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Neuroscience


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

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...

4 New Human Rights for When Our Brains Are Hooked Up to Computers

The human-machine mind meld is just around the corner if you believe the buzz coming out of Silicon Valley these days. But neuroethicists worry the technology poses a threat to the last bastion of...

Neuroscientists Can Now Read Your Dreams With a Simple Brain Scan

Like islands jutting out of a smooth ocean surface, dreams puncture our sleep with disjointed episodes of consciousness. How states of awareness emerge from a sleeping brain has long baffled scientists and philosophers alike. For...

This Is the Dawn of Brain Tech, But How Far Can It Go?

What distinguishes Elon Musk’s reputation as an entrepreneur is that any venture he takes on comes from a bold and inspiring vision for the future of our species. Not long ago, Musk announced a...

Is the Brain More Powerful Than We Thought? Here Comes the Science

If you’ve ever played around with an old music amplifier, you probably know what a firing neuron sounds like. A sudden burst of static? Check. A rapid string of pops, like hundreds of bursting balloons?...

The Brain: A Radical Rethink Is Needed to Understand It

Understanding the human brain is arguably the greatest challenge of modern science. The leading approach for most of the past 200 years has been to link its functions to different brain regions or even...

New Artificial Synapse Bridges the Gap to Brain-Like Computers

From AlphaGo’s historic victory against world champion Lee Sedol to DeepStack’s sweeping win against professional poker players, artificial intelligence is clearly on a roll. Part of the momentum comes from breakthroughs in artificial neural networks,...

Are These Giant Neurons the Seat Of Consciousness in the Brain?

The towering trees with their sprawling branches in the redwood forests have always reminded me of neurons in the brain. Like trees, each neuron extends out tortuous, delicate branches in a quest to make contact...

3 Exciting Biotech Trends to Watch Closely in 2017

As I start to look at the emerging trends of 2017 from the vantage of IndieBio, where we see hundreds of biotech startup applications and technologies per year, a few key themes are already emerging....

Does Zapping Your Brain Actually Help You Learn Faster?

A cognitive neuroscientist and his team at HRL Laboratories in Malibu, California, seem to have achieved the impossible. According to a press release, the team “measured the brain activity patterns of six commercial and military...

This Neural Probe Is So Thin, The Brain Doesn’t Know It’s There

Wiring our brains up to computers could have a host of exciting applications – from controlling robotic prosthetics with our minds to restoring sight by feeding camera feeds directly into the vision center...

New Tech Makes Brain Implants Safer and Super Precise

When Jan Scheuermann volunteered for an experimental brain implant, she had no idea she was making neuroscience history. Scheuermann, 54 at the time of surgery, had been paralyzed for 14 years due to a neurological...

This One Equation May Be the Root of Intelligence

How does intelligence work? According to Dr. Joe Tsien, a leading neuroscientist at Augusta University in Georgia, the key lies in one simple, unassuming equation: N = 2i–1. At its core, Tsien’s theory of connectivity describes how...

The Brain Tech to Merge Humans and AI Is Already Being Developed

Are you scared of artificial intelligence (AI)? Do you believe the warnings from folks like Prof. Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and others? Is AI the greatest tool humanity will ever create, or are we “summoning the...

New AI Mental Health Tools Beat Human Doctors at Assessing Patients

About 20 percent of youth in the United States live with a mental health condition, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. That’s the bad news. The good news is that mental health professionals have...

Artificial Spinal Cord Wirelessly Restores Walking in Paralyzed Monkeys

Until a few years ago, reversing paralysis was the stuff of movie miracles. Yet according to Dr. Andrew Jackson, a neuroscientist at Newcastle University in the UK, as early as the end of this decade,...

Researchers Repair Brain Damage in Mice With Stem Cell Transplants

The human brain is a biological wonder with considerable skills. Regeneration, unfortunately, isn’t one of them. Save for one tiny V-shaped region within the hippocampus, the human brain’s ability to rebuild itself is nearly nonexistent....

Scientists Hook Up Brain to Tablet—Paralyzed Woman Googles With Ease

For patient T6, 2014 was a happy year. That was the year she learned to control a Nexus tablet with her brain waves, and literally took her life quality from 1980s DOS to modern era...

Bridging the Mental Healthcare Gap With Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is learning to take on an increasing number of sophisticated tasks. Google Deepmind’s AI is now able to imitate human speech, and just this past August IBM’s Watson successfully diagnosed a rare...

This Smart Vest Lets the Deaf ‘Hear’ With Their Skin

What are the limits of human perception? Take a second and concentrate on your surroundings: the subtle flickering of your laptop screen, the faint whiff of lingering coffee, the muffled sounds of traffic, the warm...

Tomorrow’s Healthcare Is Here Today: Exponential Medicine Begins in San Diego

Anyone who says fully digitized medicine is off on a 10-year horizon is wrong. The future of medicine and healthcare is here today. If you need proof, can you guess what Stanford University’s top gastroenterologist...

How Transformative Tech Can Bring Out the Best in Us All

We now live in exponential times. Technological ability is accelerating. Communication is instant. Interconnection is global. Great change is coming hard and fast. To navigate these conditions, we need to be present, creative, brave,...

This Is Your Brain on Quantum Computers

Machines enrich and enhance our lives, whether it’s the smartphones that allow us to stay connected or the supercomputers that solve our toughest computational problems. Imagine how much more productive and innovative our world...

Mind-Controlled Nanobots Used to Release Chemicals in Living Cockroaches

This is wild: a team of Israeli scientists developed a contraption that uses a person’s brain waves to remotely control DNA-based nanorobots  — while the nanobots were inside a living cockroach. When prompted by...

Here’s How to Convince the Brain That Prosthetic Legs Are Real

The carbon fiber legs or “blades” used by lower limb amputee runners have arguably become one of the most iconic symbols of the Paralympic Games. Although different lower-limb sports prostheses are used for running,...
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Like Video Games, Your Brain Has a Physics Engine That Simulates the World

Picture this: you’re standing in front of a pile of glistening avocados at a grocery store. You snatch one up, put it in your cart, and wheel off dreaming of nachos and guacamole —...

Paralysis Partially Reversed With Virtual Reality Tech in Surprising New Study

On June 12th, 2014, the world watched in awe as a young paraplegic kicked off the World Cup in Brazil with the help of a robotic exoskeleton controlled by his brain. Now, the team behind...

5 Incredible Ways Scientists Are Merging Our Brains With Machines

I've been reading Ramez Naam's fantastic book "Nexus," which is set in a near-future where a powerful nano-drug allows human minds to connect together. In the story, a group of enterprising neuroscientists and engineers...

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