tech and geek stuff
How hand amputation, reattachment, affects brain: First-of-its-kind study
Researchers have found evidence of specific neurochemical changes associated with lower neuronal health in these brain regions. Further, they report that some of these changes in the brain may persist...
Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your 30s profoundly transforms the brain
Reading is such a modern cultural invention that there is no specific area in the brain dedicated to it. Scientists have found that learning to read as an adult reconfigures evolutionarily ancient brain...
Learning to read and write rewires adult brain in six months
Learning to read changes how your brain worksDinodia Photo/Passage//GettyBy Anil AnanthaswamyLet’s hear it for the written word. Learning to read can have profound effects on the wiring of the adult brain...
The brain starts to eat itself after chronic sleep deprivation
Missing sleep can cause long-term harmThanasis Zovoilis/GettyBy Andy CoghlanBurning the midnight oil may well burn out your brain. The brain cells that destroy and digest worn-out cells and debris go...
Storing a memory involves distant parts of the brain
The thalamus is best known as a relay center that passes incoming sensory information to other parts of the brain for processing. But clinical findings suggested that certain parts of the thalamus might...
Brain implant could end paralysis for some sufferers
British semiconductor and software company ARM has announced that it's partnering with the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering to create a distinctly sci-fi sounding brain implant that can counter...
Brain stent to let five paralysed people control exoskeleton
The “invisible” stentrodeUniversity of MelbourneBy Alice KleinMIND CONTROL without the side effects. That’s the aim of a device that could help people control robotic limbs using thought alone – without...
Brain zaps let minimally conscious people communicate for a week
Daily electrical stimulation could be carried out at homeAurore ThibautBy Helen ThomsonPeople in a minimally conscious state have been “woken” for a whole week after a brief period of brain stimulation....
Therapists Use VR to Treat Balance Problems
New York University researchers have developed a system combining virtual reality with a pressure sensing mat they say could help people with vestibular dysfunction, which affects parts of the inner ear...
Cannabis reverses aging processes in the brain, study suggests
Memory performance decreases with increasing age. Cannabis can reverse these ageing processes in the brain. This was shown in mice by scientists at the University of Bonn with their colleagues at The Hebrew...
A little cannabis every day might keep brain ageing at bay
Can marijuana boost learning as we get older?Massey/Keystone/REX/ShutterstockBy Michael Le PageIn some cultures, it’s traditional for elders to smoke grass, a practice said to help them pass on tribal...
Man dreams in colour for first time during cancer radiotherapy
It was this big – in my dream Dmitriy Maruk/EyeEm/GettyBy Alice KleinA man has dreamed in colour for the first time after undergoing radiotherapy to treat a tumour on his eye. The 59-year-old Australian...
Scientists think Facebook and Elon Musk are way too optimistic about mind-reading tech
The idea of augmenting humans with machine intelligence for their own protection may be a new one, but research into how the brain records sensory input and uses it to drive physical responses is "an...
Study revises the development, evolutionary origin of the vertebrate brain
Researchers have made the first detailed map of the regions into which the brain of one of the most closely-related organisms to the vertebrates is divided and which could give us an idea of what our ancestor...
Does mind-hack tech mean your brain needs its own legal rights?
Mind control is getting more scientificAlfred Pasieka/Science Photo LibraryAdvances in neuroscience and neurotechnology offer the potential for extremely precise observation, collection and even alteration...
Brain age can predict early death, study finds
Researchers working at Imperial College London looked at the MRI brain scans of thousands of individuals alongside long-term studies of hundreds of elderly patients and found that the older a person's...
Working human forebrain circuits assembled in a lab dish
Peering into laboratory glassware, researchers have watched stem-cell-derived nerve cells arising in a specific region of the human brain migrate into another brain region. This process recapitulates what's...
What's coming next? Scientists identify how the brain predicts speech
A new study has shed light on how the brain helps us to predict what is coming next in speech. Their research reveals how individual neurons coordinate with neural populations to anticipate events, a process...
Movie research results: Multitasking overloads the brain
Previous research shows that multitasking, which means performing several tasks at the same time, reduces productivity by as much as 40%. Now a group of researchers specializing in brain imaging has found...
Mystery human species Homo naledi had tiny but advanced brain
Lee Berger with a replica of the skull of Homo nalediReuters/Siphiwe SibekoBy Colin BarrasIt’s not the size of your brain, it’s how you organise it. The most recently discovered species of early human...
Is soda bad for your brain? (And is diet soda worse?)
Excess sugar -- especially the fructose in sugary drinks -- might damage your brain, new research suggests. Researchers found that people who drink sugary beverages frequently are more likely to have poorer...
Machine learning shows exactly when to zap brain to boost memory
Picking up brain signalsZEPHYR/Science Photo LibraryBy Lefteris ApostolakisStruggling to remember something? An electrical jolt deep in the brain might help – if it is given at the right time. To discover...
