Along with predicting our future behaviors, brain scans can guess when we’re about to make a cognitive error, mis-processing a math problem because we’re thinking too hard. Like a dashboard widget watching your computer’s RAM, brain wave patterns can be used to detect when the brain is approaching its limits of processing power, according to new research.
Studying mental illnesses involves complex brain-monitoring technology to watch how neurons and large-scale brain components are functioning or malfunctioning. But researchers are increasingly getting out of their patients’ heads, monitoring brain cells in petri dishes instead. This is possible with stem cells, and it could yield plenty of new avenues for psychiatric research.
Less than three weeks from now marks the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, one of the most traumatic events in modern memory and the motivation behind the persistent wars in the Middle East. If you could take a pill that would make you forget that day, would you do it?
Researchers testing mental illness figured out how to induce schizophrenic symptoms in a computer, causing it to place itself at the center of crazy delusions, such as claiming responsibility for a terrorist bombing. The results bolster a hypothesis that claims faulty information processing can lead to schizophrenic symptoms.
Ambitious researchers think they might be able to map the human brain in just five years, navigating the complex networks between neurons by using advanced images. An Austrian scientist has another idea: Work backward by manipulating neurons to figure out what they do.
Literally donning an electrode-studded thinking cap can improve your memory by 110 percent, according to a new study by Australian researchers. The method applies electricity to the head to inhibit a specific region of the brain that has been implicated in autism.
For the folks behind the Decade of the Mind initiative, the answer is simple: Spend it. On neuroscience.
By Steven Kotler
Posted 01.23.2009 at 6:20 pm 3 Comments
The Decade of the Mind (DOM) initiative was created in 2007 at George Mason University’s Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study by an internationally-respected consortium of scientists. These scientists want to convince the US government to spend 4 billion dollars over a 10 year period with the objective of advancing our understanding of the human brain. Since the original announcement of the initiative, they’ve held two conferences a year to try to further this agenda. This year’s installment took place in early January, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
A routine heart drug shows promise as a way to blunt bad memories
By Michael Rosenwald
Posted 05.01.2006 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Clinical psychologist Alain Brunet of McGill University in Montreal doesn´t usually torture his patients. But lately he has been pressing those with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, to relive emotionally scarring incidents. For some it´s rape, others battlefield trauma. When his patients get particularly upset-crying, shaking, blood pressure rising-he gives them a 25-year-old hypertension drug called propranolol. The idea, though, is not to lower their blood pressure.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.