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Brain learns like a robot

June 10, 2004

Our brains are following the laws of artificial intelligence, researchers have found.

Baylor College of Medicine neuroscientists plotted brain activity on a graph to give a mathematical description of processes that underlie the formation of value judgements. The patterns they saw resembled those made by robots as they learn from experience.

Brain knitting

April 18, 2006

A scaffold of nanoscale fibers that self-assembles from small, synthetic protein-like components provides a framework for the regrowth of damaged brain tissue, allowing vision to be restored in hamsters with brain lesions, a team in the USA and China reports.

The nano-scaffold, made of short peptides, is biodegradable and non-toxic, causes no immune response, is injectable — it self-assembles when the molecules come together in a salty solution –… read more

Brain is organized like the Internet: USC neuroscientists

August 10, 2010

A study by USC scientists of the brain connections in a small area of the rat brain showed them as patterns of circular loops, suggesting that at least in this part of the rat brain, the wiring diagram looks like a distributed network, rather than a hierarchy, the traditional view.

“We started in one place and looked at the connections. It led into a very complicated series of loops… read more

Brain Interfaces Made of Silk

April 19, 2010

Brain x220

A group of researchers is building biocompatible electronics on thin, flexible substrates made of biodegradable, mechanically strong silk films.

When it’s placed on brain tissue and wetted with saline, a silk film will shrink-wrap around the surface of the brain, bringing electrodes with it into the wrinkles of the tissue, without scarring.

BRAIN initiative report lists detailed research priorities

September 18, 2013

human_connectome

A scientific team has released a report that identifies research priorities for the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative, Science Insider reports.

The report lists nine top research priorities. It highlights the need for cheaper, faster technologies that can trace connections between individual brain cells and record large networks of cells acting in synchrony.

It calls for development of tools that can… read more

Brain implants ‘read’ monkey minds

July 9, 2004

Brain implants have been used to “read the minds” of monkeys to predict what they are about to do and even how enthusiastic they are about doing it, California Institute of Technology researchers have found.

By decoding the signals from 96 electrodes in a region of the brain just above the ear, called the parietal cortex, the researchers were able to predict 67 per cent of the time where… read more

Brain implant reveals the neural patterns of attention

February 25, 2010

A paralyzed patient implanted with a brain-computer interface device has allowed University of Chicago scientists to determine the relationship between brain waves and attention.

Using a small chip containing nearly 100 microelectrodes that was previously implanted in a patient’s primary motor cortex, they found that beta waves indicate how much attention a subject is paying to the task at hand, while slower delta waves act as an internal metronome,… read more

Brain implant gives early warning of epileptic seizure

May 2, 2013

seizure_advisory_system

A new brain implant can warn of seizures minutes before they strike, enabling them to get out of situations that could present a safety risk, New Scientist reports.

With funding from NeuroVista, a medical device company in Seattle, Mark Cook of the University of Melbourne and his colleagues have developed a brain implant that consists of a small patch of electrodes that measure brain… read more

Brain Implant Cuts Seizures

December 10, 2009

(Neurospace)

The Responsive Neurostimulator, a brain implant designed by Neuropace to detect and block the onset of seizures, can significantly reduce their frequency in people with difficult-to-treat epilepsy.

The device, which consists of a neurostimulator that’s smaller than a deck of cards, a battery, and a small computer, continuously monitors electrical activity. It’s surgically implanted into a hollowed out part of the skull, along with a set of electrical leads… read more

Brain implant could prevent epileptic seizures

August 20, 2007

Neuropace of Mountain View, California, is testing in humans an implant that detects seizures and then delivers an electric current to stop them.

Brain imaging reveals why we remain optimistic in the face of reality

October 10, 2011

prefrontal cortex

People who are very optimistic about the outcome of events tend to learn only from information that reinforces their rose-tinted view of the world, related to a “faulty” function of their frontal lobes, researchers at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at UCL (University College London) have shown.

This is a problem that has puzzled scientists for decades: why is human optimism is so pervasive,… read more

Brain Imaging Reveals New Language Circuits

December 13, 2004

Researchers using diffusion tensor (DT) MRI have found a third area of the human brain, dubbed “Geschwind’s territory,” that is part of human language circuits along with Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas.

“There are clues that the parallel pathway network we found is important for the acquisition of language in childhood,” said Marco Catani, M.D., from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London. “Geschwind’s territory is the last area… read more

Brain imaging reveals how we learn from our competitors

October 14, 2010

Our neural activity tends to be stimulated by our competitor’s errors (as in the example shown here) rather than their successes. (Bristol University)

To reveal how people and animals learn from failure and success, Bristol University researchers scanned the brains of players as they battled against an artificial opponent in a computer game.

In the game, each player took turns with the computer to select one of four boxes whose payouts were simulating the ebb and flow of natural food sources.

Players were able to learn from their own successful selections… read more

Brain imaging ready to detect terrorists, say neuroscientists

September 23, 2005

Brain-imaging techniques that reveal when a person is lying are now reliable enough to identify criminals, with 99% accuracy, claim University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine researchers.

When someone lies, their brain inhibits them from telling the truth, and this makes the frontal lobes more active, which can be monitored with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Brain imaging provides window into consciousness

February 25, 2011

Using a sophisticated imaging test to probe for higher-level cognitive functioning in severely brain-injured patients provides a window into consciousness — but the view it presents is one that is blurred in fascinating ways, say researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College in the Feb. 25 online edition of the journal Brain.

In a novel study of six patients ranging in their function from minimally conscious state to the locked-in… read more

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