Archive for the ‘neuroscience’ category: Page 2

Sep 20, 2022

Scientists Have Long Dreamed of a Memory Prosthesis. The First Human Trials Look Promising

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, computing, cyborgs, neuroscience

For the memory prosthetic, the team focused on two specific regions: CA1 and CA3, which form a highly interconnected neural circuit. Decades of work in rodents, primates, and humans have pointed to this neural highway as the crux for encoding memories.

The team members, led by Drs. Dong Song from the University of Southern California and Robert Hampson at Wake Forest School of Medicine, are no strangers to memory prosthetics. With “memory bioengineer” Dr. Theodore Berger—who’s worked on hijacking the CA3-CA1 circuit for memory improvement for over three decades—the dream team had their first success in humans in 2015.

The central idea is simple: replicate the hippocampus’ signals with a digital replace ment. It’s no easy task. Unlike computer circuits, neural circuits are non-linear. This means that signals are often extremely noisy and overlap in time, which bolsters—or inhibits—neural signals. As Berger said at the time: “It’s a chaotic black box.”

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Sep 20, 2022

Alzheimer’s Might Not Actually Be a Brain Disease, Expert Says

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

The pursuit of a cure for Alzheimer’s disease is becoming an increasingly competitive and contentious quest with recent years witnessing several important controversies.

In July 2022, Science magazine reported that a key 2006 research paper, published in the prestigious journal Nature, which identified a subtype of brain protein called beta-amyloid as the cause of Alzheimer’s, may have been based on fabricated data.

One year earlier, in June 2021, the US Food and Drug Administration had approved aducanumab, an antibody-targeting beta-amyloid, as a treatment for Alzheimer’s, even though the data supporting its use were incomplete and contradictory.

Sep 19, 2022

New Study Reveals 3 Activities That Can Lower Your Risk of Dementia

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, neuroscience

A new study recently published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, suggests that physical and mental activities, such as doing chores around the home, exercising, and visiting family and friends, may help reduce the risk of dementia. The research examined how these activities, together with mental activities and the use of electronic devices, affected individuals with and without increased hereditary risk for dementia.

“Many studies have identified potential risk factors for dementia, but we wanted to know more about a wide variety of lifestyle habits and their potential role in the prevention of dementia,” said study author Huan Song, MD, Ph.D., of Sichuan University in Chengdu, China. “Our study found that exercise, household chores, and social visits were linked to a reduced risk of various types of dementia.”

The study involved 501,376 people from a UK database without dementia. The participants had an average age of 36.

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Sep 19, 2022

Reverse-engineering the brain to decode input signals from output neuron firing

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, neuroscience

The brain is an extremely complex organ whose exact functioning remains difficult to understand. On average, the human brain contains 100 billion neurons that fire upon receiving input signals from multiple sensory organs. But, what is truly remarkable about our brain is the synchronization of this neural firing when triggered by a common input. Put simply, common inputs can generate a collective response in neurons that are not only spatially separated but also have different firing characteristics.

The neural synchronization has been observed before in experiments, and is commonly demonstrated during rest and activities involving tasks. However, the common inputs which produce this are typically unknown in real-world situations. This raises an interesting question: is it possible to reconstruct this input by looking at the output of the ?

In a new study published in Physical Review E on September 12, 2022, a team of researchers from Japan, led by Professor Tohru Ikeguchi from Tokyo University of Science (TUS), set out to answer this question. The team, including Associate Professor Ryota Nomura of Waseda University (formerly TUS), and Associate Professor Kantaro Fujiwara of The University of Tokyo, looked at the firing rates of neurons and managed to reconstruct the using a method called “superposed recurrence plot” (SRP).

Sep 18, 2022

Bluebird’s Gene Therapy for Brain Disease Receives Accelerated Approval

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Bluebird Bio Inc.’s gene therapy for a brain-wasting disease received accelerated approval from U.S. regulators, making it the first treatment of its kind for children living with cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy.

Sep 17, 2022

Is there an afterlife? Here’s what he saw while he was ‘dead’

Posted by in category: neuroscience

What if death isn’t the end? NDEs may complicate what science teaches us about death and consciousness.

Sep 16, 2022

How to overwrite your cognitive scripts

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Although we think we are fully aware and in control of our everyday decisions, we actually often follow a series of cognitive scripts. These cognitive scripts often develop in childhood and are personal to you. However, as they are commonly based on a sequence of events that we expect to occur in given situations, many scripts will follow a common theme.

For example, when meeting someone new, we know we are expected to give our name, ask the individual about themselves, partake in some small talk, and then move onto deeper topics. Although cognitive scripts can save time and reduce the mental effort of deciding how to behave, they can also negatively affect our decision-making and productivity.

Sep 16, 2022

The Experience of Reward Increases Connectivity Between the Default Mode Network and Other Brain Regions

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Summary: Study reveals how reward enhances connectivity between the ventral striatum and the default mode network, impacting behavior.

Source: Kessler Foundation.

Researchers have reported findings that add to our knowledge of how human behavior may be shaped by the default mode network, a specific network of brain regions with both resting and task-related states.

Sep 16, 2022

Direct Neural Interface & DARPA — Dr Justin Sanchez

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, neuroscience, robotics/AI

The future of mind-controlled machines might not be as far away as we think.

As director of DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office, Dr Justin Sanchez is part of a team that is looking at how to decode brain signals and use them to control robotic prosthetics.

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Sep 16, 2022

Dr. Greg Lieberman, Ph.D. — Neuroscientist — Optimizing Human-System Performance, Army Research Lab

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, military, neuroscience, robotics/AI

Optimizing Human-System Performance — Dr. Greg Lieberman, Ph.D., Neuroscientist / Lead, U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory, U.S. Army Futures Command

Dr. Greg Lieberman, Ph.D. ( is a Neuroscientist, and Lead, Optimizing Human-System Performance, at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, Army Research Laboratory (DEVCOM ARL).

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