The market for brain health technology will surpass $1 billion by the end of 2012, and is set to grow at a brisk thereafter, to between $4 and $10 billion by 2020.
Technologies in demand include computerized Web-based and mobile cognitive assessments, cognitive training and cognitive behavioral therapies, and biometrics-based monitoring and brain training tools that measure physiological responses such as heart rate variability and electroencephalography.
A new device will let scientists create complex patterns of activity within the brain using optogenetics. The goal is to boost the amount of information and control that current systems deliver. It could also give more flexibility to optogenetics based neural prostheses.
The Semantic Pointer Architecture Unified Network (Spaun) is a computer model of the human brain built by Professor Chris Eliasmith and colleagues of the University of Waterloo in Canada. It comprises around two and a half million virtual neurons organized into functional groups rather like real neurons in regions of the human brain associated with vision, short-term memory, and so on. (The human brain has roughly 100 billion neurons.)