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Neuroscience


Latest significant advancements in neuroscience research. Reporting on the far-reaching impacts of neuroscience on society and humanity.

How BrainNet Enabled 3 People to Directly Transmit Thoughts

For a remarkably social species, we’re not particularly effective communicators. Finding the right words to clearly, efficient transmit our thoughts to another consciousness—even something as simple as driving directions—can be a challenge, especially in-the-moment and...

DeepMind’s New Research on Linking Memories, and How It Applies to AI

There’s a cognitive quirk humans have that seems deceptively elementary. For example: every morning, you see a man in his 30s walking a boisterous collie. Then one day, a white-haired lady with striking resemblance...

New Research Shows How Brain-Computer Interaction Is Changing Cinema

Over the past few years, we have seen the extraordinary development of neural prosthetic technologies that can replace or enhance functions of our central nervous system. For example, devices like brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) allow...

Thinking Like a Human: What It Means to Give AI a Theory of Mind

Last month, a team of self-taught AI gamers lost spectacularly against human professionals in a highly-anticipated galactic melee. Taking place as part of the International Dota 2 Championships in Vancouver, Canada, the game showed...

Amazing New Brain Map of Every Synapse Points to the Roots of Thinking

Imagine a map of every single star in an entire galaxy. A map so detailed that it lays out what each star looks like, what they’re made of, and how each star is connected...

New DNA Synthesis Method Could Soon Build a Genome in a Day

Synthetic biologists are the computer programmers of biology. Their code? DNA. The whole enterprise sounds fantastical: you insert new snippets of DNA code—in the form of a chain of A, T, C, G letters—into an...

Transdifferentiation Can Create An Endless Supply of Brain Cells—And Fast

Cellular reprogramming is like the fairytale of spinning straw into gold: you take an abundant, mundane cell type, dose it with a cocktail of chemicals, and voilà—now you have an unlimited supply of therapeutic...

Neurons Made From Blood Cells—A New Tool for Understanding Brain Diseases

Our team at Stanford University has just figured out the recipe for converting blood cells from adults directly into nerve cells, or neurons. You may be wondering why anyone would want to convert blood into...

Robots Will Be Able to Feel Touch With This Artificial Nerve

When the disembodied cockroach leg twitched, Yeongin Kim knew he had finally made it. A graduate student at Stanford, Kim had been working with an international team of neuroengineers on a crazy project: an artificial...

A Quarter Million Gamers Helped Build This Incredibly Detailed Map of the Brain

EyeWire, neuroscience’s most audacious experiment, just opened up a digital museum. Constructed with the help of a quarter million gamers, EyeWire Museum is one-of-a-kind: the 3D interactive playground showcases neurons in a mouse’s retina in...

Living Neanderthal ‘Mini-Brains’ May Reveal What Makes Our Brains Special

He isolated DNA from Egyptian mummies. He discovered the Denisovans, an extinct ancient human species, by sequencing DNA from a tiny bone fragment. He led a massive study that reconstructed the Neanderthal genome—and found...

This DeepMind AI Spontaneously Developed Digital Navigation ‘Neurons’ Like Ours

When Google DeepMind researchers trained a neural network to tackle a virtual maze, it spontaneously developed digital equivalents to the specialized neurons called grid cells that mammals use to navigate. Not only did the...

Holograms Can Now Program Brain Activity—Are Fake Experiences Next?

Optogenetics, neuroscience’s hottest mind-control tool, just got a major update. Projecting 3D-light holograms—yes, holograms!—directly onto a mouse’s cortex, engineers at UC Berkeley instantaneously gained control of dozens of neurons at once. That’s not the impressive part....

Mini-Brains Just Grew Their Own Blood Vessels—Here’s Why That’s Great News

If you ever put a brain through a Picasso filter, you’d probably get something close to a brain ball. When brain balls first hit the neuroscience scene in 2013, they were just a curious oddity....

How Will Merging Minds and Machines Change Our Conscious Experience?

One of the most exciting and frightening outcomes of technological advancement is the potential to merge our minds with machines. If achieved, this would profoundly boost our cognitive capabilities. More importantly, however, it could...

This Memory Prosthesis Boosts Recall in Humans by Roughly 40 Percent

This one’s for the books: in a jaw-dropping study, a team just turned the human brain from a read-only memory device to a rewritable one. "What?" you might ask. Of course the brain is rewritable....

