Showing posts with label brain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label brain. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Quest To Build An Artificial Brain Gets A Big Financial Boost

Denver Post/Washington Post: Microsoft co-founder launches $500M quest to build an artificial brain

Building a machine that reasons well enough to pass a high school science test will be more complex than engineering the first Windows OS.

SEATTLE — Paul Allen has been waiting for the emergence of intelligent machines for a very long time.

As a young boy, Allen spent much of his time in the library reading science fiction novels in which robots manage our homes, perform surgery and fly around saving lives like superheroes. In his imagination, these beings would live among us, serving as our advisers, companions and friends.

Now 62 and worth an estimated $17.7 billion, the Microsoft co-founder is using his wealth to back two separate philanthropic research efforts at the intersection of neuroscience and artificial intelligence that he hopes will hasten that future.

Read more ....

CSN Editor: I am slightly late on this news item. AI has always been a fascination of Microsoft founder Bill Gates .... and now we know that his partner (Paul Allen) shares the same interest.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Could A Brain Scan Tell You How Smart You Are?

Well connected: Ten per cent of intelligence could be explained by the strength of neural pathways connecting the left lateral prefrontal cortex

Could A Brain Scan Tell You How Smart You Are? Research Shows Intelligence Linked To Strength Of Neural Connections -- Daily Mail

Brain scans which establish how well different regions of your brain are detected may be able to predict how intelligent you are, a new study claims.

Research suggests that 10 per cent of individual differences in intelligence can be explained by the strength of neural pathways connecting the left lateral prefrontal cortex to the rest of the brain.

The findings, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, establish 'global brain connectivity' as a new approach for understanding how human intelligence relates to physiology.

Read more ....

My Comment: Is it that simple?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Brain Structures Are Different For Those With Excellent Autobiographical Memory

UC Irvine scientists have discovered intriguing differences in the brains and mental processes of an extraordinary group of people who can effortlessly recall every moment of their lives since about age 10. (Credit: © James Steidl / Fotolia)

Brains Are Different In People With Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (July 30, 2012) — UC Irvine scientists have discovered intriguing differences in the brains and mental processes of an extraordinary group of people who can effortlessly recall every moment of their lives since about age 10.

The phenomenon of highly superior autobiographical memory -- first documented in 2006 by UCI neurobiologist James McGaugh and colleagues in a woman identified as "AJ" -- has been profiled on CBS's "60 Minutes" and in hundreds of other media outlets. But a new paper in the peer-reviewed journal Neurobiology of Learning & Memory's July issue offers the first scientific findings about nearly a dozen people with this uncanny ability.

Read more ....

Monday, June 4, 2012

3D Mapping Will Allow Us To Look Inside The Human Brain

The 3D maps will allow us to see 'inside' the workings of the brain for the first time, claim the scientists

Land Of Dreams: Harvard Scientists Map Most Complicated Terrain In The Universe - The Inside Of The Human Brain -- Daily Mail

* Magnetic resonance scanner builds first 3D interior maps of brain
* Could allow treatment of brain disorders
* Scans up until now 'have not shown the real brain,' say researchers

Harvard scientists have developed hi-tech new methods to explore inside the human brain using magnetic resonance scanning.

Professor Jan Wedeen claims that the rainbow-coloured scans offer the first real insight into the pathways of the human brain's 100 billion cells - and how it works.

‘The brain we’ve been looking at with conventional scans all these years is not the real brain,' says Wedeeen. 'We’re just seeing a shadow of its surfaces.’

Read more ....

My Comment: This is cool stuff.

Friday, May 18, 2012

How Exercise Affects The Brain

How Exercise Affects The Brain: Age And Genetics Play A Role -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (May 18, 2012) — Exercise clears the mind. It gets the blood pumping and more oxygen is delivered to the brain. This is familiar territory, but Dartmouth's David Bucci thinks there is much more going on.

"In the last several years there have been data suggesting that neurobiological changes are happening -- [there are] very brain-specific mechanisms at work here," says Bucci, an associate professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.

From his studies, Bucci and his collaborators have revealed important new findings:

Read more

My Comment: Makes sense to me.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Your Next Password Could Be Your Brain

Forget fingerprints and eye scans, your next password could be your brain (Source: Petrovich9/iStockphoto)

Your Brain Could Become Your Password -- ABC Science

When it comes to high-tech passwords, there are fingerprint scanners for computers and facial recognition programs for closed-circuit cameras, and retinal scans are a mainstay of the movies.

Now researchers are looking beyond those technologies to using brain scans and heartbeats to identify people in ways that can't be faked.

Read more ....

