There's a high incidence of mental illness reported among soldiers compared with the general population -- in fact, one in nine medical discharges is due to mental illness, according to US Army statistics. This is not surprising. If you ask people to see and do horrific things, it will likely impact them in pretty significant ways.
DARPA is seeking to understand more about how the brain works in hopes of developing effective therapies for troops and veterans. It has announced a new $70 million project called the Systems-Based Neurotechnology for Emerging Therapies (Subnets).
Subnets is inspired by Deep Brain Stimulation, or DBS, a surgical treatment that involves implanting a brain pacemaker in the patient's skull to interfere with brain activity and help with symptoms of diseases like epilepsy and Parkinson's. DARPA's device will be similar, but rather than targeting one specific symptom, it will be able to monitor and analyze data in real time and issue a specific intervention according to brain activity. … Read more
Last weekend in NYC John La Grou was a keynote speaker at the Audio Engineering Society convention. He based some of his assumptions about how recorded music will evolve on Moore's Law, which states that the number of transistors squeezed onto integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years. That prediction was made in 1965, and if anything, Moore underestimated the cost savings we've enjoyed. La Grou rolled out statistic after statistic that painted a rosy future for music, gaming, and film tech advances in the coming decades.
La Grou believes that highly advanced gestural control and brain/machine … Read more
Pop quiz: you have 15 minutes to spare while you wait for your turn in the dentist's office -- now what? You're already caught up on your Facebook feed and the front page of Reddit looks the same as it did 10 minutes ago. So why not take this opportunity to test your mental mettle?
I've put together a small collection of my favorite puzzle games for Android, many of which are free. While some might be incredibly simple in their premise, they can still challenge that gray matter. And, thanks to features such as achievements and … Read more
ZURICH, Switzerland -- Despite a strong philosophical connection, computers and brains inhabit separate realms in research. IBM, though, believes the time is ripe to bring them together.
Through research projects expected to take a decade, Big Blue is using biological and manufactured forms of computing to learn about the other.
On the computing side, IBM is using the brain as a template for breakthrough designs such as the idea of using fluids both to cool the machine and to distribute electrical power. That could enable processing power that's densely packed into 3D volumes rather than spread out across flat … Read more
The research is young and the tech has only been used experimentally on three patients, but neurologists at Stanford say they are officially able to eavesdrop on the human brain in real-life (not just clinical) situations. What's more, they say their new method of recording brain activity opens the door to devices that can not only read but also manipulate the mind.
"This is exciting, and a little scary," Henry Greely, steering committee chair of the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics who observed but did not work on the study, said in a school news release. "… Read more
Led by a handful of federal agencies -- like the National Institutes of Health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the National Science Foundation -- most people working on the initiative are on a forced furlough, leaving the project to gather dust in the interim.
In the next life, we will all correct the things we got wrong in this one.
We'll be better, nicer people, calmer and more knowing. Or we'll be horses in a field, grazing away our days.
Please, keep fantasizing. But it isn't going to happen. At least according to Stephen Hawking.
He knows that many fantasize about an afterlife. But he'd like to answer that with: "Oh, phooey."
Actually, what he said at a premiere of a documentary about his life was: "I think the conventional afterlife is a fairy tale for people … Read more
When J. Marc Simard, a neurosurgery professor at the University of Maryland, saw a TV show a few years back with plastic surgeons using sterile maggots to remove dead tissue from a patient, the proverbial light bulb went off.
"Here you had a natural system that recognized bad from good and good from bad," Simard said last week in a press release from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. "The maggots removed all the bad stuff and left all the good stuff alone, and they're really small. I thought, if you had something equivalent … Read more
Some people think video games rot your brain, but a new study suggests the opposite may be true if you're older.
Neurological activity in the brains of people as old as 80 began resembling that of people in their 20s after playing a multitasking driving game, according to a report published Thursday in the science journal Nature.
Older adults who drove a car around a course in NeuroRacer while picking out road signs showed improvement in their short-term memory and long-term focus, suggesting that games tailored to specific skills can have cognitive benefits. … Read more