New Bionic Arm Blurs Line Between Self and Machine for Wearers

At 29 years old, Canadian firefighter Rob Anderson lost his left arm and left leg to a harrowing helicopter crash into the side of a mountain. Although fitted with “top of the line” prosthetics...

The Startup That Has to Kill You to Preserve Your Brain—Here’s the Science Behind the Buzz

Here’s something you don’t hear every day: for $10,000, an MIT-backed startup will preserve your brain right down to the synapse level. Within this century, the company pitched, future neuroscientists will extract the information...

How Brain Stimulation Can Boost Memory If Paired With Learning

In 47 CE, Scribonius Largus, court physician to the Roman emperor Claudius, described in his Compositiones a method for treating chronic migraines: place torpedo fish on the scalps of patients to ease their pain...

Powerful New Algorithm Is a Big Step Towards Whole-Brain Simulation

The renowned physicist Dr. Richard Feynman once said: “What I cannot create, I do not understand. Know how to solve every problem that has been solved.” An increasingly influential subfield of neuroscience has taken Feynman’s...

In Landmark Study, Human Stem Cells Restore Monkeys’ Movement After Spinal Cord Injury

Stem cell therapy is highly attractive in its intuitive simplicity: you clean out injured cells, plop down a gang of healthy replacements, sit back, and wait for the body to heal itself. For spinal cord...

This Sensor Lets Scientists See Neuron-Level Brain Activity in Real Time

Picture this: you’re at a boisterous party, trying to listen in on a group conversation. People are talking over each other and going a mile a minute, but you can only pick up snippets...

Brain-Like Chips Now Beat the Human Brain in Speed and Efficiency

Move over, deep learning. Neuromorphic computing—the next big thing in artificial intelligence—is on fire. Just last week, two studies individually unveiled computer chips modeled after information processing in the human brain. The first, published in Nature...

Here’s the Tech That Could One Day Track, Boost, or Erase Human Memory

Human memories are notoriously fallible. We forget things, misremember things, and often don’t even know what we no longer know. What if there was a way to flip through the catalog of our precious memories...

How the Science of Decision-Making Will Help Us Make Better Strategic Choices

Neuroscientist Brie Linkenhoker believes that leaders must be better prepared for future strategic challenges by continually broadening their worldviews. As the director of Worldview Stanford, Brie and her team produce multimedia content and immersive learning...

Darker Still: Black Mirror’s New Season Envisions Neurotech Gone Wrong

The key difference between science fiction and fantasy is that science fiction is entirely possible because of its grounding in scientific facts, while fantasy is not. This is where Black Mirror is both an...

The 7 Hub Stories That Got the Most Social Media Love This Year

I bet you think 2017 was a hot mess, a relentless series of tragedies and catastrophes that exposed humanity for what little it's worth. Let us re-instill in you a sense of optimism with...

Do Our Brains Use Deep Learning to Make Sense of the World?

The first time Dr. Blake Richards heard about deep learning, he was convinced that he wasn’t just looking at a technique that would revolutionize artificial intelligence. He also knew he was looking at something...

These Creepy Mini-Brains May Finally Crack Deadly Brain Cancer

Brain organoids look like something between a malformed human brain and a character from Monsters, Inc. But don’t be fooled by their grotesque appearance. Ever since their introduction three years ago, brain organoids—charmingly dubbed “mini-brains”...

Neuroscience Could Bring Us Eternal Bliss, But Is That a Good Thing?

What if the secret to eternal happiness is a brain implant? If you’re thinking that sounds like the premise of a Black Mirror episode, you’re not alone. Yet at the Society for Neuroscience annual conference...

How Bursts of Ultrasound Can Be Used to Flip Switches in the Brain

It sounds like the beginning of a Stephen King novel: a protagonist bolts up in bed, his unsuspecting brain picking up ultrasound waves crashing in the air. These waves have the power to fry...

Thought-Controlled Prosthetic Hand Restores 100 Realistic Touch Sensations

When Keven Walgamott reached out and grasped his wife’s hand, his face broke into an enormous smile. For the first time in 14 years, he could feel her soft fingers, pressing firmly into his prosthetic...

Scientists Call Out Ethical Concerns for the Future of Neurotechnology

For some die-hard tech evangelists, using neural interfaces to merge with AI is the inevitable next step in humankind's evolution. But a group of 27 neuroscientists, ethicists, and machine learning experts have highlighted the...

