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— Medical

Augmented reality treatment alleviates phantom limb pain

Studies have shown that a large percentage of amputees feel pain in their missing limbs. This condition, known as phantom limb pain (PLP), is caused by the part of brain responsible for a limb's movement becoming idle once that limb is lost. The ailment has so far proven difficult to treat, but a new study suggests therapy involving augmented reality and gaming could stimulate these unused areas of the brain, resulting in a significant reduction in discomfort. Read More
— Electronics

DOD pushes development of cheap, portable brain-reading device

Innovation is all about putting on the proverbial thinking cap. Now engineers are vying to produce an actual thinking cap – at least one that can measure the most rudimentary signals of thought. The US Department of Defense is pushing for the development of cheap, wearable systems that can detect the brain waves of people and display the data on smartphones or tablets. Read More
— Science

Synchronized virtual reality heartbeat triggers out-of-body experiences

New research demonstrates that triggering an out-of-body experience (OBE) could be as simple as getting a person to watch a video of themselves with their heartbeat projected onto it. According to the study, it's easy to trick the mind into thinking it belongs to an external body and manipulate a person's self-consciousness by externalizing the body's internal rhythms. The findings could lead to new treatments for people with perceptual disorders such as anorexia and could also help dieters too. Read More
— Computers

Neuromorphic chips could help reverse-engineer the human brain

Researchers at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich have designed a sophisticated computer system that is comparable in size, speed and energy consumption to the human brain. Based on the development of neuromorphic microchips that mimic the properties of biological neurons, the research is seen as an important step in understanding how the human brain processes information and opens the door to fast, extremely low-power electronic systems that can assimilate sensory input and perform user-defined tasks in real time. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Researchers turn gray matter transparent to shed light on the brain’s secrets

Many will remember the colorless colas that came and went in the early 90s. While they were nothing more than a gimmick, Stanford University researchers have developed a clear technology that should prove a little more beneficial to humanity. They have developed a process called CLARITY that turns a normally opaque brain transparent, allowing postmortem examinations to be done without slicing and dicing and opening the doors to a wealth of information about our least understood organ. Read More
— Science

Mouse brain activity monitored on video in real time

What’s that mouse thinking about? Scientists at California’s Stanford University can now tell you – to a limited extent. They recently had success in imaging the neural activity of mice, in real time. While the ability to “read a mouse’s mind” may not fire many peoples’ imaginations, the technology could prove very useful in researching diseases like Alzheimer's. Read More
— Robotics

UCSD's robot baby Diego-san appears on video for the first time

A new android infant has been born thanks to the University of California San Diego's Machine Perception Lab. The lab received funding from the National Science Foundation to contract Kokoro Co. Ltd. and Hanson Robotics, two companies that specialize in building lifelike animatronics and androids, to build a replicant based on a one year old baby. The resulting robot, which has been a couple of years in development, has finally been completed – and you can watch it smile and make cute faces after the break. Read More