University of California Researchers Develop Transparent Skull Implant to Facilitate Laser-Based Brain Treatments
The team’s implant is made of the same ceramic material currently used in hip implants and dental crowns, yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ). However, the key difference is that their material has been processed in a unique way to make it transparent.
Since YSZ has already proven itself to be well-tolerated by the body in other applications, the team’s advancement now allows use of YSZ as a permanent window through which doctors can aim laser-based treatments for the brain, importantly, without having to perform repeated craniectomies, which involve removing a portion of the skull to access the brain.
(via Creating a ‘Window to the Brain’ ht neurosciencestuff)

University of California Researchers Develop Transparent Skull Implant to Facilitate Laser-Based Brain Treatments

The team’s implant is made of the same ceramic material currently used in hip implants and dental crowns, yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ). However, the key difference is that their material has been processed in a unique way to make it transparent.

Since YSZ has already proven itself to be well-tolerated by the body in other applications, the team’s advancement now allows use of YSZ as a permanent window through which doctors can aim laser-based treatments for the brain, importantly, without having to perform repeated craniectomies, which involve removing a portion of the skull to access the brain.

(via Creating a ‘Window to the Brain’ ht neurosciencestuff)

(via joshbyard)

Real-time brain feedback can help people overcome anxiety | KurzweilAI
People provided with a real-time readout of activity in specific regions of their brains can learn to control that activity and lessen their anxiety, say Yale researchers.
They used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), to display the activity of the orbitofrontal cortex (a brain region just above the eyes) to subjects while they lay in a brain scanner.
Through a process of trial and error, these subjects were gradually able to learn to control their brain activity. This led both to changes in brain connectivity and to increased control over anxiety. These changes were still present several days after the training.
Extreme anxiety associated with worries about dirt and germs is characteristic of many patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Hyperactivity in the orbitofrontal cortex is seen in many of these individuals.

Real-time brain feedback can help people overcome anxiety | KurzweilAI

People provided with a real-time readout of activity in specific regions of their brains can learn to control that activity and lessen their anxiety, say Yale researchers.

They used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), to display the activity of the orbitofrontal cortex (a brain region just above the eyes) to subjects while they lay in a brain scanner.

Through a process of trial and error, these subjects were gradually able to learn to control their brain activity. This led both to changes in brain connectivity and to increased control over anxiety. These changes were still present several days after the training.

Extreme anxiety associated with worries about dirt and germs is characteristic of many patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Hyperactivity in the orbitofrontal cortex is seen in many of these individuals.

Hologram-like 3-D brain helps researchers decode migraine pain
Wielding a joystick and wearing special glasses, pain researcher Alexandre DaSilva rotates and slices apart a large, colorful, 3-D brain floating in space before him.
Despite the white lab coat, it appears DaSilva’s playing the world’s most advanced virtual video game. The University of Michigan dentistry professor is actually hoping to better understand how our brains make their own pain-killing chemicals during a migraine attack.
The 3-D brain is a novel way to examine data from images taken during a patient’s actual migraine attack, says DaSilva, who heads the Headache and Orofacial Pain Effort at the U-M School of Dentistry and the Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute.
Different colors in the 3-D brain give clues about chemical processes happening during a patient’s migraine attack using a PET scan, or positron emission tomography, a type of medical imaging.
“This high level of immersion (in 3-D) effectively places our investigators inside the actual patient’s brain image,” DaSilva said.
The 3-D research occurs in the U-M 3-D Lab, part of the U-M Library.
via: neurosciencestuff

Hologram-like 3-D brain helps researchers decode migraine pain

Wielding a joystick and wearing special glasses, pain researcher Alexandre DaSilva rotates and slices apart a large, colorful, 3-D brain floating in space before him.

Despite the white lab coat, it appears DaSilva’s playing the world’s most advanced virtual video game. The University of Michigan dentistry professor is actually hoping to better understand how our brains make their own pain-killing chemicals during a migraine attack.

The 3-D brain is a novel way to examine data from images taken during a patient’s actual migraine attack, says DaSilva, who heads the Headache and Orofacial Pain Effort at the U-M School of Dentistry and the Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute.

Different colors in the 3-D brain give clues about chemical processes happening during a patient’s migraine attack using a PET scan, or positron emission tomography, a type of medical imaging.

“This high level of immersion (in 3-D) effectively places our investigators inside the actual patient’s brain image,” DaSilva said.

