May 22, 2017

New technology to edit voices like text

Technology developed by Princeton University computer scientists may do for audio recordings of the human voice what word processing software did for the written word and Adobe Photoshop did for images.


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Apr 26, 2017

5 Neuroscience Experts Weigh in on Elon Musk's Mysterious "Neural Lace" Company

Elon Musk has a reputation as the world’s greatest doer. He can propose crazy ambitious technological projects—like reusable rockets for Mars exploration and hyperloop tunnels for transcontinental rapid transit—and people just assume he’ll pull it off. 
So his latest venture, a new company called Neuralink that will reportedly build brain implants both for medical use and to give healthy people superpowers, has gotten the public excited about a coming era of consumer-friendly neurotech.
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Mar 29, 2017

Transcranial alternating current stimulation used to boost working memory

Researchers at Imperial College London found that applying transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) through the scalp helped to synchronize brain waves in different areas of the brain, enabling subjects to perform better on tasks involving short-term working memory.

[ more ] [ paper ]

Distinct stages of thinking revealed by brain activity patterns

Using neuroimaging data, Carnegie Mellon University researchers have identified four distinct stages of math problem solving.

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Mar 1, 2017

On the Same Wavelength: Brain Imaging Headband Measures How Our Minds Align When We Communicate

Drexel University biomedical engineers, in collaboration with Princeton University psychologists, are using a wearable brain-imaging device to see just how brains sync up when humans interact.  study shows that the fNIRS device can successfully measure brain synchronization during conversation. The technology can now be used to study everything from doctor-patient communication, to how people consume cable news.

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New brain map provides unprecedented detail in 180 areas of the cerebral cortex

A detailed new map by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and associates* lays out the landscape of 180 areas of the cerebral cortex in painstaking detail; 97 of these areas have never been previously described. The new map is intended to help researchers studying brain disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, dementia and epilepsy. They will be able to use it to understand differences in the brains of patients with these diseases, compared with adults who are healthy. It also will accelerate progress in deciphering the workings of the healthy brain and elucidating what makes us unique as a species, the researchers say. The new map will also be vital for neurosurgeons.

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Feb 13, 2017

From Passwords to Passthoughts: Logging In to Your Devices With Your Mind

A password, a fingerprint, or an iris scan—these are ways to verify that we are who we say we are, allowing us to log in to our devices or enter a high security area. But if we are to move beyond touch screens and keyboards, our methods of authentication will have to change too. That has pushed engineers to find new ways to verify our identities, and to do it directly from the source: the brain.

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Jan 26, 2017

Franka: A Robot Arm That’s Safe, Low Cost, and Can Replicate Itself

The robot, also called Franka Emika—“It’s like first and last name,” the developer Sami Haddadin explains—is not the only one ever designed to operate alongside human workers. Indeed, this type of system, known as a collaborative robot, or cobot, is one of the fastest growing segments in the robotics market, with global sales expected to jump from US $100 million in 2016 to over $3.3 billion in just five years, according to one estimate. It’s designed to be easy to set up and program, which is nice. But what makes it special is that, unlike typical factory robots, which are so dangerous they are often put inside cages, this arm can operate right next to people, assisting them with tasks without posing a risk.



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Jan 25, 2017

New brain imaging method identifies common brain disorders

New chemical allows for measuring the density of synapses in the entire brain in vivo for the first time, using a PET scan. The technique may provide insights into the diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of disorders, including epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.

Now a Yale led team of researchers has developed a way to measure the density of synapses in the brain using a PET (positron emission tomography) scan. They used this new imaging technique on baboons and humans, then applied mathematical tools to quantify synaptic density, and confirmed that the new method served as a marker for synaptic density. The method revealed synaptic loss in three patients with epilepsy compared to healthy individuals.


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Dec 29, 2016

Human Intelligence Through Brain Scans

Researchers at Yale led a study that demonstrate fluid intelligence (defined by abstract reasoning) can be measured by the functional connectivity of 268 specific brain regions. Emily Finn, co-author of this study, said, “The more certain regions are talking to one another, the better you’re able to process information quickly and make inferences.” Mostly, fluid intelligence had to do with the connections between the frontal and parietal lobes. The stronger and swifter the communication between these two regions, the better one’s score in the abstract thinking test.Earlier, same researchers have demonstrated that a person’s brain activity appears to be as unique as his or her fingerprints. Using brain imaging data, researcher were able to identify individuals.

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