Using a brain implant to make the blind see again — ScienceDaily

Restoration of vision in blind people through a brain implant is on the verge of becoming reality. Recent discoveries at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN) show that newly developed high-resolution implants in the visual cortex make it possible to recognize artificially induced shapes and percepts. The findings were published in Science on 3 December.

The idea of stimulating the brain via an implant to generate artificial visual percepts is not new and dates back to the 1970s. However, existing systems are only able to generate a small number of artificial ‘pixels’ at a time. At the NIN, researchers from a team led by Pieter Roelfsema are now using new implant production and implantation technologies, cutting-edge materials engineering, microchip fabrication, and microelectronics, to develop devices that are more stable and durable than previous implants. The first results are very promising.

Electrical stimulation

When electrical stimulation is delivered to the brain

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The tree of cortical cell types describes the diversity of neurons in the brain — ScienceDaily

The tree of life describes the evolution of life and seeks to define the relationships between species. Likewise, the tree of cell types aims to organize cells in the brain into groups and describe their relationships to each other.

Scientists have long pondered just what the brain’s tree of cell types looks like. Now, an international collaboration led by Dr. Andreas Tolias from Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Philipp Berens from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Dr. Rickard Sandberg from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, has published an article in Nature that provides one of the most detailed and complete characterizations of the diversity of neural types in the brain so far.

Uncovering the shape of the tree of cortical cell types with Patch-seq

Neuroscientists mostly use three fundamental features to describe neurons: their anatomy, or how they look under a microscope; their physiology, or how they

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Novel mechanisms that cause protein clumping in brain diseases — ScienceDaily

A team of researchers at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has taken a major step toward understanding the mechanisms involved in the formation of large clumps of tau protein, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease and several other neurodegenerative disorders.

Their findings may help to better understand the pathological process and possibly lead to developing medications to treat such devastating brain diseases.

The study, “Regulatory mechanisms of tau protein fibrillation under the conditions of liquid-liquid phase separation,” was published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The senior author of the study is Witold Surewicz, a professor of physiology and biophysics at the School of Medicine. Solomiia Boyko, a graduate student, and Krystyna Surewicz, a senior research associate, co-authored the study, which was supported by the National Institute on Aging.

Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by the death of nerve cells in the

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Key molecules in brain development and neurodegenerative diseases identified — ScienceDaily

Neurological diseases of the brain such as dementia, autism and schizophrenia are now a growing social problem. Nevertheless, studies on their definitive cause are still insufficient. Recently, a POSTECH research team has identified the mechanism in which such neurological diseases occur, thus solving the enigma to treating them.

In the case of neurological diseases of the brain, problems arise when certain effects modify the synaptic plasticity and signal transmissions of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which has a profound effect on the development and differentiation of neurons. The information between nerve cells is transferred through synapses, where the synaptic activity and the synaptic structure are dynamically changed and regulated according to stimulations. During this moment, BDNF has prominent effects on the survival and synaptic plasticity of nerve cells. When it malfunctions, it not only interferes with the smooth information exchange between the brain cells but also kills neurons, leading to

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How SARS-CoV-2 reaches the brain — ScienceDaily

Using post-mortem tissue samples, a team of researchers from Charité — Universitätsmedizin Berlin have studied the mechanisms by which the novel coronavirus can reach the brains of patients with COVID-19, and how the immune system responds to the virus once it does. The results, which show that SARS-CoV-2 enters the brain via nerve cells in the olfactory mucosa, have been published in Nature Neuroscience*. For the first time, researchers have been able to produce electron microscope images of intact coronavirus particles inside the olfactory mucosa.

It is now recognized that COVID-19 is not a purely respiratory disease. In addition to affecting the lungs, SARS-CoV-2 can impact the cardiovascular system, the gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system. More than one in three people with COVID-19 report neurological symptoms such as loss of, or change in, their sense of smell or taste, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and nausea. In some patients,

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Research unlocks new information about reading through visual dictionary in the brain — ScienceDaily

The uniquely human ability to read is the cornerstone of modern civilization, yet very little is understood about the effortless ability to derive meaning from written words. Scientists at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) have now identified a crucial region in the temporal lobe, know as the mid-fusiform cortex, which appears to act as the brain’s visual dictionary. While reading, the ability of the human brain to distinguish between a real word such as “lemur” and a made-up word like “urmle” appears to lie in the way that region processes information.