A ‘Google Maps’ for the Mouse Brain Details Neurons Like Never Before

Ask any neuroscientist to draw you a neuron, and it’ll probably look something like a star with two tails: one stubby with extensive tree-like branches, the other willowy, lengthy and dotted with spindly spikes. While...

Here’s What We Think Alzheimer’s Does to the Brain

Around 50 million people worldwide are thought to have Alzheimer’s disease. And with rapidly aging populations in many countries, the number of sufferers is steadily rising. We know that Alzheimer’s is caused by problems in...

Here’s How to Get to Conscious Machines, Neuroscientists Say

“We cannot be conscious of what we are not conscious of.” – Julian Jaynes, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind Unlike the director leads you to believe, the protagonist of...

Neuroeducation Will Lead to Big Breakthroughs in Learning

In recent decades we’ve seen the rise of an emerging interdisciplinary field that brings together neuroscientists and educators. As technologies like brain mapping and scanning continue to advance our understanding of the human brain,...

Researchers Develop New Tech to Predict Alzheimer’s Disease Earlier Than Ever

It is one of the top 10 deadliest diseases in the United States, and it cannot be cured or prevented. But new studies are finding ways to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease in its earliest stages,...
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Online Dating Pioneer: Algorithmic Insights Can Help Us Become Better People

In an interview at Singularity University’s Global Summit in San Francisco, J. Galen Buckwalter said the quantitative study of personality is finding new tech applications. Buckwalter developed the matching algorithm at eHarmony and is now chief technology officer at...

Antennas Made 100 Times Smaller to Hook Up Tiny Wearables and Implants

On a gray, drizzling winter day in 1896, within the vine-carpeted walls of Toynbee Hall, the London press witnessed what seemed like an acoustic miracle. Spread out on a table was a curious modular device....

Is This the Real Thing? How the Brain Separates Fantasy From Reality

When the moon finally eclipsed the sun’s dazzling rays, I stared at the black orb in the sky with utter disbelief. I was one among the tens of thousands camped out amongst the Painted Hills...

Why Neuroscience Is the Key to Innovation in AI

The future of AI lies in neuroscience. So says Google DeepMind’s founder Demis Hassabis in a review paper published last week in the prestigious journal Neuron. Hassabis is no stranger to both fields. Armed with a...
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Ray Kurzweil: Our Brain Is a Blueprint for the Master Algorithm

Ray Kurzweil is an inventor, thinker, and futurist famous for forecasting the pace of technology and predicting the world of tomorrow. In this video, Kurzweil suggests the blueprint for the master algorithm—or a single,...

Is the Brain Augmentation Hype Justified? Here’s an Expert’s Take

Despite bold predictions from several tech firms about the future of neural interfaces, the science of brain augmentation is still in the early days. So, what do academics think of all the hype coming...

Is There a Multidimensional Mathematical World Hidden in the Brain’s Computation?

Two thousand years ago, the ancient Greeks looked into the night sky and saw geometric shapes emerge among the stars: a hunter, a lion, a water vase. In a way, they used these constellations to...

Forget Police Sketches: Researchers Perfectly Reconstruct Faces by Reading Brainwaves

Picture this: you’re sitting in a police interrogation room, struggling to describe the face of a criminal to a sketch artist. You pause, wrinkling your brow, trying to remember the distance between his eyes...

How to Build a Mind? This Theory May Guide Us Toward an Answer

How do intelligent minds learn? Consider a toddler navigating her day, bombarded by a kaleidoscope of experiences. How does her mind discover what’s normal happenstance and begin building a model of the world? How does...

Bizarre Mini Brains Offer a Fascinating New Look at the Brain

Brain balls sound like something straight out of a Tim Burton movie: starting as stem cells harvested from patients, they eventually develop into masses of living neurons, jumbled together in misshapen blobs. Just like the...

Are We About to Unlock the Secrets to Peak Performance?

“How many surf bums who can’t keep a job washing dishes will be up at 5 AM putting on a gritty, sandy wetsuit to paddle out in cold, sharky water for just one shot...

Brain Mapping Tech Inflates Tissue 20x to Reveal Remarkable Detail

Like the fiber optic cables that connect landline phones, the long branches of brain cells transmit information from one neuron to the next. Unlike phone cables that can only passively carry electrical signals, however, neuronal...

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