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Neuroscience


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

Can Dead Brains Be Brought Back to Life? First Human Study to Find Out

Last month, a Philadelphia-based biotech company kicked off a clinical trial that pushes the envelope of what it means to be dead. Armed with ethical approval from the IRB at the Anupam Hospital in India,...

How the Power to Control Objects With Our Minds Stopped Being Science Fiction

The recent announcement that a young paralysed man in Ohio in the US named Ian Burkhart managed to regain the use of his fingers after having a chip implanted in his brain is an...

Is the Brain’s Awareness of the World All or Nothing?

We often think of consciousness as binary: you’re either fully aware of something, or you’re not. Yet according to a team of cognitive neuroscientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara, conscious awareness is gradual....

Incredible ‘Living’ Alzheimer’s Implant Clears Mouse Brains of Toxic Junk

Alzheimer’s may be the cruelest of brain diseases. Decades before the first signs of dementia strike, toxic protein clumps called amyloid plaques have been slowly, insidiously building up in the brain. The plaques clog the...

The Sleeping Brain Is a Marvelous Memory Making Machine

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to learn Japanese. Linguists often say that the best way to learn a foreign language is to immerse yourself in it, and that’s what I did....

This Amazing Computer Chip Is Made of Live Brain Cells

A few years ago, researchers from Germany and Japan were able to simulate one percent of human brain activity for a single second. It took the processing power of one of the world’s most...

US Bets $100 Million on Machines That Think More Like Humans

“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” When Neil Armstrong stepped onto the dusty surface of the moon on July 20, 1969, it was a victory for NASA and a victory for...

Can You Download Knowledge Into Your Brain With Electricity?

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...

Watch Monkeys Drive Wheelchairs With Just Their Thoughts

Duke University scientists have given a pair of monkeys the ability to drive a wheelchair with their thoughts alone. The work is described in a paper recently published in the journal Scientific Reports and...

Eye on the Cure: Can Algae Genes Restore Vision in First Optogenetics Human Trial?

In the next month, scientists from RetroSense Therapeutics will inject a virus deep into the retina of legally blind human volunteers. The virus will carry what is perhaps the most monumental payload in modern neuroscience...

All the Brain-Boosting Goodness of Exercise…in a Pill?

Lets face it: Love it or hate it, exercise is good for our brains. Feeling stressed? Hit the trails: running boosts the fight-or-flight brain chemical norepinephrine and enhances our body’s ability to respond to stress....

How to Never Forget a Name? In the Future, We’ll Just Google Our Brain

Have you ever walked into a room and forgot why you where there? Or while in the middle of conversation forgot a person’s name? Or briefing your boss on a project, only to stumble...

The Secret to the Brain’s Memory Capacity May Be Synapse Size

“I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose… It is a mistake to think that that little...
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Future ‘Mad Men’ Will Buy Ad Space in Your Dreams

The smaller computers get, the more they invade our personal space (or from another perspective, the more we invite them into it). We've gone from lonely industrial age mainframes to pocket computers as essential and ever-present...

This Magnetic Wand May Fix Brain Circuits Gone Wrong In Addiction

We often think of addiction as a moral dilemma — a sort of spiritual calamity that one needs to rebuild their entire lives around to conquer. But what if that’s not the case? What if...

Science Fiction’s Greatest Power? Inspiring Us to Build the Future

Science fiction’s visions of the future can appear more fantasy than fact. Sometimes books and movies are unnerving, other times they’re way off. Although sci-fi isn’t always right, it does something else that’s more important...

Hacking the Brain — Restoring Lost Abilities With the Latest Neurotechnologies

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Ray Kurzweil's wild prediction that in the 2030s, nanobots will connect our brains to the cloud, merging biology with the digital world. Let's talk about what's happening today. Over...

Exponential Medicine: The Future of the Quantified Brain

For decades it was believed the brain was a black box—the elusive central node of our operating system which we simply didn’t understand. And it’s true, scientific knowledge of the brain has been hard...

