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Brain


— Science

Electric "thinking cap" helps people learn from their mistakes

By - March 27, 2014 7 Pictures
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
— Health and Wellbeing

Cefaly migraine prevention headband gets FDA approval

By - March 19, 2014 4 Pictures
Though using electrical stimulation of the brain as a means of treating migraines has provided an alternative to over-the-counter medication, the administering of the electrical currents can be complex, involving bulky equipment or even surgically implanted electrodes. Cefaly, a battery-operated headband, has now been approved by FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) and is said to not only treat migraines, but possibly prevent them altogether. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Blood test determines severity of concussions

By - March 16, 2014 1 Picture
It wasn't so long ago that shaking off a knock to the head and getting back on the field was seen as a sign of toughness for sportspeople. But in recent years, increased awareness of the potential for long-term damage has put the seriousness of concussion in the spotlight. Researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden have now developed a blood test that reveals the severity of a concussion and when it is safe for a player to return to the game. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

New blood test predicts onset of Alzheimer's disease with 90% accuracy

By - March 9, 2014 1 Picture
US medical researchers have developed a blood test which predicts with 90 percent accuracy if an individual will develop Alzheimer's disease or mild cognitive impairment within three years. The test, which looks for a set of ten lipid markers, will allow treatments to be sought that may be effective during this early, asymptomatic stage of the disease. Read More
— Medical

Glove delivers electrical pulses to improve touch for stroke victims and the elderly

By - February 24, 2014 6 Pictures
While we can counter the deterioration of sight and hearing with glasses and hearing aids, few tools exist for combating a degenerating sense of touch. A common ailment among stroke patients and the aging, treating diminishing tactile perception has proven a complicated task. Looking to provide a wearable solution unimposing enough for everyday use, a research team from Germany's Ruhr University Bochum (RUB) is developing a stimulation glove designed to be worn passively to alleviate such impairments. Read More
— Science

A good book can change your life ... and your brain

By - January 5, 2014 2 Pictures
Stories, whether fact or fiction, are at the heart of human culture. A strong narrative can resonate with your personality and experiences, and help set a framework for your future. "That book changed my life" is a cherished maxim. So can a book change your brain too? A recent study led by Emory University's Gregory Berns has demonstrated that reading a novel produces physical changes in the brain similar to those that would result from living as one or more of the characters. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Rehabilitative device bridges the gap between stroke victims' brains and hands

By - December 3, 2013 2 Pictures
We've recently seen rehabilitative systems in which stroke victims use their thoughts either to move animated images of their paralyzed limbs, or to activate robotic devices that guide their limbs through the desired movements. Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, however, have just announced an alternative approach. Their device acts as an intermediary between the brain and a non-responsive hand, receiving signals from the one and transmitting them to the other. Read More
— Electronics

Computer rendering of taste is on the tip of the tongue

By - November 28, 2013 8 Pictures
Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States, a holiday in which we celebrate the blessings granted by Life, the Universe, and Everything. A central part of Thanksgiving traditions involves a massive feast, often featuring turkey or ham, and a selection of delicious side dishes. It may soon be possible to virtually experience such a repast as enjoyed by a character in a movie or a video game, aided by a new method for digitally actuating the sense of taste through electrical and thermal stimulation of the tongue. Read More
— Medical

"Virtual reality hands" mind-control therapy for stroke patients

By - November 18, 2013 3 Pictures
Earlier this year, we saw an amazing demonstration of an EEG skullcap interface that allowed a quadcopter to be controlled with only thoughts. Now the same technology is pioneering a medical therapy in which stroke patients can use their thoughts to guide a simulation, and thus rebuild damaged neurons. As the “virtual reality hands” provide customization and direct feedback of one’s progress, this could be an improvement over traditional therapy methods. Read More
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