An MRI scanner to find and study—the soul? Researchers at the Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology are currently working on building a £100 million ($126 million) MRI scanner they say could do just that.
“We may for the first time capture a full picture of human consciousness or even the essence of life itself,” one unnamed researcher said in a statement. “Then we can define them and explain how they work in precise physical terms—just like Newton and Einstein defined and explained the universe.”
The MRI scanner will produce a resolution about 1,000 times greater than existing MRI. Furthermore, the new scanner will be able to visualize objects which are 1 millimeter across. While researchers are skeptical of whether the soul can, in fact, be found on MRI, this new technology could result in other significant findings.
The researchers will look more into the brain’s structure, which they hope will help produce treatment options and even cures for diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. In addition, they hope their work will help them better understand how messages are transmitted through neurons.