In a development straight out of Fringe, scientists have discovered that they may, in fact, be able to use a brain scanner to read people's minds... to a limited degree, at least.

The discovery comes as the result of a study carried out at University College London that was itself the result of discovering that the brains of London's taxi drivers were different from other people. Currently, scientists have only demonstrated the abilitity to read a person's spatial memories but, as the university's Demis Hassabis explains, that is just the start of what is possible:

It's [a] small step toward the idea of mind reading, because just by looking at neural activity, we are able to say what someone is thinking... It's at least 10 years, probably more, from getting anywhere near that kind of technology, where you could literally read someone's thoughts in a single short session when they don't want you to. We might be about 10 years away from doing that, so it might be useful to start having those ethical discussions in the near future in preparation for that – but we're still a long way from doing anything practical.

Anything practical, yes, but I want to know how far away we are from hooking up FBI agents in tanks and seeing if you can see into their dreams.

Scientists able to read people's minds [Independent.co.uk]