“Altho I am clinging to ideals, my conception of the universe is, l fear, grossly materialistic. As stated in some of my published articles, l have satisfied myself thoroly thru careful observation carried on for many years that we are simply automata acting in obedience to external influences, without power or initiative. The brain is not an accumulator as commonly held in philosophy, and contains no records whatever of a phonographic or photographic kind. In other words, there is no stored knowledge or memory as usually conceived, our brains are blanks. The brain has merely the quality to respond, becoming more and more susceptable as the impressions are often repeated, this resulting in memory.

“There is a possibility, however, which I have indicated years ago, that we may finally succeed in not only reading thoughts accurately, but reproducing faithfully every mental image. It can be done thru the analysis of the retina, which is instrumental in conveying impressions to the nerve centers and, in my opinion, is also capable of serving as an indicator of the mental processes taking place within. Evidently, when an object in seen, consciousness of the external form can only be due to the fact that those cones and rods of the retina which are covered by the image are affected differently from the rest and it is speculation not to hazardous to assume that visualization is accompanied by reflex action on the retina which may be detected by suitable instruments. In this way it might also be possible to project the reflex action on a screen, and with further refinement, resorting to the principle involved in moving picture, the continuous play of thoughts might be rendered visible, recorded and at will reproduced.”

—Nikola Tesla

“Three Famous Scientist’s Views On Thought Transmission.” Electrical Experimenter. May 1, 1919.