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What Causes 'Brain Freeze'

Cause Of Brain Freeze Revealed -- Live Science

Most people have likely experienced brain freeze — the debilitating, instantaneous pain in the temples after eating something frozen — but researchers didn't really understand what causes it, until now.

Previous studies have found that migraine sufferers are actually more likely to get brain freeze than people who don't get migraines. Because of this, the researchers thought the two might share some kind of common mechanism or cause, so they decided to use brain freeze to study migraines.

Read more ....

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A User's Guide For The Brain

The Brain: A User's Guide -- The Telegraph

How can a blind climber ‘see’? Will a machine ever outsmart the human mind? Is the internet making us more intelligent, or more stupid? David Eagleman, ‘rock star’ of neuroscience, has dedicated his life to finding the answers

It ought to be quite intimidating, talking to David Eagleman. He is one of the world’s leading neuroscientists, after all, known for his work on time perception, synaesthesia and the use of neurology in criminal justice. But as anyone who has read his best-selling books or listened to his TED talks online will know, he has a gift for communicating complicated ideas in an accessible and friendly way — Brian Cox with an American accent.

Read more ....

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Where Do Brain Waves Come From?

Pablo Picasso Photo: REX FEATURES

Where Do Brain Waves Come From?: Extract From Jonah Lehrer's Imagine -- The Telegraph

From surfing backwards to improvising a complex song, Jonah Lehrer explains why creativity lies within us all - and the fascinating science that can help us access it.

The search for emotion shapes the way the virtuoso classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma approaches every concert. He doesn’t begin by analysing his part or by glancing at what the violins are supposed to play. Instead, he reviews the complete score, searching for the larger story. “I always look at a piece of music like a detective novel,” Ma says. “Maybe the novel is about a murder. Well, who committed the murder? Why did he do it? My job is to retrace the story so that the audience feels the suspense. So that when the climax comes, they’re right there with me. It’s all about making people care about what happens next.”

Read more ....

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Building A Supercomputer That Will Simulate The Entire Mind

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

Scientists To Build 'Human Brain': Supercomputer Will Simulate The Entire Mind And Will Help Fight Against Brain Diseases -- Daily Mail

* The 'brain' will take 12 years to build
* It will feature thousands of three-dimensional images built around a semi-circular 'cockpit'

The human brain’s power could rival any machine. And now scientists are trying to build one using the world’s most powerful computer.

It is intended to combine all the information so far uncovered about its mysterious workings - and replicate them on a screen, right down to the level of individual cells and molecules.

If it works it could be revolutionary for understanding devastating neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and even shedding light into how we think, and make decisions.

Read more ....

My Comment:
12 years to build .... hmmmm .... faster please.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Scanner Reveals Inner Workings Of How Our Brains Are Wired

Curvature in this image of a whole human brain turns out to be folding of 2D sheets of parallel neuronal fibers that cross paths at right angles

How Our Brains Are Wired: Scanner Reveals Inner Workings In Stunning New Detail -- The Brain

For a long time it was thought that the brain was a mass of tangled wires, but researchers recently found that its fibers are actually set up like a chess board, crossing at right-angles.

What’s more, this grid structure has now been revealed in amazing detail as part of a brain imaging study by a new state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner.

Van Wedeen, of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), who led study, said: ‘Far from being just a tangle of wires, the brain's connections turn out to be more like ribbon cables - folding 2D sheets of parallel neuronal fibers that cross paths at right angles, like the warp and weft of a fabric.

Read more

My Comment
: The above pic is an amazing image of the brain.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Traumatic Brain Injury -- A U.S. Department Of Defense Special Report

Editor: The U.S. Department of Defense has put together a comprehensive analysis and report on 'Traumatic Brain Injury'. For those who believe that they have suffered a traumatic brain injury, this is a must read for you. The link to this special report is here.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mapping The Brain

The Brain Atlas Allen Institute for Brain Science

Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen Invests $300 Million Into Mapping the Brain -- Popular Science

Paul Allen’s commitment to tackling big questions in neuroscience grows larger still. The Microsoft co-founder has already contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to brain science, much of it to the establishment of the Allen Brain Institute, a nonprofit charged with building a massive database of information about the brain. Now, seemingly from a frustration with the slow pace of discovery elsewhere in the field, Allen has committed another $300 million over the next decade to expanding his institute to include it’s own lab for neuroscience investigation.

Read more

My Comment:
That is going to be a very impressive data base.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Meditation Strengthens The Brain

Cortical Surface Shown is the lateral view of the right cortical surface. The red circle indicates where the maximum effect occurred. Top: Larger gyrification in 50 long-term meditators compared to 50 well-matched controls. Bottom: Positive correlations between gyrification and the number of meditation years within the 50 meditators. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of California - Los Angeles)

Evidence Builds That Meditation Strengthens The Brain -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Mar. 14, 2012) — Earlier evidence out of UCLA suggested that meditating for years thickens the brain (in a good way) and strengthens the connections between brain cells. Now a further report by UCLA researchers suggests yet another benefit.