First Human Tests of Memory Boosting Brain Implant—a Big Leap Forward

“You have to begin to lose your memory, if only bits and pieces, to realize that memory is what makes our lives. Life without memory is no life at all.” — Luis Buñuel Portolés,...

Rats Engineered to See Infrared Light, Use It to Seek Out Water

The brain is a great information processor, but one that doesn’t care about where information comes from. Sight, scent, taste, sound, touch — all of our precious senses, once communicated to the brain, are transformed...

Speeding Up Physical Therapy With ‘Matrix’-Like Brain Training? It Isn’t So Far Fetched

Learning to walk again after a traumatic accident is no easy task. One of the hardest things for motor-impaired patients is to generate the correct brain signals to help them recover efficiently. The current best option...

Scientists Connect Brain to a Basic Tablet—Paralyzed Patient 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...

Wireless AI Device Tracks and Zaps the Brain, Takes Aim at Parkinson’s

Zapping the brain with implanted electrodes may sound like a ridiculously dangerous treatment, but for many patients with Parkinson’s disease, deep brain stimulation (DBS) is their only relief. The procedure starts with open-skull surgery. Guided...

How Aged Neurons In a Dish Can Accelerate Longevity Research

Aging insidiously leaves its mark on our brains. With age, our well-oiled neuronal machinery slowly breaks down: gene expression patterns turn wacky, the nuclear membrane disintegrates, and neatly organized molecules inside the cells break out...

Naughty or Nice? One Brain Scan Is Now All It Takes to Find Out

With a simple scan of your brain at rest, scientists can now guess whether — on average — you are naughty or nice. “We have now begun to see really strong evidence of a connection...

Playing 20 Questions by ‘Telepathy’? Big Score for Brain-to-Brain Communication

Interpersonal communication just got a lot more intimate. So intimate, in fact, that two strangers — physically separated by a mile — can literally get into each other’s heads to solve problems together, using only...

Brain-Controlling Sound Waves Used to Steer Genetically Modified Worms

Move over optogenetics, there’s a new cool mind-bending tool in town. A group of scientists, led by Dr. Sreekanth Chalasani at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, discovered a new way to control neurons using...
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Watch: What Is Consciousness? We Now Have the Tools to Find Out

The question of consciousness is as old as philosophy. And while the exact nature of human consciousness is exceedingly difficult to pin down—that doesn’t stop us from trying. It's a puzzle that's preoccupied the world’s greatest...

Meet the Mind-Controlling Algae Protein That Could Cure Blindness

It sounds completely crazy: as early as next year, using gene therapy scientists hope to restore sight in the blind by giving their eyes additional “light sensors.” We’re not talking about bionic eyes: instead of...
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Take a Deep Dive into the Brain with This Week’s Episode of Ask an Expert [Video]

When will we understand the brain? In an era of scientific progress and emerging technologies, one would think that we were on the cusp of finally answering this age-old question. Not so fast. Understanding the anatomical structures and physiological functions...

This Robotic Hand Wired to a Brain Implant Restored a Paralyzed Man’s Sense of Touch

In the last few years, experimental robotic limbs have made great advances, promising people who are paralyzed or have lost a limb the return of some sorely missed freedom. In 2012, a man with one...

Gene Therapy May Be Our Newest — and Most Effective — Weapon Against Alzheimer’s Disease

In 2001, a team of neurologists at UC San Diego began testing a highly experimental treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. The process sounds far more sci-fi than science: Using tiny pieces of skin taken from the...

Are Artificial Neural Networks the Key to Unravelling the Mysteries of Autism?

Autism is a tough nut to crack. Part of the reason is complexity: The disorder manifests in a bewildering array of symptoms — everything from basic perceptual disturbances to high-level cognitive and social deficits. Because...

Think Your Conscious Brain Directs Your Actions? Think Again

Think your deliberate, guiding, conscious thoughts are in charge of your actions? Think again. In a provocative new paper in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, a team led by Dr. Ezequiel Morsella at San Francisco State University...

