The work parallels research published this fall from U.C. Berkeley in another sensory realm—a computational model that reconstructed the images that subjects were watching in movie trailers.
An obvious follow-up question about Pasley and his colleagues' research: Will this make it possible to read words that we silently vocalize to ourselves, for example, "Oh no, not him again." Pasley explains that the research applies to actual sound a listener hears. Whether the same regions of the brain are involved in the words we sub-vocalize remains unclear.
The experiment demonstrates, though, that it does not take a mind reader to listen in on the subtle processing of the brain at work.