The 3-D research occurs in the U-M 3-D Lab, part of the U-M Library.

via: neurosciencestuff

(via designersofthings)

Organic transistors for brain mapping | KurzweilAI
To improve brain mapping, a group of French scientists have produced the world’s first biocompatible microscopic organic transistors that can amplify and record signals directly from the surface of the brain, building on prototypes developed at the Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility (CNF).
This is the first in vivo use of transistor arrays to record brain activity directly on the surface of the cortex using electrocorticography (ECoG). This is a ten-fold improvement in signal/noise quality compared with current ECoG electrode technology, the scientists say.
In epileptic patients, ECoG recordings help to scout brain regions responsible for seizure genesis. For patients with brain tumors, recordings help to chart the brain for tumor removal. In addition, electrical recordings of neuronal activity are being used in brain-machine interfaces to help paralyzed people control prosthetic limbs.
However, neurons and brain networks generate small electric potentials, which are difficult to extract from noise when recorded with classical electrodes made of metals. In addition, today’s ECoG amplifiers are bulky and placed outside the skull, where the signal degrades.
These new biocompatible microdevices are flexible enough to go inside the brain and follow the curvilinear shape of the brain surface.

Organic transistors for brain mapping | KurzweilAI

To improve brain mapping, a group of French scientists have produced the world’s first biocompatible microscopic organic transistors that can amplify and record signals directly from the surface of the brain, building on prototypes developed at the Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility (CNF).

This is the first in vivo use of transistor arrays to record brain activity directly on the surface of the cortex using electrocorticography (ECoG). This is a ten-fold improvement in signal/noise quality compared with current ECoG electrode technology, the scientists say.

In epileptic patients, ECoG recordings help to scout brain regions responsible for seizure genesis. For patients with brain tumors, recordings help to chart the brain for tumor removal. In addition, electrical recordings of neuronal activity are being used in brain-machine interfaces to help paralyzed people control prosthetic limbs.

However, neurons and brain networks generate small electric potentials, which are difficult to extract from noise when recorded with classical electrodes made of metals. In addition, today’s ECoG amplifiers are bulky and placed outside the skull, where the signal degrades.

These new biocompatible microdevices are flexible enough to go inside the brain and follow the curvilinear shape of the brain surface.

Muse: Changing The Way The World Thinks

Muse, InteraXon’s new brainwave-sensing headband, allows you to do more with your mind then ever thought possible. Visit our IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign page for more details at indiegogo.com/interaxonmuse

 Low-power chips to model a billion neurons | KurzweilAI
A miniature, massively parallel computer, powered by a million ARM processors, could produce the best brain simulations yet, Steve Furber suggests in IEEE Spectrum.
With traditional digital circuits, that would require a supercomputer that’s 1000 times as powerful as the best ones we have available today. And we’d need the output of an entire nuclear power plant to run it.
Fortunately, there are at least half a dozen projects dedicated to building brain models using specialized analog circuits that can model brain activity as fast as or even faster than it really occurs, and they consume a fraction of the power.

 Low-power chips to model a billion neurons | KurzweilAI

A miniature, massively parallel computer, powered by a million ARM processors, could produce the best brain simulations yet, Steve Furber suggests in IEEE Spectrum.

With traditional digital circuits, that would require a supercomputer that’s 1000 times as powerful as the best ones we have available today. And we’d need the output of an entire nuclear power plant to run it.

Fortunately, there are at least half a dozen projects dedicated to building brain models using specialized analog circuits that can model brain activity as fast as or even faster than it really occurs, and they consume a fraction of the power.

Data mining opens the door to predictive neuroscience | KurzweilAI
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) researchers havediscovered rules that relate the genes that a neuron switches on and off to the shape of that neuron, its electrical properties, and its location in the brain.
The discovery, using state-of-the-art computational tools, increases the likelihood that it will be possible to predict much of the fundamental structure and function of the brain without having to measure every aspect of it.
That in turn makes modeling the brain in silico — the goal of the proposedHuman Brain Project — a more realistic, less Herculean, prospect.
“It is the door that opens to a world of predictive biology,” says Prof. Henry Markram.

Data mining opens the door to predictive neuroscience | KurzweilAI

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) researchers havediscovered rules that relate the genes that a neuron switches on and off to the shape of that neuron, its electrical properties, and its location in the brain.

The discovery, using state-of-the-art computational tools, increases the likelihood that it will be possible to predict much of the fundamental structure and function of the brain without having to measure every aspect of it.

