IBM Creates Most Comprehensive Map of the Brain to Date

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The long-distance network of the Macaque monkey brain.

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) published Tuesday a landmark paper entitled “Network architecture of the long-distance pathways in the macaque brain” (an open-access paper) by Dharmendra S. Modha (IBM Almaden) and Raghavendra Singh (IBM Research-India) with major implications for reverse-engineering the brain and developing a network of cognitive-computing chips.

 

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24-Week Old Fetuses Cannot Feel Pain

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20-week old fetus. Nerve connections in the brain are not sufficiently formed to allow pain perception until after 24-weeks

Fetuses aged 24 weeks or less do not have the brain connections to feel pain, according to a working party report published this week by the UK Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG).

 

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Why Are Some People Smarter Than Others?

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The fancier the cortex, the smarter the brain

Why are some people smarter than others? In a new article in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, Eduardo Mercado III from the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, describes how certain aspects of brain structure and function help determine how easily we learn new things, and how learning capacity contributes to individual differences in intelligence.

 

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Electrical Stimulation Through The Spinal Cord May Ease Parkinson’s Symptoms

Electrical Stimulation Through The Spinal Cord May Ease Parkinson’s Symptoms

Neural activity in the brain of a Parkinsonian rat before (top) and after (bottom) electrical stimulation is applied to its spinal cord.  

Delivering electrical stimulation to the spinal cord through tiny, platinum electrodes could ease the severe motor deficits of Parkinson’s disease as effectively as a much more intrusive procedure currently in clinical use, according to a new study in rodents. If the findings are confirmed in humans, scientists say, the procedure could dramatically improve treatment for the disease by making electrical therapies safer and more broadly available.

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Brain Patterns Translated Into Images By Japanese Researchers

Brain Patterns Translated Into Images By Japanese Researchers 

Science fiction movies have long been obsessed with the as yet unattained ability to project the thoughts of humans (dreams, intentions, etc.) onto a video screen. Now a group of Japanese researchers at the ATR Computational Neuroscience Lab in Kyoto have brought us a lot closer to making that technology real.

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Rewiring The Brain May Help Treat Paralysis

Rewiring The Brain May Help Treat Paralysis 

 Paralyzed monkeys regained the ability to move their wrists when their nervous systems were rewired.

Rerouting electrical signals around damaged nerves may one day help treat paralysis.  A pair of partially paralyzed monkeys regained the ability to move their wrists when researchers wired individual neurons directly to the monkey’s arm muscles, according to a study published online in Nature on Wednesday.

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Musicians Use Both Sides of Their Brains

Musicians Use Both Sides of Their Brains 

Supporting what many of us who are not musically talented have often felt, new research reveals that trained musicians really do think differently than the rest of us. Vanderbilt University psychologists have found that professionally trained musicians more effectively use a creative technique called divergent thinking, and also use both the left and the right sides of their frontal cortex more heavily than the average person.

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First Detailed Map Of The Human Brain

First Detailed Map Of The Human Brain

Scientists used a new type of brain imaging called diffusion spectrum imaging, along with mathematical analysis,
to build a map of the cortical architecture of the human brain, shown here.

The first high-resolution map of the human cortical network reveals that the brain has its own version of Grand Central Station, a central hub that is structurally connected to many other parts of the brain.

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