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Brain

Quadriplegic Ian Burkhart has been given the ability to move his fingers and hand with his...

In what is being touted as a world first, a quadriplegic man has been given the ability to move his fingers and hand with his own thoughts thanks to the implantation of an electronic device in his brain and muscle stimulation sleeve. Part of a neurostimulation system dubbed "Neurobridge," the technology essentially bypasses the damaged spinal cord and reconnects the brain directly to the muscles.  Read More

The technology has been tested in a flight simulator

Flying is most definitely a hands-on (and feet-on) job, but it may not always be that way. Turning science fiction into fact, researchers at the Institute for Flight System Dynamics of the Technische Universität München (TUM) and the TU Berlin are developing a way for pilots to control aircraft with their minds alone. According to the team, they have not only demonstrated that it’s possible, but that it can be done with a surprising degree of accuracy.  Read More

Diffuse optical tomography could offer a safer alternative to fMRI and PET scans (Photo: T...

When doctors want to monitor someone's brain activity, they generally use either functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) or positron emission tomography (PET). One subjects the patient to strong magnetic fields, while the other involves radiation exposure. Scientists at Washington University in St. Louis, however, have recently had success using diffuse optical tomography (DOT). Although it may look kind of extreme, it basically just involves shining LEDs into the subject's head.  Read More

The new technique pioneered by researchers from MIT and the University of Vienna has the p...

A team of researchers from the University of Vienna and MIT have developed a novel way of observing the behavior of neurons on a brain-wide scale. The discovery has potential applications in the medical field, allowing scientists to pinpoint the specific cells involved in a brain disorder, thus aiding them in tailoring a focused course of treatment.  Read More

The PRIORI app looks for telltale changes in the speaker's speech patterns (Photo: Shutter...

People afflicted with bipolar disorder must live with the fact that at any moment, they could launch into a major depressive or manic mental state. These mood swings can be so severe that dangerous, erratic behavior including suicide attempts can result. Researchers at the University of Michigan, however, are developing something that could prove to be very helpful. It's an Android app that listens to a patient's phone conversations, and detects the signs of oncoming mood swings in their voice.  Read More

An infusion of blood from young mice has led to cognitive improvements in older mice (Phot...

A literal infusion of some "young blood" has the ability to turn back the clock and restore the mental capabilities of old mice, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. If similar results are seen in humans, the simple technique could lead to new treatments for forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease.  Read More

A group of engineers at Stanford have developed an iPad-sized, highly power-efficient way ...

A group of engineers at Stanford have developed an iPad-sized, highly power-efficient way of simulating a million neurons and billions of synapses for as low as US$400. The advancement could both help our understanding of the brain and help develop a new generation of bionic limbs that are controlled by the patient's brain in real time with no effort at all.  Read More

Research suggests a blood test to detect depression is possible (Photo: Shutterstock)

At present, reaching a diagnosis for depression typically involves interviews with the patient, resulting in a drawn out and costly process. Some recent research efforts have sought to address this, such as a diagnostic technique that measures electrical activity in the brain to more quickly detect mental illness. Now a team of Austrian researchers has demonstrated a link between levels of serotonin in the blood and the depression network in the brain, meaning that diagnosing depression could soon become a much more efficient undertaking.  Read More

The cloud-based supercomputer will be used to suggest patient specific cancer treatments f...

IBM's Watson supercomputer is being re-tasked to help clinicians create personalized treatments for a common form of brain cancer known as glioblastoma. The project, which is a collaboration between IBM and the New York Genome Center (NYGC), hopes to make use of Watson's artificial intelligence to analyze vast quantities of data in order to suggest a personalized life-saving treatment based on the patient's individual case.  Read More

tDCS has come a long way from Giovanni Aldini's 1802 pioneering treatment of Luigi Lanzari...

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has become a widely used technique for reaching into a person's brain and altering the way in which it functions. Vanderbilt psychology Professor Geoffrey Woodman and graduate student Robert Reinhart have just published the results of a new study in the Journal of Neuroscience in which they found that tDCS stimulation of the mediofrontal cortex for a period of minutes can change one's ability to recognize and learn from error for a period of several hours.  Read More

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