These findings were published today in Nature Human Behavior.

“How much the mid-fusiform responds to a word and how quickly it can distinguish between a real and made-up word is highly dependent on how frequently the real word is encountered in everyday language,” said Nitin Tandon, MD, senior author, professor and vice chair in

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Discover EBRAINS: A look inside Europe’s new platform for the brain

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IMAGE: A key enabler to advance brain science
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Credit: HBP / EBRAINS

EBRAINS is an accelerator for European ambitions in multidisciplinary brain research, combining cutting-edge neuroscience, high-performance computing and artificial intelligence. It offers researchers an extensive range of brain data and a digital research environment that connects many of the most advanced European lab facilities, supercomputing centers, clinics and technology hubs in a unique integrated system.

“We are on the cusp of a new era in brain research – unprecedented technologies are put at the service of science, while innovators are taking more and more ideas from neuroscience”, says Pawel Swieboda, CEO of EBRAINS and Director General of the Human Brain Project.
Now we show prospective users what this new infrastructure is all about, the many ways to engage with us on further co-developing it, and how it can help them make their mark in these rapidly

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Is Our Patent System Ready for a Potential Future of Brain Interfacing?

“Over the last several years, artificial intelligence has been the focus of patent offices around the world…. Perhaps a similar reflection will be performed as brain interfacing technology becomes increasingly powerful and more frequently used.”

brain interfacing - https://depositphotos.com/75383115/stock-photo-illustration-of-neurons-on-a.htmlCurrently, brain recording and/or brain stimulation is used almost entirely for medical or research purposes. Invasive surgery is generally required to read neural signals with high temporal and spatial resolution. High resolution of neural signals enables researchers to decode a brain’s underlying intentions, sensations, reactions, etc. rather reliably, if only in constrained environments. With regard to stimulation, researchers have demonstrated the ability to trigger different types of effects. For example, stimulating the reticular formation can cause a subject to become awake; stimulating the amygdala can evoke fear; stimulating the motor cortex can trigger movement; stimulating the visual cortex can cause a subject to see light flashes. However, the state of the art is neither able

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Serotonin keeps mice waiting longer for food, depending on where in the brain it’s released — ScienceDaily

We’ve all been there. Whether we’re stuck in traffic at the end of a long day, or eagerly anticipating the release of a new book, film or album, there are times when we need to be patient. Learning to suppress the impulse for instant gratification is often vital for future success, but how patience is regulated in the brain remains poorly understood.

Now, in a study on mice conducted by the Neural Computation Unit at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST), the authors, Dr. Katsuhiko Miyazaki and Dr. Kayoko Miyazaki, pinpoint specific areas of the brain that individually promote patience through the action of serotonin. Their findings were published 27th November in Science Advances.

“Serotonin is one of the most famous neuromodulators of behavior, helping to regulate mood, sleep-wake cycles and appetite,” said Dr. Katsuhiko Miyazaki. “Our research shows that release of this chemical messenger

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Combining Mixed Reality Tech With Brain Signals Could Improve Rehabilitative Medicine

A new headset and software platform allows researchers and developers of mixed reality programs the opportunity to incorporate signals from the brain and body into their technology, something that has wide potential for use in rehabilitative medicine.

Virtual and augmented reality has already been used to treat patients with a range of psychiatric disorders including ADHD, PTSD and anxiety, but this tech could help improve how effective it is.

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“You can use virtual reality to put people into those environments and throttle how intense the experience is, but if you could know how intense the reaction is that someone is having, you can decide whether to dial it up a little bit, or dial it down a little bit just to make sure that they’re not overwhelmed by the immersion,” says Conor Russomanno, CEO of OpenBCI, a Brooklyn-based startup that developed the Galea headset.

Another application of the technology,

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