The default theme for this site has been updated. For further information, please take a look at the announcement regarding HAF changing its default theme.

Main Menu

All things brain...

Started by Claireliontamer, July 12, 2017, 08:18:49 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


Quote from: xSilverPhinx on August 30, 2021, 04:31:42 PM
Quote from: Dark Lightning on August 27, 2021, 05:36:42 PM
:lol: Googly eyes on the brain? Where's Silver!?

:lol: I'm here, trying to catch up! :grin:

I saw that article about the mini-brain with Googly eyes a few days ago, and I thought the exact same thing!  :P

You couldn't make it up, and a natural for this thread.  :maskwink:

I looked over the posts here mentioning Alzheimer's disease going back over more than a decade, and was reminded of so many tentatively hopeful things that have merited notice. Maybe this is another one. . . .

"Cause of Alzheimer's progression in the brain" | ScienceDaily

QuoteFor the first time, researchers have used human data to quantify the speed of different processes that lead to Alzheimer's disease and found that it develops in a very different way than previously thought. Their results could have important implications for the development of potential treatments.

The international team, led by the University of Cambridge, found that instead of starting from a single point in the brain and initiating a chain reaction which leads to the death of brain cells, Alzheimer's disease reaches different regions of the brain early. How quickly the disease kills cells in these regions, through the production of toxic protein clusters, limits how quickly the disease progresses overall.

The researchers used post-mortem brain samples from Alzheimer's patients, as well as PET scans from living patients, who ranged from those with mild cognitive impairment to those with full-blown Alzheimer's disease, to track the aggregation of tau, one of two key proteins implicated in the condition.

[Continues . . .]

The paper is open access:

"In vivo rate-determining steps of tau seed accumulation in Alzheimer's disease" | Science Advances


Both the replication of protein aggregates and their spreading throughout the brain are implicated in the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the rates of these processes are unknown and the identity of the rate-determining process in humans has therefore remained elusive.

By bringing together chemical kinetics with measurements of tau seeds and aggregates across brain regions, we can quantify their replication rate in human brains. Notably, we obtain comparable rates in several different datasets, with five different methods of tau quantification, from postmortem seed amplification assays to tau PET studies in living individuals.

Our results suggest that from Braak stage III onward, local replication, rather than spreading between brain regions, is the main process controlling the overall rate of accumulation of tau in neocortical regions. The number of seeds doubles only every ∼5 years. Thus, limiting local replication likely constitutes the most promising strategy to control tau accumulation during AD.

[¶ added. - R]

"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


Ah, here we go with some splendid cyborg news, even if a bit late--the paper was published this past Spring.  :tinfoil:

"Brain Implant Translates Paralyzed Man's Thoughts Into Text With 94% Accuracy" | Science Alert

QuoteA man paralyzed from the neck down due to a spinal cord injury he sustained in 2007 has shown he can communicate his thoughts, thanks to a brain implant system that translates his imagined handwriting into actual text.

The device – part of a longstanding research collaboration called BrainGate – is a brain-computer interface (BCI), that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to interpret signals of neural activity generated during handwriting.

In this case, the man – called T5 in the study, and who was 65 years of age at the time of the research – wasn't doing any actual writing, as his hand, along with all his limbs, had been paralyzed for several years.

But during the experiment, reported in Nature earlier in the year, the man concentrated as if he were writing – effectively, thinking about making the letters with an imaginary pen and paper.

[Continues . . .]

Baby steps. If . . . 

If the rate of advance of this technology matches that of the rest of the electronic world, it may not be long till we have something that approaches the cyborg people of speculative fiction.

Oh, and the paper is behind a paywall.


Brain–computer interfaces (BCIs) can restore communication to people who have lost the ability to move or speak. So far, a major focus of BCI research has been on restoring gross motor skills, such as reaching and grasping or point-and-click typing with a computer cursor.

However, rapid sequences of highly dexterous behaviours, such as handwriting or touch typing, might enable faster rates of communication. Here we developed an intracortical BCI that decodes attempted handwriting movements from neural activity in the motor cortex and translates it to text in real time, using a recurrent neural network decoding approach.

With this BCI, our study participant, whose hand was paralysed from spinal cord injury, achieved typing speeds of 90 characters per minute with 94.1% raw accuracy online, and greater than 99% accuracy offline with a general-purpose autocorrect. To our knowledge, these typing speeds exceed those reported for any other BCI, and are comparable to typical smartphone typing speeds of individuals in the age group of our participant (115 characters per minute).

Finally, theoretical considerations explain why temporally complex movements, such as handwriting, may be fundamentally easier to decode than point-to-point movements. Our results open a new approach for BCIs and demonstrate the feasibility of accurately decoding rapid, dexterous movements years after paralysis.

[¶ added. - R]
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
"Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt." ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.



The deep intertwining of the mind and the body seems to be shown once again in this study. This and other evidence demonstrates that they are inseparable, myths notwithstanding.

"Chronic Blocked Nose? New Research Links It to Changes in Brain Activity" | Science Alert

QuoteChronic rhinosinusitis, which causes a persistent blocked nose and headaches among other symptoms, affects 11 percent of people in the US – and new research has found a link between the condition and changes in brain activity.

The team behind the study is hoping that the link will help explain some of the other common effects of the persistent inflammation: finding it hard to focus, struggling with bouts of depression, having trouble sleeping, and dizziness.

Finding a connection between the underlying disease and the neural processing happening elsewhere could be vital in understanding the chronic condition, along with efforts to find better and more effective ways to treat it.

[. . .]

Although this new research doesn't show that chronic sinus inflammation directly causes changes in brain activity, the association is strong enough to make it worthy of further investigation: future studies could look at how this brain activity changed after treatment for those diagnosed with chronic rhinosinusitis, for example.

For now, the researchers say that medical professionals should be more mindful of the mental health symptoms that go along with diseases like the sinus inflammation one studied here – and how they might be playing out in the rest of the body.

[Continues . . .]

The paper is behind a paywall.

Key points

Question  Is sinonasal inflammation associated with functional brain connectivity?

Findings  In this case-control study of 22 patients with chronic rhinosinusitis and 22 healthy controls, participants with sinonasal inflammation showed decreased brain connectivity within the frontoparietal network, a major functional hub. This region also showed increased connectivity to areas that activate during introspective processing and decreased connectivity to areas that are involved in detection and response to stimuli.

Meaning  This study provides initial evidence for alterations in functional brain connectivity as a potential basis for cognitive dysfunction seen in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis.

"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken