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Neuroscience


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

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.

Prosthetic Hand Wires In Patient’s Nerves For Sensations Of Touch

Dennis Sørensen underwent a month-long clinical trial of a computerized prosthetic hand that established a two-way exchange of information between his brain and sensors in the artificial hand that allowed him to feel for the first time in a decade.
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Color-Coded 3D Brain Map Comes to Life in Video

The Harvard SEAS Connectome Group is building a color-coded three-dimensional map from scans of paper-thin slices of a mouse brain, and the map comes to life in a recent National Geographic video.

Wireless Brain Implant Aims To Give Paralyzed Power Over Their Limbs

BrainGate, a program that pools research from several universities, is moving ever closer to giving paralyzed patients use of their limbs by using technology developed to drive computerized prosthetics to drive the paralyzed limbs. The team is developing a system in which a patient’s mental signal to move an arm is recorded, filtered through a computer and sent as a command to an electric stimulation device that activates the patient’s muscles.

It’s Alive! Artificial-Life Worm Wiggles on Its Own

A worm wiggles. It’s a process as old as time, but this time there’s a twist: The worm is a bit of open-source software that encodes biological data gleaned from decades of scientific study into the nematode C. elegans. The parameters are programmed, but the worm acted on its own.

FDA Approves Brain Implant to Monitor and Autonomously Respond to Epileptic Seizures

In recent years, brain implants have been used to control tremors from Parkinson’s Disease and help quadriplegics move robotic arms. We can now add epilepsy to the list—a brain implant for patients suffering epileptic seizures was recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

New Surgery Promises Cyborg Bladder

A study published recently in Science Translational Medicine suggests that it may be possible to give paralyzed patients control over their bladders while avoiding both catheterization. Instead, doctors could craft insulated packets of nerves and connect them to an electrical probe that allows patients to urinate with the touch of a button, according to the study.

Monkeys Control Coordinated Arms Using Brain-Machine Interface

Duke University researchers Miguel Nicolelis and Peter Ifft managed to create a two-handed brain-machine interface using monkeys in a study recently published in Science Translational Medicine.

Ambitious Billion-Euro Human Brain Project Kicks Off in Switzerland

The Human Brain Project, which just kicked off with an initial round of meetings in Lausanne, Switzerland, has promised to build a functional computer model of the brain to expand scientific understanding of the all-important organ. The project will also bring together the scientific literature on mouse and human brains to focus future inquiry. It will be no small task.

The Secret To Einstein’s Genius? Brain Study Notes Unusually Well-Connected Hemispheres

We now know that Einstein, one of history’s greatest physicists, had an unusually well-connected brain. The new insight was gleaned from a recently discovered set of 14 photographs of Einstein’s brain taken just after his autopsy.

Scientists Grow Miniature, but Distinctly Human, Brain in the Lab

Austrian researchers have used regenerative techniques to grow a miniature human brain in the lab, they reported recently in the journal Nature. Using a bioreactor to improve cellular growing conditions, scientists obtained a brain-like organ that exhibited differentiated brain regions but stopped growing after a few months.

Researcher Remotely Operates Colleague’s Brain Over The Internet

A network of connected brains is the Holy Grail of Internet communications: Rather than type out an email, one user simply sends his or her thoughts directly to another. Researchers at the University of Washington recently moved one step closer to that goal with an experiment in which a researcher in one building controlled the hand movements of a colleague in another building.

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