Archive for the ‘neuroscience’ category: Page 4

Oct 22, 2020

Is This Virtual Worm the First Sign of the Singularity?

Posted by in categories: neuroscience, singularity

Circa 2013

A far-flung team is trying to build the first digital lifeform to work out the basic principles of the brain.

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Oct 22, 2020

Bacterial metabolism of dietary soy may lower risk factor for dementia

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension, neuroscience

The researchers found that while equol production did not appear to impact levels of amyloid-beta deposited within the brain, it was associated with reduced white matter lesion volumes. Sekikawa’s team also discovered that high levels of isoflavones—soy nutrients that are metabolized into equol—had no effect on levels of white matter lesions or amyloid-beta when equol wasn’t produced.

According to Sekikawa, the ability to produce equol from soy isoflavones may be the key to unlocking protective health benefits from a soy-rich diet, and his team has previously shown that equol production is associated with a lower risk of heart disease. As heart disease is strongly associated with cognitive decline and dementia, equol production could help protect the aging brain as well as the heart.

A metabolite produced following consumption of dietary soy may decrease a key risk factor for dementia—with the help of the right bacteria, according to a new discovery led by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

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Oct 21, 2020

New vaccine could help halt Alzheimer’s progression, preclinical study finds

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension, neuroscience

Our immune system’s capacity to mount a well-regulated defense against foreign substances, including toxins, weakens with age and makes vaccines less effective in people over age 65. At the same time, research has shown that immunotherapy targeting neurotoxic forms of the peptide amyloid beta (oligomeric Aβ) may halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common age-related neurodegenerative disease.

A team led by Chuanhai Cao, Ph.D., of the University of South Florida Health (USF Health), has focused on overcoming, in those with impaired immunity, excess inflammation and other complications that interfere with development of a therapeutic Alzheimer’s vaccine.

Now, a by Dr. Cao and colleagues indicates that an antigen-presenting dendritic vaccine with a specific antibody response to oligomeric Aβ may be safer and offer clinical benefit in treating Alzheimer’s disease. The vaccine, called E22W42 DC, uses immune known as dendritic cells (DC) loaded with a modified Aβ peptide as the antigen.

Oct 21, 2020

Does Consciousness Create Reality? Double Slit Experiment may show the Answer

Posted by in categories: neuroscience, particle physics, quantum physics

The double slit experiment — Does consciousness create reality? Quantum mechanics shows us that particles are in superposition, meaning they can exist in different states and even multiple places at the same time. They are nothing more than waves of probabilities, until the moment that they are measured. One interpretation of this phenomenon is that the measurement being made requires a measurer, or a conscious observer. If this is correct, then it implies that consciousness has to be is an integral part of creating the world that we observe. Could this consciousness then be required for creating reality? Does this mean that there would be no reality without consciousness?

Experiments can show that what we think of as particles behave like waves. Waves of probabilities. This is the foundation of Quantum mechanics. The famous double slit experiment illustrates this. What is bizarre is that when you try to find out what’s going on at the slits by placing a detector at the two slits to try to figure out which slit the individual atoms are going through – the “WHICH WAY” information, they all of a sudden stop behaving like waves, and behave like particles.

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Oct 20, 2020

New Research Claims That Consciousness Itself Is an Energy Field

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Dualism Reborn

McFadden’s hypothesis veers away from most neuroscientists, who generally see consciousness as a narrative that our brain constructs out of our senses, perceptions, and actions. Instead, McFadden returns to a more empirical version of dualism — the idea that consciousness stems from something other than our brain matter — in this case energy.

“How brain matter becomes aware and manages to think is a mystery that has been pondered by philosophers, theologians, mystics and ordinary people for millennia,” McFadden said in a press release. “I believe this mystery has now been solved, and that consciousness is the experience of nerves plugging into the brain’s self-generated electromagnetic field to drive what we call ‘free will’ and our voluntary actions.”

Oct 19, 2020

Caltech Develops a Way to Map Brain Circuits in Real Time

Posted by in categories: genetics, neuroscience

Current optical techniques can image neuron activity only near the brain’s surface, but integrated neurophotonics could unlock circuits buried deep in the brain. Credit: Roukes et. al.

