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Category: brain

Robotics | IoT

Are We About to Unlock the Secrets to Peak Performance?

“How many surf bums who can’t keep a job washing dishes will be up at 5 AM putting on a gritty, sandy wetsuit to paddle out in cold, sharky water for just one shot at a barrel? That’s motivation. If you could bottle that, then what’s possible?” Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal stood in front […]

Brain Mapping Tech Inflates Tissue 20x to Reveal Remarkable Detail

Like the fiber optic cables that connect landline phones, the long branches of brain cells transmit information from one neuron to the next. Unlike phone cables that can only passively carry electrical signals, however, neuronal branches are dotted with synapses—active computational powerhouses that constantly restructure themselves to form our thoughts and memories. For a neuroscientist […]

4 New Human Rights for When Our Brains Are Hooked Up to Computers

The human-machine mind meld is just around the corner if you believe the buzz coming out of Silicon Valley these days. But neuroethicists worry the technology poses a threat to the last bastion of privacy, our innermost thoughts, and have suggested tweaks to our fundamental human rights to protect that privacy. Elon Musk made waves […]

Is the Brain More Powerful Than We Thought? Here Comes the Science

If you’ve ever played around with an old music amplifier, you probably know what a firing neuron sounds like. A sudden burst of static? Check. A rapid string of pops, like hundreds of bursting balloons? Check. A rough, scratchy bzzzz that unexpectedly assaults your ears? Check again. Neuroscientists have long used an impressive library of […]

The Brain: A Radical Rethink Is Needed to Understand It

Understanding the human brain is arguably the greatest challenge of modern science. The leading approach for most of the past 200 years has been to link its functions to different brain regions or even individual neurons (brain cells). But recent research increasingly suggests that we may be taking completely the wrong path if we are […]

New Artificial Synapse Bridges the Gap to Brain-Like Computers

From AlphaGo’s historic victory against world champion Lee Sedol to DeepStack’s sweeping win against professional poker players, artificial intelligence is clearly on a roll. Part of the momentum comes from breakthroughs in artificial neural networks, which loosely mimic the multi-layer structure of the human brain. But that’s where the similarity ends. While the brain can […]

Are These Giant Neurons the Seat Of Consciousness in the Brain?

The towering trees with their sprawling branches in the redwood forests have always reminded me of neurons in the brain. Like trees, each neuron extends out tortuous, delicate branches in a quest to make contact with others in its ecosystem. By communicating through thousands of contact points—synapses—dotted along their branches, neurons coordinate their activation patterns […]

3 Exciting Biotech Trends to Watch Closely in 2017

As I start to look at the emerging trends of 2017 from the vantage of IndieBio, where we see hundreds of biotech startup applications and technologies per year, a few key themes are already emerging. Even as political landscapes change, science and technology continue to push forward. 1. Cell Therapies and Regenerative Medicine Most of us […]

Does Zapping Your Brain Actually Help You Learn Faster?

From time to time, the Singularity Hub editorial team unearths a gem from the archives and wants to share it all over again. It’s usually a piece that was popular back then and we think is still relevant now. This is one of those articles. It was originally published March 6, 2016. We hope you enjoy […]

This Neural Probe Is So Thin, The Brain Doesn’t Know It’s There

Wiring our brains up to computers could have a host of exciting applications – from controlling robotic prosthetics with our minds to restoring sight by feeding camera feeds directly into the vision center of our brains. Most brain-computer interface research to date has been conducted using electroencephalography (EEG) where electrodes are placed on the scalp […]