Submitted by Exponential Times on Sun, 2014-05-25 22:14
Researchers at MIT and the University of Vienna have created an imaging system that reveals neural activity throughout the brains of living animals. This technique, the first that can generate 3-D movies of entire brains at the millisecond timescale, could help scientists discover how neuronal networks process sensory information and generate behavior.
The team used the new system to simultaneously image the activity of every neuron in the worm Caenorhabditis elegans, as well as the entire brain of a zebrafish larva, offering a more complete picture of nervous system activity than has been previously possible.
The new approach, described May 18 in Nature Methods, could also help neuroscientists learn more about the biological basis of brain disorders. "We don't really know, for any brain disorder, the exact set of cells involved," Boyden says. "The ability to survey activity throughout a nervous system may help pinpoint the cells or networks that are involved with a brain disorder, leading to new ideas for therapies."
Submitted by Exponential Times on Sat, 2014-05-10 22:56
The revolutionary new field in brain science was created through basic research on two microbes. Researchers are hopeful that new treaments for parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, epilepsy, anxiety and visual impairment can be found.
Submitted by Exponential Times on Tue, 2014-05-06 21:16
The first time I met Prof. Ed Boyden was at last year's Global Future 2045 conference in New York. There I was highly impressed with Boyden's impressive work in neuroscience in general and optogenetics in particular, as well as the profound implications it would have on our ability to understand and manipulate the brain. And so I knew instantly I must bring him for an interview on Singularity 1 on 1.
During our 1 hour conversation with Ed we cover a variety of topics such as: his interesting career path from chemistry to physics to electrical engineering and into neuroscience; the loop of understanding and why the brain is where we need to go; the importance of philosophy; optogenetics and whether the brain is a classical computer or not; the Penrose-Hameroff theory of consciousness; the Human Brain Project; Randal Koene's Whole Brain Emulation project; the definition and importance of consciousness; neuro-plasticity and Norman Doidge's The Brain That Changes Itself; free will and mind-uploading...
Submitted by Exponential Times on Thu, 2014-04-24 23:38
A staggering 80 percent of our brain is developed in the first five years of life, but when the quality of key factors -- including in our health, nutrition, environment and sources of support -- is poor, child development is seriously affected, sometimes irreversibly. Dr. Suzana Herculano-Houzel, a neuroscientist at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, speaks about this critical period of early child development.
This is an anatomically-realistic 3D brain visualization depicting real-time source-localized activity (power and "effective" connectivity) from EEG (electroencephalographic) signals. Each color represents source power and connectivity in a different frequency band (theta, alpha, beta, gamma) and the golden lines are white matter anatomical fiber tracts. Estimated information transfer between brain regions is visualized as pulses of light flowing along the fiber tracts connecting the regions.
Submitted by Exponential Times on Fri, 2014-03-14 04:22
Our memories are our lives, and a fundamental basis of our culture. Collective memoirs of the past both bind society together and shape our potential future. With our brains we can travel through time and space, calling to mind places of significance, evoking images and emotions of past experiences. It's no wonder, then, that we so desperately fear the prospect of memory loss.
Many regions of the brain are involved in memory, but one of the most critical components is the hippocampus, which plays a crucial role in the formation of long-term memories. Damage to the hippocampus can therefore result in significant memory loss.
In this Friday Evening Discourse, Eleanor Maguire draws on evidence from virtual reality, brain imaging and studies of amnesia to show that the consequences of hippocampal damage are even more far-reaching than suspected, robbing us of our past, our imagination and altering our perception of the world.
Maguire also explains how, despite our beliefs, our memories are not actually as accurate as you might think. In fact, they're not really even about the past.
Submitted by Exponential Times on Mon, 2014-03-03 11:00
As an expert on cutting-edge digital displays, Mary Lou Jepsen studies how to show our most creative ideas on screens. And as a brain surgery patient herself, she is driven to know more about the neural activity that underlies invention, creativity, thought. She meshes these two passions in a rather mind-blowing talk on two cutting-edge brain studies that might point to a new frontier in understanding how (and what) we think.
TED Talks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design -- plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more.
Find closed captions and translated subtitles in many languages at http://www.ted.com/translate
A fascinating tour through the science behind who we are and how we got this way—from the author of The Calculus Diaries
As diverse as people appear to be, all of our genes and brains are nearly identical. In Me, Myself, and Why, Jennifer Ouellette dives into the miniscule ranges of variation to understand just what sets us apart. She draws on cutting-edge research in genetics, neuroscience, and psychology—enlivened as always with her signature sense of humor—to explore the mysteries of human identity and behavior. Readers follow her own surprising journey of self-discovery as she has her genome sequenced, her brain mapped, her personality typed, and even samples a popular hallucinogen. Bringing together everything from Mendel’s famous pea plant experiments and mutations in The X-Men to our taste for cilantro and our relationships with virtual avatars, Ouellette takes us on an endlessly thrilling and illuminating trip into the science of ourselves.