A proposed effort to map brain activity on a large scale, expected to be announced by the White House later this month, could help neuroscientists understand the origins of cognition, perception, and other phenomena. These brain activities haven’t been well understood to date, in part because they arise from the interaction of large sets of neurons whose coordinated efforts scientists cannot currently track.
An article published Thursday in Science online expands the project’s already ambitious goals beyond just recording the activity of all individual neurons in a brain circuit simultaneously. Researchers should also find ways to manipulate the neurons within those circuits and understand circuit function through new methods of data analysis and modeling.
Electrically stimulating the brain may improve memory, but impede with a person’s ability to react without thinking.
The approach has previously been shown to enhance various brain functions, including working memory and attention, and is being used to help stroke patients regain lost language and motor skills (see “Repairing the Stroke-Damaged Brain”). But until now, little research had been done on whether improving performance on one task would come at the detriment of others.
Increased sugar consumption leads to increased diabetes prevalence. One solution is to reduce sugar consumption, but this is difficult to implement in a western diet. It is best to combine the consumption of high fiber foods such as oatmeal, oat bran, beans and legumes with the consumption of high sugar foods.
Johns Hopkins engineers have developed a powerful new computer-based process that helps identify the dangerous conditions that lead to concussion-related brain injuries.
Professor K.T. Ramesh led a team that used a technique called diffusion tensor imaging, together with a computer model of the head, to identify injured axons, which are tiny but important fibers that carry information from one brain cell to another. These axons are concentrated in a kind of brain tissue known as “white matter,” and they appear to be injured during the so-called mild traumatic brain injury associated with concussions. Ramesh’s team has shown that the axons are injured most easily by strong rotations of the head, and the researchers’ process can calculate which parts of the brain are most likely to be injured during a specific event.
A doctor recently used his iPhone, in combination with AliveCor, a mounted sensor capable of delivering clinically accurate electrocardiograms, while in flight, to measure the vital signs of a passenger experiencing severe chest pains at 30,000 feet.
The results indicated that the passenger was having a heart attack. The doctor recommended an urgent landing, and the passenger survived after being rushed to the hospitall
Kurzweil hopes to leverage Google’s massive pool of resources and data to develop technology that would create truly intelligent computers that can understand human language on a deep level.
PUMA measures six components to evaluate metabolic function: oxygen and carbon dioxide partial pressure, volume flow rate, heart rate, and gas pressure and temperature. From those measurements, PUMA can compute the oxygen uptake, carbon dioxide output and minute ventilation (average expired gas flow rate). A small, embedded computer takes readings of each sensor and relays the data wirelessly to a remote computer via Bluetooth.
The possibility of confusing causation and correlation in fMRI analysis is explored.
Devices that collect personal medical information are growing both prolific and inexpensive. The biggest challenges lie not in collecting and transmitting the data, but in building the backend systems that can interpret it.
OSU researchers attempt to reduce the cost of wireless EEG and ECG monitoring to less than a dollar. Applications include self-tracking and enabling doctors to monitor at-risk patients in real time. Multiple chips around the body can continuously track specific metrics.