Built-in Amps: How Subtle Head Motions, Quiet Sounds Are Reported to the Brain

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A single hair cell from a frog ear magnified by a scanning electron microscope.

The phrase “perk up your ears” made more sense last year after scientists discovered how the quietest sounds are amplified in the cochlea before being transmitted to the brain.

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Need Something? Talk To My Right Ear

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We humans prefer to be addressed in our right ear.

We humans prefer to be addressed in our right ear and are more likely to perform a task when we receive the request in our right ear rather than our left. In a series of three studies, looking at ear preference in communication between humans, Dr. Luca Tommasi and Daniele Marzoli from the University “Gabriele d’Annunzio” in Chieti, Italy, show that a natural side bias, depending on hemispheric asymmetry in the brain, manifests itself in everyday human behavior.

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Chronic Pain Can Be Treated With Tiny Injectable Implants

Chronic Pain Can Be Treated With Tiny Injectable Implants

RFID technology allows neural stimulators to get really small.

A tiny injectable implant, smaller than a grain of rice, might one day take the place of large neural stimulators used to treat chronic pain and other neurological disorders. The novel device, under development by MicroTransponder, a Dallas-based startup, owes its small size to the use of RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology like that used to tag clothes to prevent shoplifting.

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