EEG-Based Image Reconstruction

  • A groundbreaking new technique has been developed to digitally reconstruct images of what people see based on their brain activity
  • By interpolating neural data in comparison with a known visual source, the research team has developed a way to extract, assess, and visualize information from electroencephalography (EEG) readings
  • This first-of-its-kind technique has been proven on face processing using a known visual source, and the next phases of development will explore image reconstruction based on memories and dreams
  • Developed at U of T Scarborough by Assistant Professor Adrian Nestor and postdoctoral fellow Dan Nemrodov in the Visual Recognition Lab  [VisRecLab]
  • Recreating images from fMRI activity is an established field of research, however using EEG data for image reconstruction has great practical appeal for consumer applications because it is less expensive and more portable than fMRI
  • The technology has the potential to unlock exciting applications in:
    • Marketing: Attention; ad recall; purchase intention; buyer behaviour
    • Brain-Computer Interface: Allow users to control computers without physically interacting with an input device. This is an area with a lot of interest from the large tech companies and with notable start-ups. The market is expected to reach $1.46 billion by 2020, a CAGR of 11.5% from 2014 - 2020. (Allied Market Research)
    • Communication: A consumer product that allows people to see the world through one another’s eyes; memory augmentation
    • Healthcare: Social interaction with people who can’t communicate verbally or with sign language, including ‘gray zone’ vegetative patients or those with locked-in syndrome (LIS); an Autism diagnostic tool
    • Legal: Witness identification; forensics for eyewitness testimony


  • A US provisional patent application has been filed
  • A start-up is being formed to commercialize the technology




Artificial Intelligence (AI) , Brain-Computer Interface , Communications , Deep Learning , Health & Related Life Sciences , Medical Implants and Prosthetics , MRI , Neurological Disorders , Research Tools , Software

VPRI Contact

Donna Shukaris

Innovations & Entrepreneurship Manager
Innovations & Partnerships Office (IPO)
(416) 946-7247

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