MindMeter MAM

The Mental Alignment Meter

The mental alignment meter was a device invented by Emmett Brown in 1931 at the urging of his girlfriend Edna Strickland. It consisted of several parts: the mind mapping helmet, a typewriter and the M.A.M. itself. It had the ability to read the subconscious desires of the human mind.

In the 1986B timeline, Emmett went through with submitting this invention in the Hill Valley Science Exposition and won, starting him on the path that, under Edna's guidance, would cause him to turn Hill Valley into a police state.


MindMeter Helmet

Marty McFly wearing the mind mapping helmet

The helmet read the mental patterns of the wearer as he/she viewed certain images, detecting a positive or negative reaction in the wearer. These mental patterns were converted into coding for the typewriter as it punched holes in exact places in a strip of paper. The paper, now a mind map, would be inserted into a slot in the M.A.M., which would read the pattern of holes and display what mental state the subject was in. The levels of morality the machine could interpret were, in this order, as follows:
  • Model Citizen
  • Honest Joe
  • Decent Chap
  • Layabout
  • Inveterate Liar
  • Hooligan
  • Degenerate Criminal
    MindMeter Map

    Kid Tannen's mind map


The following images for the mind map test were as follows:

If the person being tested disliked all of what the M.A.M. was programmed to display as "right", he or she would have a mind map showing a Degenerate Criminal, while going with the "correct" responses resulted with a map that indicates a person to be a Model Citizen.

Most of Marty's responses weren't shown, but he had a negative response to Edna, while showing a positive response to Trixie. His mind map read as a Layabout (which Marty interpreted as a slacker).


When Marty McFly was in 1931 attempting to break up Edna and Emmett in order to preserve the future, he swapped Brown's mind map with that of Kid Tannen, a gang leader. After Emmett was framed with the allegation of cheating on Edna, a situation orchestrated by Marty in the first place, the bewildered Brown tried to prove his innocence by displaying his mental reading to Edna. When he placed the mind map believed to be his in the mental alignment meter, however, the machine read Kid Tannen's mental patterns, showing a degenerate criminal. Disgusted, Edna immediately dumped Emmett and walked off, causing time to run its course on the right track.


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