That in turn makes modeling the brain in silico — the goal of the proposedHuman Brain Project — a more realistic, less Herculean, prospect.

“It is the door that opens to a world of predictive biology,” says Prof. Henry Markram.

Researchers Trigger Memories by Stimulating Individual Neurons:
MIT researchers have shown, for the first time ever, that memories are stored in specific brain cells. By triggering a small cluster of neurons, the researchers were able to force the subject to recall a specific memory. By removing these neurons, the subject would lose that memory.
As you can imagine, the trick here is activating individual neurons, which are incredibly small and not really the kind of thing you can attach electrodes to. To do this, the researchers used optogenetics, a bleeding edge sphere of science that involves the genetic manipulation of cells so that they’re sensitive to light. These modified cells are then triggered using lasers; you drill a hole through the subject’s skull and point the laser at a small cluster of neurons.

(via MIT discovers the location of memories: Individual neurons | ExtremeTech)

via joshbyard:

Researchers Trigger Memories by Stimulating Individual Neurons:

MIT researchers have shown, for the first time ever, that memories are stored in specific brain cells. By triggering a small cluster of neurons, the researchers were able to force the subject to recall a specific memory. By removing these neurons, the subject would lose that memory.

As you can imagine, the trick here is activating individual neurons, which are incredibly small and not really the kind of thing you can attach electrodes to. To do this, the researchers used optogenetics, a bleeding edge sphere of science that involves the genetic manipulation of cells so that they’re sensitive to light. These modified cells are then triggered using lasers; you drill a hole through the subject’s skull and point the laser at a small cluster of neurons.

(via MIT discovers the location of memories: Individual neurons | ExtremeTech)

via joshbyard:

First step toward creating a 3D artificial brain | KurzweilAI
Nerve cells growing on a three-dimensional nanocellulose scaffold. Functioning synapses are yellow; the red spots show where synapses have been destroyed (credit: Philip Krantz, Chalmers)
Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg have taken the first step in creating a three-dimensional model of the brain by attaching neurons to a positively charged nanocellulose scaffold.
The purpose is to understand Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease better, for example.
Nitrocellulose (microfibrillated cellulose) is obtained from plant materials, such as woodpulp.
‟Pores can be created in nanocellulose, which allows nerve cells to grow in a three-dimensional matrix. This makes it extra comfortable for the cells and creates a realistic cultivation environment that is more like a real brain compared with a three-dimensional cell cultivation well,” says Paul Gatenholm, Professor of Biopolymer Technology at Chalmers.

First step toward creating a 3D artificial brain | KurzweilAI

Nerve cells growing on a three-dimensional nanocellulose scaffold. Functioning synapses are yellow; the red spots show where synapses have been destroyed (credit: Philip Krantz, Chalmers)

Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg have taken the first step in creating a three-dimensional model of the brain by attaching neurons to a positively charged nanocellulose scaffold.

The purpose is to understand Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease better, for example.

Nitrocellulose (microfibrillated cellulose) is obtained from plant materials, such as woodpulp.

‟Pores can be created in nanocellulose, which allows nerve cells to grow in a three-dimensional matrix. This makes it extra comfortable for the cells and creates a realistic cultivation environment that is more like a real brain compared with a three-dimensional cell cultivation well,” says Paul Gatenholm, Professor of Biopolymer Technology at Chalmers.

Flipping a light switch in the cell: Quantum dots used for targeted neural activation: New technique holds promise for better understanding of brain disorders

Abstract:By harnessing quantum dots—tiny light-emitting semiconductor particles a few billionths of a meter across—researchers at the University of Washington (UW) have developed a new and vastly more targeted way to stimulate neurons in the brain. Being able to switch neurons on and off and monitor how they communicate with one another is crucial for understanding—and, ultimately, treating—a host of brain disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and even psychiatric disorders such as severe depression.

via nanosize:

Flipping a light switch in the cell: Quantum dots used for targeted neural activation: New technique holds promise for better understanding of brain disorders

Abstract:
By harnessing quantum dots—tiny light-emitting semiconductor particles a few billionths of a meter across—researchers at the University of Washington (UW) have developed a new and vastly more targeted way to stimulate neurons in the brain. Being able to switch neurons on and off and monitor how they communicate with one another is crucial for understanding—and, ultimately, treating—a host of brain disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and even psychiatric disorders such as severe depression.

via nanosize:

(via nanosize-deactivated20130114)