Consciousness appears to arise naturally as a result of a brain maximizing its information content. So says a group of scientists in Canada and France, which has studied how the electrical activity in people’s brains varies according to individuals’ conscious states. The researchers find that normal waking states are associated with maximum values of what they call a brain’s “entropy”.
Five days. That’s how long intracranial pressure and temperature typically need to be monitored in the case of traumatic brain injury. And that’s at least how long flexible, dissolvable sensors created by a research team at the University of Illinois led by professor John Rogers will operate accurately. Continue reading
For the first time, doctors have breached the human brain’s protective layer to deliver cancer-fighting drugs. Continue reading
A newly-developed mathematical method can detect geometric structure in neural activity in the brain. “Previously, in order to understand this structure, scientists needed to relate neural activity to some specific external stimulus,” said Vladimir Itskov, associate professor of mathematics at Penn State University. Continue reading
Think your deliberate, guiding, conscious thoughts are in charge of your actions? Think again. In a provocative new paper in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, a team led by Dr. Ezequiel Morsella at San Francisco State University came to a startling conclusion: consciousness is no more than a passive machine running one simple algorithm — to serve up what’s already been decided, and take credit for the decision. Continue reading
Playing music combines complex brain work with feats of coordination. Scientists would love to know how musicians pull it off—just what happens to a pianist’s brain while recalling Rachmaninoff or to a sax player’s tongue while riffing? Continue reading
Difficulty communicating with their environment, engaging in repetitious behavior, and feeling frustration with their surroundings; these are only some of most notable symptoms of autism. However, new research from the Weizmann Institute in Israel may be the first step in explaining how autism really works in the brain, and why so many autistic individuals struggle to communicate with their environment. Continue reading
Learning, it is widely believed, is based on changes in the connections between nerve cells. Knowing which nerve cells are connected to which other nerve cells would considerably help us to understand how the brain works. Scientists have therefore long dreamed of mapping and then decoding the connectome, the circuit diagram of the brain. Continue reading