Eileen Luders, an assistant professor at the UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, and colleagues, have found that long-term meditators have larger amounts of gyrification ("folding" of the cortex, which may allow the brain to process information faster) than people who do not meditate. Further, a direct correlation was found between the amount of gyrification and the number of meditation years, possibly providing further proof of the brain's neuroplasticity, or ability to adapt to environmental changes.

Read more

My Comment: I have always had the altitude that doing anything that involves the higher cortical parts of the brain .... playing music, chess, etc. .... will strengthen the brain.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Genetic Manipulation Boosts Growth of Brain Cells

UT Southwestern Medical Center investigators have identified a genetic manipulation that increases the development of neurons in the brain during aging and enhances the effect of antidepressant drugs. (Credit: © rolffimages / Fotolia)

Genetic Manipulation Boosts Growth of Brain Cells Linked to Learning, Enhances Effects of Antidepressants -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Mar. 8, 2012) — UT Southwestern Medical Center investigators have identified a genetic manipulation that increases the development of neurons in the brain during aging and enhances the effect of antidepressant drugs.

The research finds that deleting the Nf1 gene in mice results in long-lasting improvements in neurogenesis, which in turn makes those in the test group more sensitive to the effects of antidepressants.

Read more

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What Eases Pain Of Financial Loss

Brain Study Finds What Eases Pain Of Financial Loss -- Yahoo News/Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Financial market traders and keen gamblers take note. Scientists have found that a chemical in the region of the brain involved in sensory and reward systems is crucial to whether people simply brush off the pain of financial losses.

Scientists say the study points the way to the possible development of drugs to treat problem gamblers and sheds light on what may have been going on in the brains of Wall Street and City of London traders as the 2008 financial crisis took hold.

Read more ....

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What Happens When Our Brain Ages

New Insight Into Aging Brains -- Wall Street Journal

Study Links 24% of Intelligence Changes Over a Person's Life to Genetic Factors.

Nearly a quarter of the changes often seen in a person's intelligence level over the course of a lifetime may be due to genes, a proportion never before estimated, new research shows.

The study suggests that genes may partly explain why some people's brains age better than others, even though environmental factors likely play a greater role over a lifetime.

Understanding the factors behind healthy mental aging has become an increasingly vital one for societies with large elderly populations. However, it isn't an easy task.

Read more

Monday, January 2, 2012

'Buffing' Your Brain

Buff Your Brain -- Daily Beast/Newsweek

Read more. Learn a language. Get some sleep! Sharon Begley reports getting a bigger brain is easier—and more fun—than you think.

Brain training to sharpen memory. Aerobic exercise to preserve gray matter. Meditation to hone connections between reason and emotion.

It all sounds great, but there’s something that has long bothered us about the growing number of studies pinpointing ways to buff your brain: they don’t go far enough. Sure, exercises to improve memory are better for your brain than, say, watching reality TV, but the most you’re going to gain is more reliable access to knowledge already scattered around your cerebral cortex. If the information isn’t in there, no amount of brain training will tell you how the Federal Reserve system functions, why the Confederacy lost the Civil War, the significance of Picasso’s Demoiselles d’Avignon, or why Word just crashed.

Read more

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Are Office Environment's Bad For Your Brain?

Working in an office is bad for your brain researchers say Photo: ALAMY

Working In An Office Is Bad For Your Brain -- The Telegraph

Working in an office is bad for your brain and can make you less productive, according to researchers.

A study has found that the hustle and bustle of modern offices can lead to a 32% drop in workers well being and reduce their productivity by 15%.

They have found that open plan offices create unwanted activity in the brains of workers that can get in the way of them doing the task at hand.

Open plan offices were first introduced in the 1950s and quickly became a popular as a way of laying out offices.

Having a clean and sterile desk can also leave employees with smaller brains, scientists claim.

Read more ....

My Comment: I have to agree .... I was always more productive when I was not faced with distractions .... which an open plan office will provide.

Friday, August 5, 2011

How The Brain Remembers What Happens And When

Neuroscientists Identify How the Brain Remembers What Happens and When -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Aug. 4, 2011) — New York University neuroscientists have identified the parts of the brain we use to remember the timing of events within an episode. The study, which appears in the latest issue of the journal Science, enhances our understanding of how memories are processed and provides a potential roadmap for addressing memory-related afflictions.

Read more ....