But current optogenetic studies of the brain are constrained by a significant physical limitation, says Laurent Moreaux, Caltech senior research scientist and lead author on the paper. Brain tissue scatters light, which means that light shone in from outside the brain can travel only short distances within it. Because of this, only regions less than about two millimeters from the brain’s surface can be examined optically. This is why the best-studied brain circuits are usually simple ones that relay sensory information, such as the sensory cortex in a mouse—they are located near the surface. In short, at present, optogenetics methods cannot readily offer insight into circuits located deeper in the brain, including those involved in higher-order cognitive or learning processes.

Integrated neurophotonics, Roukes and colleagues say, circumvents the problem. In the technique, the microscale elements of a complete imaging system are implanted near complex neural circuits located deep within the brain, in regions such as the hippocampus (which is involved in memory formation), striatum (which controls cognition), and other fundamental structures in unprecedented resolution. Consider the similar technology of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the scanning technique currently used to image entire brains. Each voxel, or three-dimension pixel, in an fMRI scan is typically about a cubic millimeter in volume and contains roughly 100,000 neurons. Each voxel, therefore, represents the average activity of all of these 100,000 cells.

Oct 19, 2020

Edge-centric functional network representations of human cerebral cortex reveal overlapping system-level architecture

Posted by in category: neuroscience

The authors present an edge-centric model of brain connectivity. Edge networks are stable across datasets, and their structure can be modulated by sensory input. When clustered, edge networks yield pervasively overlapping functional modules.

Oct 19, 2020

Could cold water hold a clue to a dementia cure?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

“In a world first, a “cold-shock” protein has been found in the blood of regular winter swimmers at London’s Parliament Hill Lido.”

“The protein has been shown to slow the onset of dementia and even repair some of the damage it causes in mice.”

“Prof Giovanna Mallucci, who runs the UK Dementia Research Institute’s Centre at the University of Cambridge, says the discovery could point researchers towards new drug treatments which may help hold dementia at bay.”

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Oct 18, 2020

Elon Musk’s Neuralink May Offer us Symbiosis With AI — Part 2

Posted by in categories: biological, Elon Musk, existential risks, neuroscience, robotics/AI

Elon Musk has warned many times about the dangers of AI. He sees strong artificial intelligence as an existential risk. Musk therefore wants to develop a brain machine interface or BMI device so we can merge with AI and hopefully develop a symbiotic relationship with artificial intelligence thus solve the AI control problem. Elon Musk has founded the neurotechnology company Neuralink. the company is focused on developing implantable brain machine interfaces. Neuralink has made recent headlines for its newest BMI device presented by Elon Musk.

In the short term, Neuralink’s BMI may be used to fix neurological problems and disorders. As Elon Musk has pointed out, over time, virtually everyone who gets old will suffer at least one if not multiple common neurological issues such as: Memory loss, hearing loss, seizures, strokes, brain damage etc.

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Oct 16, 2020

Pilot: A virtual agent that can negotiate with humans

Posted by in categories: business, computing, education, law, neuroscience

Negotiations are a central part of many human interactions, ranging from business discussions and legal proceedings to conversations with vendors at local markets. Researchers specialized in economics, psychology, and more recently, computer science have conducted several studies aimed at better understanding how humans negotiate with one another in the hope of shedding light on some of the dynamics of human decision-making and enabling the development of machines that can replicate these dynamics.

A research team at the University of Southern California has been exploring the possibility of building automated systems that can negotiate with humans. In a paper pre-published on arXiv and set to be presented at the IJCAI conference, they presented a virtual agent based on a framework called IAGO (Interactive Arbitration Guide Online), which can negotiate with humans in a three-round task. This virtual agent, called Pilot, is one of the finalists of the IJCAI conference’s global negotiation challenge (ANAC).

“Recently, researchers realized the potential applications of building automated systems that can negotiate with humans,” Kushal Chawla, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told TechXplore. “These intelligent assistants can be really useful to augment current techniques for training people to have stronger social skills. Examples include teaching business students to negotiate for successful deals or lawyers to accurately assess settlement rates in legal proceedings.”

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