There is just something about neural decoding that captures the imagination. Scientists “reading out brain activity” to infer what someone was seeing or doing sounds like the stuff of science fiction. But in practice, with the right dataset and right computer algorithm, it can be done – providing the question you are trying to query the brain is simple enough. But no matter how simple the question, with every paper comes an orgy of stories in the mainstream press about how scientists can eavesdrop on your thoughts or even engage in electronic telepathy. Thereby infuriating scientists and science journalists in droves, sometimes detracting from some very cool work.