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Brain stimulation creates shadow person

September 21, 2006

Swiss scientists say they’ve found electrical stimulation of the brain can create the sensation of a “shadow person” mimicking one’s bodily movements.

Brain stimulation accelerates learning

April 14, 2011

Researchers at the University of Texas, Dallas, have found in laboratory experiments that brain stimulation accelerates learning  that may eventually lead to improved treatment of learning impairments, strokes, tinnitus, and chronic pain.

The researchers used brain stimulation of rats to release neurotransmitters that caused the brain to increase its response to a small set of tones. The team found that this increased response allowed rats… read more

Brain signals from a primate directly move paralyzed limbs in another primate ‘avatar’

February 24, 2014

Neural activity signals recorded from pre-motor neurons (top) are decoded and played back to control limb movements in a functionally paralyzed primate avatar (bottom) --- a step toward making brain-machine interfaces for paralyzed humans to control their own limbs using their brain activity alone (illustration adapted) (credit: Maryam M. Shanechi et al./Nature Communications)

Taking brain-machine interfaces (BMI) to the next level, new research may help paralyzed people move their own limb just by thinking about it.

Previous research has been limited to controlling external devices, such as robots or synthetic avatar arms.

In a paper published online Feb. 18 in Nature Communications, Maryam Shanechi, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Cornell University, working with Ziv Williams,… read more

Brain Signal Linked to Autism

February 8, 2008

By imaging the brains of adolescents with a high-functioning form of autism as they played an interactive trust game, Baylor College of Medicine cientists have identified a physiological marker specific to the disorder.

Brain shuts off in response to healer’s prayer

April 28, 2010

Parts of the prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices of the brain, which play key roles in vigilance and scepticism, were deactivated when devout volunteers listened to a supposed healer, Aarhus University researchers found.

They speculate that brain regions may be deactivated in a similar way in response to doctors, parents, and politicians.

Brain Sensor for Market Research

December 7, 2007

Emsense claims that it has developed tools to monitor a person’s true reactions during a commercial or video game, using EEG at the forehead, and other sensors that monitor breathing rate, head motion, heart rate, blink rate, and skin temperature.

While it hasn’t published in peer-reviewed journals, the company has 22 patents that cover related topics.

Brain ‘seismology’ helps predict epileptic attacks (preview)

January 14, 2008

The dynamics of earthquakes and seizures are similar, say University of Kansas researchers, and the finding could lead to new ways of predicting the attacks.

There are several striking features in common. Low-level tremors that foreshadow full earthquakes, for example, are mirrored by tiny neural spikes in the brain’s electrical activity before a seizure.

Brain Sees Violent Video Games as Real Life — Study

June 23, 2005

The brains of players of violent video games react as if the violence were real, a study has suggested.

It found that as violence became imminent, the cognitive parts of the brain became active and that during a fight, emotional parts of the brain were shut down.

It suggests that video games are training the brain to react with this pattern.

Brain scientists extend map of fear memory formation

January 28, 2010

Scientists at Emory University have extended the fear map from the amygdala to part of the brain known as the prelimbic cortex.

It was found that mice lacking a critical growth factor in the prelimbic cortex have trouble remembering to fear electric shocks. The discovery could help improve diagnosis and treatment for anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder and phobias.

Brain science to help teachers get into kids’ heads

September 17, 2009

The foundation of successful learning is improving “executive function,” a collection of cognitive processes important for self-control and focusing on the task at hand, concluded scientists at the Decade of the Mind (DOM) symposium last week in Berlin, Germany.

“Executive function” could be achieved with relatively small changes, such as altering the timetabling of exercise sessions or encouraging the learning of a musical instrument, they said. “One day, a… read more

Brain Scans Teach Humans to Empathize with Bots

August 2, 2010

robot+human

To test whether the sections of the brain that are activated when a human sees a robot expressing powerful emotions are the same as when a human sees another human expressing them, an international group of researchers stuck volunteers into an fMRI machine. They did not respond to the robots’ facial movement. But when they were told to concentrate on the emotional content of the robots’ expressions, their brains evidenced… read more

Brain scans reveal why some people feel your pain

May 31, 2011

Researchers at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, have observed atypical neurophysiological activity in amputees who experience synesthetic pain (pain synesthetes) when observing pain in another.

The researchers found that reduced alpha and theta brainwaves in pain synesthetes may reflect inhibition of normal inhibitory mechanisms (neurotransmitters involved in the processing of observed pain) as well as increased synesthetic pain.

The researchers used EEG to record brain activity in eight amputees who experienced both… read more

Brain scans ‘reveal baby thoughts’

July 30, 2003

Researchers at Birkbeck College and University College London are attempting to answer questions on baby brain development by monitoring brain waves.

Increased gamma-band activity, which is associated with the representation of hidden objects, will “inform fundamental issues about how infants process their visual world,” they believe.

Brain Scans Reflect Problem-Solving Skill

February 23, 2003

The first large-sample imaging study to probe individual differences in “general fluid intelligence” has been conducted by researchers at Washington University, using functional magnetic resonance imaging.

It shows how differences in the ability to reason and solve problems might translate into differences in the firing of neurons.

Brain scans may be used as lie detectors

January 29, 2006

Functional magnetic resonance imaging was able to spot lies in at high accuracy rates in recent experiments. The method detects tiny changes in blood flow in certain areas.

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