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Feb 26, 2024

A Prelude to Speech: How the Brain Forms Words

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

Summary: Researchers made a groundbreaking discovery on how the human brain forms words before speaking. By utilizing Neuropixels probes, they’ve mapped out how neurons represent speech sounds and assemble them into language.

This study not only sheds light on the complex cognitive steps involved in speech production but also opens up possibilities for treating speech and language disorders. The technology could lead to artificial prosthetics for synthetic speech, benefiting those with neurological disorders.

Feb 26, 2024

Ultrasound Brain Stimulation: A Significant Leap in Neurotherapy

Posted by in category: neuroscience

New research conducted by a team led by Dr. PARK Joo Min of the Center for Cognition and Sociality within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) unveils a novel technique that could transform the treatment landscape for brain disorders.

The team developed a non-invasive brain stimulation method called Patterned Low-Intensity Low-Frequency Ultrasound (LILFUS), which holds tremendous potential for inducing long-lasting changes in brain function.

Feb 26, 2024

Neural Decoding Unveils Secrets of Navigation

Posted by in categories: biological, military, robotics/AI

Summary: A new study combines deep learning with neural activity data from mice to unlock the mystery of how they navigate their environment.

By analyzing the firing patterns of “head direction” neurons and “grid cells,” researchers can now accurately predict a mouse’s location and orientation, shedding light on the complex brain functions involved in navigation. This method, developed in collaboration with the US Army Research Laboratory, represents a significant leap forward in understanding spatial awareness and could revolutionize autonomous navigation in AI systems.

The findings highlight the potential for integrating biological insights into artificial intelligence to enhance machine navigation without relying on GPS technology.

Feb 26, 2024

Bottlenose Dolphins Become One Of Few Known Mammals With A “Seventh Sense”

Posted by in category: futurism

The first study of bottlenose dolphins’ sensitivity to electric fields has found some can detect electric direct current (DC) fields as weak as 2.4 microvolts per centimeter, even better than the measured capacities of platypus. Although still less capable in this regard than sharks and rays, the finding suggests electroreceptivity may play a more important role in dolphins’ survival than previously suspected.

Dolphins have small pits rich in nerve endings on their face, known as vibrissal crypts. A 2022 study confirmed these allow them to detect weak electric fields, but provided no indication on how weak that can be. It makes sense for species that live in murky rivers or estuaries to develop alternatives to seeing underwater, but for those dolphins that inhabit clearer waters such capacities might prove superfluous.

Continue reading “Bottlenose Dolphins Become One Of Few Known Mammals With A ‘Seventh Sense’” »

Feb 26, 2024

Unlocking the Brain’s Fear Circuitry: A Pathway to Survival Responses

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Source: Northwestern University.

Scientists have discovered a new neural pathway involved in how the brain encodes the transition to high-intensity fear response behaviors that are necessary for survival, according to a recent study published in Nature.

Jones Parker, Ph.D., assistant professor of Neuroscience, of Pharmacology and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, was a co-author of the study.

Feb 26, 2024

Memories Could Be Lost if Two Key Brain Regions Fail to Sync Together

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Summary: If neural assemblies between the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex fail to sync together at the correct time, memories are lost.

Source: University of Bristol.

Learning, remembering something, and recalling memories is supported by multiple separate groups of neurons connected inside and across key regions in the brain. If these neural assemblies fail to sync together at the right time, the memories are lost, a new study led by the universities of Bristol and Heidelberg has found.

Feb 26, 2024

Why PTSD Patients Relive Highly Charged Fear Memories in Sleep

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Summary: In people with PTSD, during REM sleep norepinephrine and serotonin levels remain high, reducing the brain’s ability to inhibit fear-expression neurons through neural rhythms sent between the prefrontal cortex and amygdala. Those with PTSD require higher frequency rhythms to extinguish fear memories. Researchers say unlocking the higher frequencies via therapies could help to restore quality sleep in those with PTSD.

Source: Virginia Tech.

During periods of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, brain activity often resembles that of awake behavior. At times, the brain can actually be more active during REM sleep than when you’re awake. It’s why REM sleep is sometimes called “paradoxical sleep,” said Virginia Tech neuroscientist Sujith Vijayan.

Feb 26, 2024

Abnormal 12-Hour Cyclic Gene Activity Found in Schizophrenic Brains

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Summary: Postmortem brains of those with schizophrenia have fewer genes associated with 12-hour activity cycles in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Mitochondrial-related genes in the dlPFC did maintain a 12-hour rhythm, but their activity did not peak at normal times.

Source: PLOS

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, U.S. present the first evidence of 12-hour cycles of gene activity in the human brain.

Feb 26, 2024

What’s in a Name? Actors Suppress Their Sense of Self When Playing New Character

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Summary: When actors hear their own names during a performance, their response is suppressed by activity in the left anterior prefrontal cortex, a brain area associated with self-awareness.

Source: UCL

Actors may suppress their core sense of self when acting, as they immerse themselves in a new role, finds a new study by UCL researchers.

Feb 26, 2024

How the Brain Focuses on What’s in Mind

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Summary: Rhythmic bursts of activity in the prefrontal cortex reduce variability as an animal focuses on a task.

Source: picower institute for learning and memory.

Working memory, that handy ability to consciously hold and manipulate new information in mind, takes work. In particular, participating neurons in the prefrontal cortex have to work together in synchrony to focus our thoughts, whether we’re remembering a set of directions or tonight’s menu specials.

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