Psychedelic drugs push the brain to a state never seen before
Diverse activityBeckley/Imperial Research FoundationBy Andy CoghlanMeasuring neuron activity has revealed that psychedelic drugs really do alter the state of the brain, creating a different kind of consciousness....
Entire nervous system of an animal recorded for the first time
Christophe DupreBy Niall Firth The firing of every neuron in an animal’s body has been recorded, live. The breakthrough in imaging the nervous system of a hydra – a tiny, transparent creature related...
Injecting virus into brain may relieve Parkinson’s symptoms
Parkinson’s disease is caused by a loss of dopamine-producing cells in the brainGJLP/Science Photo LibraryBy Andy CoghlanUsing a virus to reprogram cells in the brain could be a radical way to treat Parkinson’s...
People on ecstasy feel loved-up because MDMA boosts trust
Feeling euphoricHector Mediavilla / PicturetankBy Clare WilsonECSTASY makes you feel like everyone’s your friend. Now an experiment in which people played a trust game after taking the drug is helping...
Destroying a type of brain cell makes mice really chilled out
Take it slowPal Singh/Epa/REX/ShutterstockBy Clare WilsonA new kind of brain cell that links breathing rate to alertness has been found in mice. Destroying these neurons made mice very calm and may explain...
MRI brain scans train machines to see the world more like us
Just do as it doesPR Michel Zanca, ISM /Science Photo LibraryBy Matt ReynoldsARTIFICIAL intelligence is taking image recognition tips from a real expert: the human brain. Using fMRI brain activity scans...
Implants let quadriplegic man drink from mug and feed himself
Regained movementCase Western Reserve University/Cleveland FES Center/PA WireBy New Scientist staff and Press AssociationA quadriplegic man in the US has been able to use his right arm and hand again...
“Groundbreaking” tech restores movement in paralyzed man
For the first time, a paralyzed man has regained functional arm movement and is able to feed himself using his own hand as a result of new technology that reconnects his brain with his muscles.Bill Kochevar,...
Elon Musk's Latest Target: Brain-computer Interfaces
Tech billionaire Elon Musk is announcing a new venture called Neuralink focused on linking brains to computers. The company plans to develop brain implants that can treat neural disorders — and that may...
Elon Musk's new company said to seek brain-computer link
Elon Musk believes we are ready for a mind meld, but instead of connecting the brains of two Vulcans, a la “Star Trek,” the billionaire entrepreneur wants to link human brains with computers. The CEO of...
Elon Musk is setting up a company that will link brains and computers
Get ready to plug in.Village Roadshow Pictures reader comments 11 Share this story Billionaire futurist space explorer Elon Musk has a new project: a "medical research company" called Neuralink that will...
Elon Musk’s new venture could make his cyborg dreams a reality
Because self-driving cars and space travel weren't high-tech enough already, Elon Musk is planning another startup straight out of the pages of science fiction: augmenting the human brain with computers.The...
Why are primates big-brained? Researchers' answer is food for thought
Brain size in primates is predicted by diet, an analysis by a team of anthropologists indicates. These results call into question “the social brain hypothesis,” which has posited that humans and other...
Putting bigger brains down to our social nature is half-baked
Decent food gave you brainsPhil Yeomans/REX/ShutterstockBy Richard WranghamIn the past two million years, humans have experienced a massive increase in brain size, one not seen in any other species. This...
Scientists identify brain circuit that drives pleasure-inducing behavior
Neuroscientists have discovered a brain circuit that responds to rewarding events. Scientists have long believed that the central amygdala, a structure located deep within the brain, is linked with fear...
Study identifies brain cells involved in Pavlovian response
A new study has traced the Pavlovian response to a small cluster of brain cells -- the same neurons that go awry during Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease and Tourette's syndrome. The research could...
How the brain sees the world in 3-D
We live in a three-dimensional world, but everything we see is first recorded on our retinas in only two dimensions. So how does the brain represent 3-D information? In a new study, researchers for the...
Using a sat nav turns off parts of your brain
The dangers of relying too heavily on a sat nav have been extensively documented. But now scientists have figured out exactly why people end up driving into rivers, hitting bridges and more when staring...
Spider venom messes with our brains—and may help protect them from harm
Enlarge / the Australian funnel-web spider (Hadronyche infensa) Toby Hudson reader comments 0 Share this story It may not be radioactive, but venom from a dangerous spider in Australia may help give researchers...
fMRI may sort intentional crimes from reckless crimes
EnlargeFBI reader comments 9 Share this story Convicting someone of a crime depends in part on the mental state of the criminal. We make a distinction between knowing criminality and recklessness, and...
Premature babies’ brains respond differently to gentle touching
Babies born prematurely react different to touchBSIP/GettyBy Linda GeddesA gentle touch can make all the difference. Premature babies – who miss out on the sensory experiences of late gestation – show...
