academics said in the study, which was published in the academic journal Neurocomputing this week.


New and more accurate methods of identification have become increasingly popular over recent years, following a string of high-profile data breaches and cyber-attacks.


Security measures now available including fingerprint, voice, face and biometric identification.

但是,该篇报告的共同作者,宾汉顿大学心理语言学副教授Sarah Laszlo表示,相比之下,脑印记的身份识别方法比现有的方法更具优势。

But Sarah Laszlo, assistant professor of psychology and linguistics at Binghamton University and co-author of the report, said “brainprints” had some benefits over these other methods of identification.


“If someone’s fingerprint is stolen, that person can’t just grow a new finger to replace the compromised fingerprint — the fingerprint for that person is compromised forever. Fingerprints are ‘non-cancellable’,” she said in a release.


“Brainprints, on the other hand, are potentially cancellable. So, in the unlikely event that attackers were able to steal a brainprint, the authorized user could ‘reset’ their brainprint.”


However, Zhanpeng Jin, who is also at Binghamton University, expressed reservations over the wide-scale use of brain scans.


“We tend to see the applications of this system as being more along the lines of high-security physical locations, like the Pentagon or Air Force Labs, where there aren’t that many users that are authorized to enter,” he added.