Researchers from Vanderbilt University are challenging previous hypotheses that changes in restricted areas of the brain were responsible for producing awareness, with evidence that awareness or consciousness results from widespread communication across sensory and association areas of the cortex. Continue Reading »
Researchers have successfully mapped rats’ memories, could humans be next? Continue Reading »
MIT senior, Christina Tringides, holds a sample of the multifunction fiber.
MIT researchers reveal an interface that could make plugging our brain into a computer a reality. Their system uses new fibers less than a width of a hair that could deliver optical signals and drugs directly into the brain, along with electrical readouts to continuously monitor the effects of the various inputs.
Nasal spray could improve memory in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
A new study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that an insulin nasal spray can improve cognitive function in those with Alzheimer’s disease and normal age-related memory problems. The study involved 60 adults who had normal age-related memory problems or mild to moderate Alzheimer’s (Claxton et al., 2015).
The goal of the research was to focus on the target frequencies while ignoring the distractor frequencies.
As we get older, we have an increasingly harder time ignoring distractions. According to new research in the Cell Press journal Neuron, by learning to discriminate a sound amidst progressively more disruptive distractions, we can diminish our distractibility.
Futurist Thomas Frey: I’ve been closely watching the debate on artificial intelligence with people like Rodney Brooks saying it’s only a tool, and others like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking giving bone chilling warnings of how it could lead to the destruction of all humanity.
“Transcranial direct current stimulation” (tDCS) involves passing electricity through your head. The current is relatively weak, so it’s not like the electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) used to treat extreme depression in mental institutions; sometimes called “deep brain stimulation.”
It is difficult reliably to distinguish different “disorders.”
By Peter Kinderman: The idea that our more distressing emotions such as grief and anger can best be understood as symptoms of physical illnesses is pervasive and seductive. But in my view it is also a myth, and a harmful one. Our present approach to helping vulnerable people in acute emotional distress is severely hampered by old-fashioned, inhumane and fundamentally unscientific ideas about the nature and origins of mental health problems. We need wholesale and radical change, not only in how we understand mental health problems, but also in how we design and commission mental health services.
Computers are improving at an exponential rate.
Futurists started predicting that in just a few decades machines would be as smart as humans soon after computers evolved in the 1940′s. Every year, the prediction seems to get pushed back another year. The consensus now is that it’s going to happen in … you guessed it, just a few more decades.
Paul J. Zak: It is quiet and dark. The theater is hushed. James Bond skirts along the edge of a building as his enemy takes aim. Here in the audience, heart rates increase and palms sweat. I know this to be true because instead of enjoying the movie myself, I am measuring the brain activity of a dozen viewers. For me, excitement has a different source: I am watching an amazing neural ballet in which a story line changes the activity of people’s brains.