How Tiny Lab-Grown Human Brains Are Giving Big Insights Into Autism

First came lab-grown mini-hearts. Then came 3D printed skin. Now scientists have taken “body on a chip” to a whole new level. Starting with skin cells from patient biopsies, scientists transformed them back into stem...

Animal Brains Networked Into Organic Computer ‘Brainet’

Imagine a future where computers no longer run on silicon chips. The replacement? Brains. Thanks to two separate studies recently published in Scientific Reports, we may be edging towards that future. In a series of experiments,...

How the Brain Makes Memories: Scientists Tap Memory’s Neural Code

Some of our most treasured memories begin with a simple association: the smiling face of that special someone, tied forever to the place where you first met. Sadly, these episodic memories — memories that encode...

This Injectable Brain Implant Can Record and Stimulate Individual Neurons

For those who need them most, brain implants have made inspiring strides in recent years. One implant eases the involuntary tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease. Another allows completely paralyzed patients to manipulate robotic arms. This...

How Mobile Technology Can Bring Trauma Relief After Ebola

This article was co-written by Elie Calhoun. Nathaniel Calhoun focuses on the intersection of last mile development work challenges, mobile education for poverty alleviation and ecological design. Follow Nathaniel on Twitter @codeinnovation. The promise of mobile technology...

The Ultimate Interface: Your Brain

Ramez Naam is the author of 5 books, including the award-winning Nexus trilogy of sci-fi novels. Follow him on twitter: @ramez. A shorter version of this article first appeared at TechCrunch. The final frontier of digital technology...

Virtual Body Swap Experiment Maps Out-of-Body Illusion in the Brain

With the help of modern brain scanning technology, scientists have begun methodically mapping the brain by asking people to perform tasks or inducing experiences in a scanning machine and recording brain activity to see...

The Feel-Good Switch: The Radical Future of Emotion

For most of the last century, the study of emotions was not considered serious science. The problem was subjectivity. Science is objective, rigorously objective. Emotions, though, are internal states, so the only way to...

Is Silicon Valley Ageist Or Just Smart?

A few years back, at an event held at Stanford, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg told the audience: “I want to stress the importance of being young and technical. Young people are just smarter.” This quote got...

The Truth About Addiction: We’re All Junkies Now

Isn’t it time we start telling the truth about addiction? What is that truth? That we are all addicts and all the time. For this to make sense, it helps to first understand that our ideas...

These Thought-Controlled Robotic Arms Are Beating Paralysis and Amputation

In 2012, University of Pittsburgh researchers released a video of Jan Scheuermann feeding herself a bite of chocolate. This, of course, wouldn't be noteworthy but for one thing: Scheuermann is paralyzed from the neck...

One Small Experiment in Learning and Memory, One Giant Leap for Mankind

Benjamin Storm, a psychologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz , recently ran an interesting experiment in memory and technology. Storm took twenty college students and gave them a pair of computer files, call...

Worm ‘Brain’ Uploaded Into Lego Robot

Can a digitally simulated brain on a computer perform tasks just like the real thing? For simple commands, the answer, it would seem, is yes it can. Researchers at the OpenWorm project recently hooked a...
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Short Film “Memories 2.0” Envisions Reliving the Past Through Virtual Reality

One of the hard truths of human existence is that though we are able to move freely through space, we are mercilessly constrained by time. Each moment of life arrives then rapidly passes, seemingly lost forever. In an attempt to capture information...

Optics Matter: New Vision Research Suggests Peak Performance Is Only A Jump To Warp Speed Away

Scientists from Scripps Research Institute just discovered that optic flow—the technical term for the temporal rate at which objects move past the eye—helps us map our world. And their discovery sheds new light on...

Exponential Medicine: Braingear Moves Beyond Electrode Swim Caps

If the last few decades in information technology have been characterized by cheaper, faster, and smaller computer chips, the next few decades will add cheaper, faster, and smaller sensors. Chips are the brains. Now...

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