Archive for the ‘neuroscience’ category

Nov 18, 2020

US Army-Funded Algorithm Decodes Brain Signals

Posted by in categories: information science, military, neuroscience

“This presents a potential way of reliably measuring, for instance, the mental overload of an individual, of a soldier,” Krim said.

If the algorithm detects behavior indicating a soldier is stressed or overloaded, then a machine could alert that soldier before they are even able to recognize their own fatigue, Krim said. Improving self-awareness is central to the Army’s interest in this research, he added.

The research is part of an effort to establish a machine-brain interface. Eventually, Krim said, this research may contribute to the development of technology that can not only interpret signals from the brain but also send signals back to help individuals take automatic corrective action for certain behaviors, he added.

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Nov 17, 2020

Link Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Gut Microbiota Is Confirmed

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Summary: Study confirms an association between an imbalance in gut bacteria and the development of amyloid plaques in the brains of humans.

Source: University of Geneva

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. Still incurable, it directly affects nearly one million people in Europe, and indirectly millions of family members as well as society as a whole. In recent years, the scientific community has suspected that the gut microbiota plays a role in the development of the disease.

Nov 17, 2020

Neuroscience Meets Astrophysics: Does the Human Brain Resemble the Universe?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

In their paper published in Frontiers of Physics, Franco Vazza (astrophysicist at the University of Bologna) and Alberto Feletti (neurosurgeon at the University of Verona) investigated the similarities between two of the most challenging and complex systems in nature: the cosmic network of galaxies and the network of neuronal cells in the human brain.

Despite the substantial difference in scale between the two networks (more than 27 orders of magnitude), their quantitative analysis, which sits at the crossroads of cosmology and neurosurgery, suggests that diverse physical processes can build structures characterized by similar levels of complexity and self-organization.

The human brain functions thanks to its wide neuronal network that is deemed to contain approximately 69 billion neurons. On the other hand, the observable universe can count upon a cosmic web of at least 100 billion galaxies. Within both systems, only 30% of their masses are composed of galaxies and neurons. Within both systems, galaxies and neurons arrange themselves in long filaments or nodes between the filaments. Finally, within both systems, 70% of the distribution of mass or energy is composed of components playing an apparently passive role: water in the brain and dark energy in the observable Universe.

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Nov 17, 2020

Army-funded algorithm decodes brain signals responsible for behaviors

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, information science, neuroscience

Like walking and breathing and could one day allow people to control prosthetics simply by thinking…

The US Army is funding a project that could lead to brain-machine interfaces. It includes an algorithm capable of isolating brain signals and linking them to specific behaviors such as walking and breathing.

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Nov 17, 2020

Ontological Holism: The Ultimate Reality of Self-Simulating Universe, or Why We All Are One

Posted by in categories: cosmology, evolution, neuroscience

When we apprehend reality as the entirety of everything that exists including all dimensionality, all events and entities in their respective timelines, then by definition nothing exists outside of reality, not even “nothing.” It means that the first cause for reality’s existence must lie within ontological reality itself, since there is nothing outside of it. This self-causation of reality is perhaps best understood in relation to the existence of your own mind. Self-simulated reality transpires as self-evident when you relate to the notion that a phenomenal mind, which is a web of patterns, conceives a certain novel pattern and simultaneously perceives it. Furthermore, the imminent natural God of Spinoza, or Absolute Consciousness, becomes intelligible by applying a scientific tool of extrapolation to the meta-systemic phenomenon of radical emergence and treating consciousness as a primary ontological mover, the Source if you will, not a by-product of material interactions.

#OntologicalHolism #ontology #holism #cosmology #phenomenology #consciousness #mind #evolution

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Nov 17, 2020

Scientists turn dreams into eerie short films with an MRI scan

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Circa 2013

A group of scientists from Kyoto has managed to successfully analyze and “record” the basic elements of what people see when they dream. The idea of recording dreams has been a mainstay in science fiction, but also a frequent goal for researchers. As Smithsonian Magazine writes, this group designed its study based on the premise that brains react to “seeing” objects with repeatable patterns that can be measured with MRI. If a machine can recognize the patterns well enough, it can reverse-engineer them, giving us a window into what’s going on inside people’s heads while they dream.

Three participants were selected for a study and asked to sleep for several three-hour blocks in an MRI scanner. Once they fell asleep, scientists woke them up and asked them to describe what they’d seen in the dream, grouping them into loose categories and sub-categories like “car,” “male,” “female,” or “dwelling.” The group then picked representations of those categories from an online image search and showed them to the participants, once again measuring their brain activity to figure out what patterns might be unique to that concept. Finally, the participants were asked to sleep again, but this time, a machine wouldn’t simply record how their brain responded to dreaming — it would attempt to match it to one of the categories with a series of images, as seen in the video below.

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Nov 17, 2020

Uh-Oh, Scientists Used Human Genes to Make Monkey Brains Bigger

Posted by in category: neuroscience

I did the worm thing so I might as well bring up the monkey thing.

In an experiment that could portend a real-life Planet of the Apes situation, scientists spliced human genes into the fetus of a monkey to substantially increase the size of the primate’s brain. And it worked.

Dive deeper. ➡ Get unlimited access to the weird world of Pop Mech.

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Nov 15, 2020

Physics can solve key challenges facing AI, study finds

Posted by in categories: neuroscience, physics, robotics/AI

These findings represent a bridge in physics, AI and neuroscience, and has the potential to advance on-the-spot decision making in AI.

Nov 15, 2020

Neuroscience studies suggest that pilots display a unique pattern of brain functional connectivity

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Pilots display a different pattern of functional connectivity in the brain, according to new research conducted in China. The new studies examined interactions and synchronized activity between different areas of the brain, and the findings suggest that pilots tend to have enhanced cognitive flexibility compared to their non-flying counterparts.

“Civil aviation is a distinctive career. Pilots work in a complex, dynamic information environment. They must be aware of all the relevant information regarding this environment and recognize their meaning and importance,” said the authors of the new research in an article published in PLOS One.

Because of the cognitive demands placed on pilots, the researchers hypothesized that they would display a different pattern of brain connectivity compared to non-pilots.

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Nov 15, 2020

Researchers identify the genetic program that allows us to see in 3D

Posted by in categories: genetics, neuroscience

A group of researchers from the Institute of Neurosciences UMH-CSIC, in Alicante, led by Dr. Eloísa Herrera, has discovered a genetic program essential for the formation of bilateral circuits, such as the one that makes possible 3D vision or the one enabling motor coordination. The finding, carried out in mice, is published today in Science Advances.

This new study not only clarifies how images are transmitted from the retina to the brain in order to see in 3D, but also helps us to understand how laterality is established in other neuronal circuits, such as the one that allows us to coordinate movements at both sides of the body, Dr. Herrera explains.

The work also reveals the important role of a protein known as Zic2 in the regulation of a signaling called Wnt, which is fundamental for the correct development of the embryo and is highly conserved among species, from fruit flies to humans, including mice, in which this study has been carried out.

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