Brain could be far more active than scientists thought
New research could challenge scientists’ fundamental conception of how the brain works, perhaps paving the way to new treatments for mysterious neurological diseases.The study from the University of California,...
On The Horizon: Scorpion venom as cancer treatment
A multitude of potential advances are ON THE HORIZON in the field of cancer research, as reported by Susan Spencer:Behold, if you dare, the Israeli Deathstalker Scorpion. Its sting is excruciating, its...
Your brain fills gaps in your hearing without you realising
“Yes, I think I caught what you said!”PeopleImages/GettyBy Aylin WoodwardNoise is everywhere, but that’s OK. Your brain can still keep track of a conversation in the face of revving motorcycles, noisy...
Mystery brain particles may link head injuries to dementia
What are the long-term effects of head injuries?Westend61/GettyBy Andy CoghlanTiny particles secreted in response to head injury in the brains of mice could help explain how inflammation spreads and ultimately...
Brain is 10 times more active than previously measured, researchers find
A new study could change scientists' understanding of how the brain works -- and could lead to new approaches for treating neurological disorders and for developing computers that 'think' more like humans....
How to train your brain to be like a memory champion’s
Total recallWENN Ltd/Alamy Stock PhotoBy Sam WongBecoming a memory champion is easier than you think. The techniques mnemonists use to memorise hundreds of words or digits in minutes can be learned by...
Sociable woodpeckers that cooperate have evolved smaller brains
Cooperation may ease the strain on woodpeckers’ brainsWilliam Leaman/Alamy Stock PhotoBy Andy CoghlanIn primates such as humans, living in cooperative societies usually means having bigger brains — with...
Older people are just as good at judging music as younger adults
Still in tuneHenk Badenhorst/GettyBy Devika BansalIt may feel as if many of our mental abilities decline with age, but here’s one that sticks – our ability to sense when music sounds wrong. When you listen...
Brain cells show teamwork in short-term memory
Nerve cells in our brains work together in harmony to store and retrieve short-term memory, and are not solo artists as previously thought, new brain research has determined. The research has implications...
To your brain, spaceflight seems to be a lot like bed rest
Enlarge / The top row shows brain changes with long duration bed rest, the bottom row changes with spaceflight. Orange shows regions of increase, blue a decrease. reader comments 0 Share this story When...
Brain’s reward system earns researchers €1 million prize
By Andy CoghlanUnpicking the secrets of the brain’s reward system has earned three neuroscientists a reward of their own. Wolfram Schultz, Peter Dayan, and Ray Dolan have today been awarded the €1 million...
Which stories go viral? Those that tickle just the right spots of our brains
Enlarge / Ooooh, I should share this on Facebook.Getty | Bert Hardy reader comments 2 Share this story To figure out if a story will go viral on the Web, a crystal ball might seem useful. After all, any...
Tiny fibers open new windows into the brain
For the first time, a single multifunction flexible fiber no bigger than a human hair, has successfully delivered a combination of optical, electrical and chemical signals back and forth into the brain....
Mind-reading typing tool for paralysed people is fastest yet
Move the square with your mindStanford University School of MedicineBy Jessica HamzelouThree people with paralysis have learned to type by thought alone using a brain implant – at the fastest speeds recorded...
MRIs suggest why political beliefs are hard to change
LOS ANGELES -- When it comes to politics, it can be difficult to accept the other side. Some friendships have even ended as a result of opposing political views. Last November’s presidential election is...
Key Alzheimer’s drug shows ‘virtually no chance of working’
Alzheimer’s disease involves plaques (circular lesion at left)Science Photo LibraryBy Andy CoghlanAnother one bites the dust. Pharmaceutical giant Merck has halted a trial of a promising Alzheimer’s drug,...
New technology could make brain implants a commonplace reality
Researchers at Harvard Medical School are preparing to begin tests for a new kind of brain implant that could lead to the long-term restoration of sight for blind people.In previous experiments it’s been...
Facebook reportedly teams up with BuzzFeed and others for video
Facebook has grown to more than 1.9 billion users since CEO Mark Zuckerberg launched the company from his dorm room in 2004. Reuters reports that the world's biggest social media company has signed deals...
Website builder Web.com in talks with buyout firms: Report
Web.com, a U.S. provider of internet domain name registration that also helps businesses build websites, is in talks with private equity firms after receiving takeover approaches, people familiar with...
Bitcoin rival Ripple is suddenly sitting on many billions of dollars worth of currency
To create some long-term stability and ease those concerns, Ripple announced a plan last week for the structured sale and use of its currency. By the end of 2017, the company will put 55 billion of its...
Mark Zuckerberg cries while telling story about student afraid of being deported
Mark Zuckerberg grew emotional Thursday while recounting a conversation with a high school student who was also an undocumented immigrant in a speech to Harvard grads. Near the end of his speech, Zuckerberg's...
I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its component fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark