tech and geek stuff
Intermittent electrical brain stimulation improves memory
Intermittent electrical stimulation of an area deep inside the brain that degenerates in Alzheimer's appears to improve working memory, scientists report. Conversely, continuous deep brain stimulation,...
We may be able to use Zika virus to attack brain cancer cells
Glioblastomas are particularly deadlySHERBROOKE CONNECTIVITY IMAGING LAB/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARYBy Clare WilsonZika can cause babies to be born with severe brain damage – but we may be able to harness the virus...
We’ve seen how our brains file away memories for the first time
Daydreaming through a mazeWill & Deni McIntyre/Science Photo LibraryBy Jessica HamzelouWHILE you’re daydreaming, your brain is hard at work. For the first time, scans have shown human brains replaying...
Patient plays saxophone while surgeons remove brain tumor
Music is not only a major part of Dan Fabbio's life, as a music teacher it is his livelihood. So when doctors discovered a tumor located in the part of his brain responsible for music function, he began...
Ringing in ears keeps brain more at attention, less at rest, study finds
Tinnitus, a chronic ringing or buzzing in the ears, has eluded medical treatment and scientific understanding. A new study found that chronic tinnitus is associated with changes in certain networks in...
Dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain
Physical exercise has an anti-aging effect on the hippocampus region of the brain -- an area that controls memory, learning and balance. A new study, comparing different forms of exercise -- dancing and...
Scanning your brain can predict what will happen in the future
Your brain’s nucleus accumbens gets more active when a reward is in the offingAndrew Brookes/GettyBy Helen ThomsonOur brains seem better at predictions than we are. A part of our brain becomes active...
How to live forever
Humans have wanted to live forever for as long as we've lived at all. It's an obsession that stretches back so far that it feels like it's somehow hard-coded into our DNA. Over the years, immortality...
Artificial neural networks decode brain activity during performed and imagined movements
Filtering information for search engines, acting as an opponent during a board game or recognizing images: Artificial intelligence has far outpaced human intelligence in certain tasks. Researchers are...
Scientists use magnetic fields to remotely stimulate brain -- and control body movements
Scientists have used magnetism to activate tiny groups of cells in the brain, inducing bodily movements that include running, rotating and losing control of the extremities -- an achievement that could...
Firmer, fitter frame linked to firmer, fitter brain
To determine why more aerobically fit individuals have better memories, scientists used magnetic resonance elastography (MRE), which measures the elasticity of organs, and found that fit individuals had...
Childhood exercise may protect against memory loss in old age
Getty ImagesBy Andy Coghlan Can exercise during childhood protect you against memory loss many decades later? Exercise early in life seems to have lifelong benefits for the brain, in rats at least. “This...
Primate brains react differently to faces of friends and VIPs
Familiar or best buddy? Primate brains register the differenceTierfotoagentur/Alamy Stock PhotoBy Aylin WoodwardTwo newly identified brain areas in rhesus monkeys seem to help the animals recognise familiar...
Mapping the brain, neuron by neuron
A mathematician and computer scientist joined an international team of neuroscientists to create a complete map of the learning and memory center of the fruit fly larva brain, an early step toward mapping...
Scientists reveal why brain games don't work
Consumers "naturally think these products will be helpful", a report by the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) found.But it warned that while the games are "fun and engaging", the only evidence of...
Magic helps unmask how the brain works
Scientists have used the 'mirror box' illusion -- an old magic trick - in a number of neuroscience studies. Researchers are using a new version of the illusion to study how the brain processes multiple...
Eating a lower calorie diet improves learning ability in worms
Getty ImagesBy Alice Klein Eating less can sharpen your thinking – if you’re a worm, at least. We already had an inkling of the benefits of calorie restriction, such as greater longevity in flies, mice...
Meet your new VR controller – your brain
Brain-computer interfaces are a pretty incredible (if slightly unsettling) thing. The idea of a computer being able to measure your brainwaves and then act upon them feels distinctly sci-fi, but that...
Signs of Alzheimer’s found in chimpanzees for the first time
National GeographicBy Helen Thomson We may not be alone in our struggle against Alzheimer’s disease. For the first time, the plaques and tangles that characterise the condition have been found in the...
Dementia: BACE inhibitor improves brain function
The protein amyloid beta is believed to be the major cause of Alzheimer's disease. Substances that reduce the production of amyloid beta, such as BACE inhibitors, are therefore promising candidates for...
Lab-created mini-brains reveal how growing organ maintains neuronal balance
Scientists can now explore in a laboratory dish how the human brain develops by creating organoids -- distinct, three-dimensional regions of the brain. Scientists coaxed early stage stem cells to create...
Video shows Indian musician playing guitar during brain surgery
A hospital in India has released stunning video that shows a patient playing guitar while undergoing brain surgery.Abhishek Prasad, a musician who had been diagnosed with dystonia, was fully awake when...
Sen. McCain's brain tumor diagnosis highlights push for a cure
Jill and Mazen Kamen, founders of the Kamen Brain Tumor Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding cutting-edge research to find better and safer treatment options for pediatric brain tumors,...
This astounding machine lets you create music using just your mind
Elon Musk is most definitely not the first person to want to augment the human brain’s capabilities with computers – scientists around the world have been experimenting with brain-computer interfaces...
AI fly-by: artificial intelligence is mapping the brains of flies
The human brain has something like 21 billion neurons in it. That's why mapping the connections between those neurons – vital for understanding how the brain works – is an intimidating task. But the brain...
Sleep, Alzheimer's link explained
Disrupting just one night of sleep in healthy, middle-aged adults causes an increase in a brain protein associated with Alzheimer's disease, research shows. Further, a week of poor sleep leads to an increase...
Beyond bananas: 'Mind reading' technology decodes complex thoughts
This latest research led by CMU's Marcel Just builds on the pioneering use of machine learning algorithms with brain imaging technology to "mind read." The findings indicate that the mind's building blocks...
Playing videogames make some parts of your brain more efficient
Do five minutes of research into how videogames affect the brain and you'll find a million different answers, many of them sensationalist newspaper articles without much scientific merit."Games have sometimes...
Amputees control avatar by imagining moving their missing limbs
Neuron activity associated with imagined movements could be used to control prostheticsSam Hodgson/New York Times/Redux/eyevineBy Sam WongPeople who have had amputations can control a virtual avatar using...
Baby brain scans can predict who is likely to develop autism
The way bundles of white matter fibres in the brain connect can indicate whether someone will develop autismSimon Fraser/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARYBy Anil AnanthaswamyA machine-learning algorithm has analysed...
Photos of human faces reassembled from monkeys’ brain signals
There must be 50 ways to pin down a faceJohn Lamb/GettyBy Andy CoghlanPrecision images of real faces have been recreated simply by monitoring the activity of certain cells in the brains of macaque monkeys...
Brain switch in voles makes them fall in love at first sight
You rattle my brainYva Momatiuk & John Eastcott/Minden Pictures/GettyBy Andy CoghlanTalk about flipping a switch. By simply activating certain circuits in the brains of female prairie voles, researchers...
Take a look, and you'll see, into your imagination
There have been significant limitations, however, beginning with a necessity to extensively catalog each subject's unique brain patterns, which are then matched with a small number of pre-programmed images....
Seeing life in fast-forward: visual brain predicts future events based on past experience
For a long time, researchers thought of the visual cortex as a brain area that determines what you perceive based on information coming from the eyes. Neuroscientists now show that the area is also involved...
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...
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