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Neuroscience: The mind reader

Neuroscience: The mind reader
Adrian Owen still gets animated when he talks about patient 23. The patient was only 24 years old when his life was devastated by a car accident. Alive but unresponsive, he had been languishing in what neurologists refer to as a vegetative state for five years, when Owen, a neuro-scientist then at the University of Cambridge, UK, and his colleagues at the University of Liège in Belgium, put him into a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine and started asking him questions. Incredibly, he provided answers. A change in blood flow to certain parts of the man's injured brain convinced Owen that patient 23 was conscious and able to communicate. It was the first time that anyone had exchanged information with someone in a vegetative state. Patients in these states have emerged from a coma and seem awake. Owen's discovery1, reported in 2010, caused a media furore. Nature Podcast Communicating with vegetative patients. Lost and found Owen wanted to find one. Anyone for tennis?

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Reading Visual Braille with a Retinal Prosthesis 1Second Sight Medical Products, Sylmar, CA, USA 2Brigham Young University – Idaho, Rexburg, ID, USA 3UMR-S 968, Institut de la Vision, Paris, France 4CIC INSERM DHOS 503, National Ophthalmology Hospital, Paris, France Retinal prostheses, which restore partial vision to patients blinded by outer retinal degeneration, are currently in clinical trial. The Argus II retinal prosthesis system was recently awarded CE approval for commercial use in Europe. How mapping neurons could reveal how experiences affect mental wiring This article was taken from the July 2012 issue of Wired magazine. Be the first to read Wired's articles in print before they're posted online, and get your hands on loads of additional content by subscribing online. No road, no trail can penetrate this forest. The long and delicate branches of its trees lie everywhere, choking space with their exuberant growth. No sunbeam can fly a path tortuous enough to navigate the narrow spaces between these entangled branches.

Spaun, the most realistic artificial human brain yet A group of neuroscientists and software engineers at the University of Waterloo in Canada are claiming to have built the world’s most complex, large-scale model simulation of the human brain. The simulated brain, which runs on a supercomputer, has a digital eye which it uses for visual input, a robotic arm that it uses to draw its responses — and it can pass the basic elements of an IQ test. The brain, called Spaun (Semantic Pointer Architecture Unified Network), consists of 2.5 million simulated neurons, allowing it to perform eight different tasks. These tasks range from copy drawing to counting, to question answering and fluid reasoning. At this point, you should watch the video below to get a rough idea of how Spaun works — and then read on to find out why Spaun is so interesting.

Can Your Friends Bribe You to Get Healthy? Neuroscience Says Yes Wade Roush6/15/12 HealthRally is a company that Paul McCartney would understand well. It’s all about getting a little help from your friends. A little help making health-related changes, that is—like quitting smoking, losing weight, or adhering to an exercise program. There’s plenty of science to suggest that these goals are easier to achieve when a person has close friends and family supporting them—and even easier when there’s money on the line. HealthRally lets a group of friends or family members organize around someone who’s trying to achieve a goal, such as “run a 5K” or “lose 15 pounds before the wedding,” by contributing to a financial reward that’s only handed out if and when the goal is met.

10 Tips on How to Explore and Study Intention Edit Article Edited by George AP, Teresa, Flickety, Daniel and 10 others Intention is a surprisingly important, but rarely explored part of the mind, as its significance is only important after the fact. Only once you've spent time observing it can you find just how it fits in to day-to-day living. The man who hears colour 15 February 2012Last updated at 15:37 Artist Neil Harbisson is completely colour-blind. Here, he explains how a camera attached to his head allows him to hear colour. Science's Long—and Successful—Search for Where Memory Lives During that visit, the three sat down to see if they could figure out the discrepancy in the data. The “problem,” Silva felt, might in fact be an opportunity: a hint of how they could use CREB as a tool not merely to enhance or suppress memories but to explore each new memory’s precise location—to locate the engram. Maybe after all these years, it would be possible to find true tracks of memory in the brain. Perhaps it was actually necessary for only a small percentage of neurons to be involved in forming a memory.

Dragonflies have human-like 'selective attention' In a discovery that may prove important for cognitive science, our understanding of nature and applications for robot vision, researchers at the University of Adelaide have found evidence that the dragonfly is capable of higher-level thought processes when hunting its prey. The discovery, to be published online December 20 in the journal Current Biology, is the first evidence that an invertebrate animal has brain cells for selective attention, which has so far only been demonstrated in primates. Dr Steven Wiederman and Associate Professor David O'Carroll from the University of Adelaide's Centre for Neuroscience Research have been studying insect vision for many years. Using a tiny glass probe with a tip that is only 60 nanometers wide -- 1500 times smaller than the width of a human hair -- the researchers have discovered neuron activity in the dragonfly's brain that enables this selective attention.

How brain performs 'motor chunking' tasks You pick up your cell phone and dial the new number of a friend. Ten numbers. One. Number. Dr. Dan Siegel - Resources - Wheel Of Awareness Wheel of Awareness - Consolidated October 14, 2013 This is a practice that should only be done after mastering the basic and expanded practices. This is offered by popular request for those familiar with the wheel to have a more expedited experience available for their busy lives! At least it is comprehensive and over the minimum dozen minutes some suggest is necessary for daily practice! In this 15 minute wheel of awareness practice, the breath becomes a pacer for the movement of the spoke of attention around the rim.

World Wide Mind [H]uman nature was originally one and we were a whole, and the desire and pursuit of the whole is called love.—Plato, The Symposium When my BlackBerry died I took it to a cell phone store in San Francisco’s Mission district. Forget the hype: how close are we to a ‘forgetting pill’? I've been a little disconcerted by the recent appearance in the popular science press of a number of articles seeming to claim that we're just around the corner from being able to erase painful or traumatic memories. For example: The articles are beautifully written, full of interesting and thought-provoking questions, and obviously the product of a great deal of work. I think good science writing is really important and greatly value the work that writers like Jonah Lehrer and Jerry Adler do. However, I can't understand how these very clever, usually marvellous writers make the huge leap in this instance from the (albeit in themselves fascinating) findings in animal models to the putative selective erasure of the complex, multidimensional, highly interconnected ensemble of neural representations that constitutes a single human autobiographical memory.

" “In the end if they say they have no reason to believe the patient is conscious, I say 'fine, but I have no reason to believe you are either',” he says." by grok2 Jun 15