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Brain

Science

Mapping the thesaurus of the human brain

Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) have used MRI data to create what they call a "semantic atlas," using vivid colors in multiple dimensions to show how the brain organizes language. The greater understanding that the map provides could one day help patients suffering from conditions such as motor neuron diseases and strokes in making themselves understood.Read More

Science

Scientists pinpoint where in the brain we process facial expressions

Recognizing facial expressions is something that we do naturally, without any thought. However, whenever we smile or frown, or express any number of emotions using our faces, we move a large number of muscles in a complex manner. While we're not conscious of it, when you're looking at someone making a facial expression, there's a whole part of our brains that deals with decoding the information conveyed by those muscles. Now, researchers at the Ohio State University have worked to pinpoint exactly where in the brain that processing occurs. Read More

Medical

Bypassing spinal cord lets paralyzed man control own hand

Using a specialized sleeve, his own mind and a brain-implant smaller than a pea, a man paralyzed from the neck down has regained the ability to handle a variety of everyday objects. The researchers say the success of the technology, which bypasses the injured spinal cord, offers "realistic hope" to others with similar disabilities, with the team planning to expand the trial to include new patients in the coming months.Read More

Computers

Brain-like supercomputing platform to explore new frontiers

In the old days, it was common to hear a computer chip referred to as an "electronic brain." Modern chip designs are now making such labels even more apt. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is set to take receipt of a brain-inspired supercomputing platform developed by IBM Research. The first-of-a-kind system is based on a neurosynaptic computer chip known as IBM TrueNorth, and can process the equivalent of 16 million neurons and 4 billion synapses while consuming just 2.5 watts of power.Read More

Science

Autism-like behavior reversed in laboratory mice

MIT scientists have successfully reversed autistic-like behavioral patterns in mice. The study focused on a gene called Shank3, which is missing in 1 percent of individuals suffering from autism, and is believed to be vital for the development of a healthy adult brain.Read More

Medical

Graphene successfully interfaced with neurons in the brain

Scientists have long been on a quest to find a way to implant electrodes that interface with neurons into the human brain. If successful, the idea could have huge implications for the treatment of Parkinson's disease and other neurological disorders. Last month, a team of researchers from Italy and the UK made a huge step forward by showing that the world's favorite wonder-material, graphene, can successfully interface with neurons.Read More

Medical

Brain scans could head off depression

A simple brain scan could identify children at risk of suffering from depression later in life, according to a new study. If implemented, the early warning test could allow doctors to carry out treatment prior to the first instance of depression, making it less likely that the patient will suffer further bouts.Read More

Medical

Dissolvable sensors could soon be used to wirelessly monitor the human brain

Even though as many as 50,000 people die of traumatic brain injuries in the United States every year, the equipment used to measure vital stats like intracranial pressure is usually made up of decades-old technology. To address this, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have created a new sensor that's far less invasive and much safer than the existing technology.Read More

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