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The Brain That Changed Everything

October 26, 2010


In 1953, the majority of the hippocampus of Henry Molaison (the man who could not remember) along with some surrounding neuronal tissue, was surgically removed from both hemispheres of his brain. Because of Molaison, it is known that memory function originates in this region.

When Jacopo Annese finishes constructing his multidimensional, zoomable atlas of H.M.’s brain, scientists will be able to see at the neuronal level exactly how… read more

The Brain Under Anesthesia

April 3, 2008

A large-scale study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that a commonly used device designed to prevent anesthesia awareness–the rare event when a patient is actually conscious during surgery–was largely ineffective.

Massachusetts General Hospital researchers are using brain imaging of human volunteers and, in animals, electrophysiology approaches–which more directly measure brain activity–to gain a deeper understanding of anesthesia. Their preliminary research suggests that measuring activity… read more

The Brain Unmasked

August 6, 2008

A variation on MRI called diffusion sensor imaging allows scientists to map the neural fibers that relay signals in the brain.

In this example, each fiber in the image represents hundreds to thousands of fibers in the brain, each traveling along the same path. (George Day, Ruopeng Wang, Jeremy Schmahmann, Van Wedeen, MGH)

The Brain Unveiled

October 27, 2008

Diffusion spectrum imaging, developed by neuroscientist Van Wedeen at Massachusetts General Hospital, analyzes MRI data in new ways, helping scientists map the nerve fibers that carry information between cells.

The brain-computer interface goes wireless

March 3, 2013

Neural interface implanted in pig (credit: David A Borton et al./J. Neural Eng.)

A team of neuroengineers at Brown University has developed a fully implantable and rechargeable wireless brain sensor capable of relaying real-time broadband signals from up to 100 neurons in freely moving subjects.

Several copies of the novel low-power device, described in the open-access Journal of Neural Engineering, have been performing well in animal models for more than year, a first in the brain-computer interface field.… read more

The Brain: Malleable, Capable, Vulnerable

May 28, 2007

In the new book, “The Brain That Changes Itself,” Dr. Norman Doidge offers a fascinating synopsis of the current revolution in neuroscience, focusing on the surprising neuroplasticity (malleability) of both the injured and normal brain.

The Brains Behind the Image Fulgurator

June 30, 2008

The guerrilla-art stunt “Image Fulgurator” projects stealth images into the flash photographs of strangers.

A photograph flash triggers a flash located behind a film camera to project an instantaneous image (from a 35 mm slide) onto the scene being photographed.

The brain’s three layers of working memory allow you to multitask

March 11, 2011

Researchers from Rice University and Georgia Institute of Technology have found support for the theory that the brain has three concentric layers of working memory where it stores readily available items, allowing for a person to effectively multitask.

The researchers, Chandramallika Basak of Rice University and Paul Verhaeghen of Georgia Tech, used simple memory tasks involving colors and shapes on a computer screen to determine the three distinct layers… read more

The brain’s visual data-compression algorithm

December 24, 2013


Researchers have assumed that visual information in the brain was transmitted almost in its entirety from its entry point, the primary visual cortex (V1).

“We intuitively assume that our visual system generates a continuous stream of images, just like a video camera,” said Dr. Dirk Jancke from the Institute for Neural Computation at Ruhr University.

“However, we have now demonstrated that the visual cortex suppresses… read more

The Brainy Learning Algorithms of Numenta

December 20, 2010

Numenta is preparing to release a version of their AI technology that is ready to help companies turn a deluge of data into business intelligence.

The Brightest, Sharpest, Fastest X-Ray Holograms Yet

August 4, 2008

An international group of scientists has produced two of the brightest, sharpest x-ray holograms of microscopic objects ever made, thousands of times more efficiently than previous x-ray-holographic methods.

The two experiments demonstrate that massively parallel holographic x-ray images with nanometer-scale resolution can be made of objects measured in microns, in times as brief as femtoseconds, using a pinhole array.

By knowing the precise layout of a pinhole array,… read more

The Bubble Bursts

July 20, 2008

A Purdue University nuclear engineer who claimed to have carried out tabletop nuclear fusion is responsible for two instances of scientific misconduct, a report made public today concludes. Both cases centered on efforts by physicist Rusi Taleyarkhan to make experiments carried out by members of his lab appear as independent verification of his work.

Also see:

Sound waves produce nuclear fusion

The Business Of Nanotech

February 4, 2005

Hew nano-based products that could have a big impact are only a step or two away.

Within the next two years, diagnostic machines with components built at the nano scale should allow doctors and nurses to carry pint-size laboratories in their briefcases, perhaps to test for HIV or count white blood cells on the spot. Nano sensors will scour airports and post offices for anthrax and sarin. Toward the… read more

The Business Of Nanotech

February 14, 2005

There’s still plenty of hype, but nanotechnology is finally moving from the lab to the marketplace.

The Cambridge Project for Existential Risk

June 29, 2012


Concerned that developments in human technology may soon pose new, extinction-level risks to our species as a whole, Astronomer Royal Martin Rees, Cambridge University philosopher Huw Price, and Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn have formed The Cambridge Project for Existential Risk.

“These dangers have been suggested from progress in AI, from developments in biotechnology and artificial life, from nanotechnology, and from possible extreme effects of anthropogenic climate change,” the… read more

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