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Archive for the ‘neuroscience’ category

Sep 21, 2020

Neuroscience study finds ‘hidden’ thoughts in visual part of brain

Posted by in categories: information science, neuroscience

How much control do you have over your thoughts? What if you were specifically told not to think of something—like a pink elephant?

A recent study led by UNSW psychologists has mapped what happens in the brain when a person tries to suppress a . The neuroscientists managed to ‘decode’ the complex brain activity using functional brain imaging (called fMRI) and an imaging algorithm.

The findings suggest that even when a person succeeds in ignoring a thought, like the pink elephant, it can still exist in another part of the brain—without them being aware of it.

Sep 20, 2020

Scientists Discover Why We Need Sleep – “Important Work Is Being Done”

Posted by in categories: health, neuroscience

In very early life, sleep helps build the brain’s infrastructure, but it then takes on an entirely new decluttering role.

Prolonged sleep deprivation can lead to severe health problems in humans and other animals. But why is sleep so vital to our health? A UCLA-led team of scientists has answered this question and shown for the first time that a dramatic change in the purpose of sleep occurs at the age of about 2-and-a-half.

Before that age, the brain grows very rapidly. During REM sleep, when vivid dreams occur, the young brain is busy building and strengthening synapses — the structures that connect neurons to one another and allow them to communicate.

Continue reading “Scientists Discover Why We Need Sleep – ‘Important Work Is Being Done’” »

Sep 19, 2020

Neuralink’s Biggest Rival You Haven’t Heard Of: Openwater

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, neuroscience, transhumanism

Interesting technology looking to revolutionize both medical imaging and brain computer interfacing.


Han from WrySci HX explains the amazing Openwater system, which could rival Neuralink in the Brain Machine Interface space. More below ↓↓↓

Continue reading “Neuralink’s Biggest Rival You Haven’t Heard Of: Openwater” »

Sep 18, 2020

Study Shows How Fast Our Brains Are at ‘Recording’ New Words

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Summary: Cortical representations for the sounds and meanings of new words learned form within an hour or two following exposure.

Source: Skoltech

How much time does a brain need to learn a new word? A team of Skoltech researchers and their colleagues monitored changes in brain activity associated with learning new words and found that cortical representations of the sound and meaning of these words may form in just 1 to 2 hours after exposure without any night’s sleep consolidation, as earlier research suggested. This research has implications for diagnosing speech disorders and improving the efficiency of learning. The paper was published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience.

Sep 17, 2020

Quantum mechanics in the brain

Posted by in categories: computing, neuroscience, quantum physics

Does the enormous computing power of neurons mean consciousness can be explained within a purely neurobiological framework, or is there scope for quantum computation in the brain?

Sep 17, 2020

Common drugs linked to increased risk of Alzheimer’s

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, health, neuroscience

A new study suggests anticholinergic medications may increase the risk of accelerated cognitive decline, especially in older adults at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Anticholinergic drugs block the action of acetylcholine, a chemical messenger that controls a range of automatic bodily functions and plays a vital role in memory and attention.

Doctors prescribe these drugs for a variety of conditions, including urinary incontinence, overactive bladder, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), seasonal allergies, and depression.

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Sep 16, 2020

The brain-computer interface is coming, and we are so not ready for it

Posted by in categories: computing, law, neuroscience, physics, wearables

Are you ready?

“if you were the type of geek, growing up, who enjoyed taking apart mechanical things and putting them back together again, who had your own corner of the garage or the basement filled with electronics and parts of electronics that you endlessly reconfigured, who learned to solder before you could ride a bike, your dream job would be at the Intelligent Systems Center of the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University. Housed in an indistinct, cream-colored building in a part of Maryland where you can still keep a horse in your back yard, the ISC so elevates geekdom that the first thing you see past the receptionist’s desk is a paradise for the kind of person who isn’t just thrilled by gadgets, but who is compelled to understand how they work.”

Continue reading “The brain-computer interface is coming, and we are so not ready for it” »

Sep 16, 2020

How gene therapy could help astronauts survive deep space deadly radiation

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, Elon Musk, government, health, neuroscience, space travel

Over the past five decades, space travel advocates have been pushing to expand our footprint in space. They dream about lunar bases, missions to Mars and colonies in free space. The visions are ever changing, with government efforts joined by those of private companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX — in the midst of an effort to send tourists on a trip around the Moon — gravitating toward the space tourism sector. While the goals and how to accomplish them are in constant flux, there remain certain obstacles that must be overcome before we take that next big step. And one of the biggest is the need to protect the health of our future space explorers.

That’s what’s prompted NASA to turn to the fast-moving world of gene therapy to solve several potential medical issues facing astronauts on lengthy space missions.

The US space agency and the associated Translational Institute for Space Health Research (TRISH) at the Baylor College of Medicine are now calling for proposals from private companies and other groups to develop a kind of gene therapy for astronauts. But this would be different than recent gene therapies that target specific diseases such as hemophilia or various types of cancer. Instead, the idea here is to minimize the damage from space radiation through a kind of preventive treatment. Exposure to radiation in space can cause cancer, cardiovascular disease, cataracts and the loss of cognitive function due to accelerated death of brain cells. These different disease categories involve very different mechanisms — cancer and heart disease result from radiation damaging DNA, while loss of brain tissue results simply from radiation killing off mature cells, and still other diseases result from radiation destroying stem cells.

Continue reading “How gene therapy could help astronauts survive deep space deadly radiation” »

Sep 16, 2020

Reward and Punishment Take Similar Paths in the Mouse Brain

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Summary: Researchers found specific neurons in the striosome that help mice learn to avoid negative experiences.

Source: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) scientists have discovered neurons in the mouse brain that help an animal learn to avoid negative experiences. The cells reside in a part of the brain involved in regulating the motivations that influence behavior.

Sep 16, 2020

Doctors Are Preparing to Implant the World’s First Human Bionic Eye

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, mobile phones, neuroscience, transhumanism

It’s essentially the guts of a smartphone combined with brain-implanted micro electrodes, as TechCrunch reports. The “Gennaris bionic vision system,” a project that’s more than ten years in the making, bypasses damaged optic nerves to allow signals to be transmitted from the retina to the vision center of the brain.

The system is made up of a custom-designed headgear, which includes a camera and a wireless transmitter. A processor unit takes care of data crunching, while a set of tiles implanted inside the brain deliver the signals.

“Our design creates a visual pattern from combinations of up to 172 spots of light (phosphenes) which provides information for the individual to navigate indoor and outdoor environments, and recognize the presence of people and objects around them,” Arthur Lowery, professor at Monash University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering, said in a statement.

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