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Neuroscience


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

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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Exponential Medicine: This Is Your Brain on Prescription-Strength Video Games

Video games encourage violent behavior. They’re a symptom of our culture’s collective obsessions and neuroses, a sign we have too much time on our hands. You’ve likely heard a rant like this—video games can’t...

Neuroscientists Discover ESP — But Is That A Good Thing?

In The Peripheral, the new stunner by cyberpunk godfather William Gibson, the reader is treated to a look at the future. It’s inexact, this future. The author, delightfully, gives it no date. Maybe it’s...
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Students Link Brains to Fire Video Game Cannon

You know how Professor X wears that funny helmet to amplify his brainwaves whenever he uses Cerebro to find mutants in X Men? Of course you do. (And if not—go here.) Turns out, that...

Are Efforts at Total Brain Simulation Putting the Cart Before the Horse?

Since it was awarded a one billion euro, decade-long research grant last year, the Human Brain Project has been the center of extreme excitement and heavy criticism. The project aims to simulate the human...

Transparent Graphene-Based Implants to Grant Clearer View of the Brain

A new implantable brain chip developed by the University of Madison-Wisconsin may help advance our understanding of the human brain. The chip is flexible, transparent, biocompatible—and uses a graphene sensor array just four atoms thick. To understand a...

Big Brother Is Feeling You: The Global Impact Of AI-Driven Mental Health Care

Big Brother is feeling you—literally. A few months back, I wrote about Ellie, the world’s first AI-psychologist. Developed by DARPA and researchers at USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies, Ellie is a diagnostic tool capable of reading 60...

Experimental Rat ‘Brain’ Fighter Pilot May Yield Insights Into How the Brain Works

In an experiment to study how neurons form networks and compute, Thomas DeMarse, a University of Florida professor of biomedical engineering, says his lab-grown rat “brain” in a dish can fly a simulated F-22...

Neuromodulation 2.0: New Developments in Brain Implants, Super Soldiers and the Treatment of Chronic Disease

Brain implants here we come. DARPA just announced the ElectRX program, a $78.9 million attempt to develop miniscule electronic devices that interface directly with the nervous system in the hopes of curing a bunch of...

Lab-Grown Neurons Deliver a Real-Time Glimpse Into How the Brain Works

Currently, researchers study the human brain by inference. Because they can’t closely observe a living brain in the lab as its owner goes about his day—they do the next best thing, tracking blood flow and...

Massive Military-Funded Project Aims to Re-align Ailing Brains

Deep brain stimulation as a treatment for epilepsy and movement disorders, most notably Parkinson’s disease, has rapidly gone from experimental to standard practice. With devices to provide delicate electro-stimulation to the brain now available...

Scientists Trigger Stem Cells to Produce New Brain Cells

It turns out that an apple a day — or at least an apple spinach salad — does keep the doctor away. But it’s not true that when brain cells die we can’t make...

Machines Teach Humans How to Feel Using Neurofeedback

Humans are social animals, and feelings of attachment, connection and empathy are the glue that binds societies together. Before an infant’s immune system is fully operational, before a baby can even use its hands,...

Researchers Close In on the Dream of a Safe, Portable Brain Scanner

If research on the human brain is to come close to meeting the lofty hopes many researchers and government bodies have for it, one thing is going to have to change: Brain scanning will...

Muse Headband Opens the Door to Brain-to-Computer Applications

FitBit, Jawbone, Aero: Wearable devices to track physical activity are everywhere. But technology advocates insist that’s not all the devices can do — not by a long shot. The tiny machines promise to track...

NeuroGrid — A Circuit Board Modeled after the Human Brain

A team of Stanford University engineers has developed a circuit board, and its underlying chips, that simulates the activity of the human brain 9,000 times faster than a personal computer and is 100,000 times more energy efficient.

Singularity Surplus: Slithers, Sparkles and Stays

Artificial life worm available online; washable connected T-shirts; concrete that lasts 100 years.

Electrical Stimulation Enables Paralyzed Patients to Move Legs and Stand Again

Four paralyzed men who received epidural electrical stimulation were able to regain some voluntary movement of their legs. The finding challenges everything doctors thought they knew about paralysis.

Researchers Record Young Neurons Making Connections, Exchanging Information

We don’t fully understand how neural networks form—that is, how neurons evolve from a few disconnected individual cells into the highly organized and closely related regions of the brain that control the body and...

Network of 75 Million Neurons of the Mouse Brain Mapped for the First Time

A new atlas of study results related to the mouse connectome offers the equivalent of a highway map, with local roads to be filled in later. The atlas, described in a recent paper in Nature, represents more than four years of work undertaken at the Allen Institute for Brain Science. It’s the most detailed information we have on the brain of any animal other than that of the roundworm C. elegans, which has just 302 neurons.

Singularity Surplus: Smile, You’re on Candid Camera!

Computers' EQ rises; lab-grown muscles get stronger; Texas goes big in wind power; and researchers create real-time video game interface of the human brain.
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Singularity Surplus: Put on Your Electric Thinking Cap!

Brain stimulation leads to faster learning; TED marks 30th anniversary with giant digital art display; flying wind turbine poised for test run in Alaska.

Researchers Show Off Mind-Controlled Music Player

Scientists at the University of Malta think touch screens are for suckers. Mind-controlled devices? Now, that’s where it’s at. Outfitted in an electrode-studded cap, users of the group’s specially designed music software are able to play a song, fast forward tracks, and adjust the volume by merely looking at the screen.

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