Posts Tagged ‘technology’

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The Top 5 Neuroscience Breakthroughs of 2013

If 2012 was the year neuroscience exploded into pop culture, 2013 was the year it stepped into the halls of power. The Obama administration’s $100-million BRAIN Initiative stirred up furious debate, as proponents cheered to see so much funding and press attention thrown at large-scale efforts to map the human brain, while opponents claimed that the […]

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The Neuroscience Revolution Will Be Crowdsourced

In this article for Scientific American, I dig into one of my very favorite scientific projects: The Human Connectome Project at MIT. What’s the deal with all this excitement? What exactly are these researchers trying to accomplish? And how close are they to accomplishing it? The answers to all these questions may surprise you. Once humans […]

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“Learning How Brains Learn” — Podcast 9: Jeff Hawkins

On Episode 9 of the Connectome podcast, I’m joined by Jeff Hawkins, a computer engineer and neuroscience geek who’s obsessed with understanding how the brain learns. Jeff is the inventor of the Palm Pilot and the founder of Palm Computing – as well as another computing company called Handspring – but in addition to his […]

Roundtable Round 2

“Engineering a Mind (Part 2)” — Podcast 7: David Saintloth and Wai Tsang

On Episode 7 of the Connectome podcast, we rejoin our two-part roundtable discussion on the nature of intelligence, on the differences between biological and artificial intelligence, and on the ways in which the idea of digital intelligence can inform our understanding of how our own minds work. (Here’s the link to Part 1 of this […]

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Three Big Doubts About Brain-Mapping Efforts

Neuroscience research has come a hell of a long way since the days of scalpels and electrodes. While some research teams are exploring the molecular machinery that churns at the hearts of nerve cells, others are working to assemble wiring diagrams for whole regions of the human brain. Just as biological science never looked the […]

Roundtable Round 1

“Engineering a Mind (Part 1)” — Podcast 6: David Saintloth and Wai Tsang

Episode 6 of the Connectome podcast brings together two guests who are obsessed with understanding how intelligence and thinking work – not by studying patients in MRI scanners, but by working to develop software that recognizes patterns and connections in the same way a brain does. Our guests are David Saintloth, a software engineer who’s […]

The largest scale effort is the Human Connectome Project, involving a consortium of institutions here and abroad

Why Brain-Mapping Efforts Matter

In this article for Scientific American, I tackle some common criticisms of big brain-mapping projects like the Human Connectome Project and the Brain Activity Map. Are they too complex to be feasible in our lifetimes? Maybe so. Do we even know exactly what we’re trying to achieve? It isn’t always precisely clear. But I argue […]

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The Top 5 Neuroscience Breakthroughs of 2012

More than any year before, 2012 was the year neuroscience exploded into pop culture. From mind-controlled robot hands to cyborg animals to TV specials to triumphant books, brain breakthroughs were tearing up the airwaves and the internets. From all the thrilling neurological adventures we covered over the past year, we’ve collected five stories we want […]

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Science Fights Back With Open Access

A major paradigm shift is taking the science world by storm. Open source is taking over. For more than a century, scientists have depended on peer-reviewed journals to keep them up to date on the latest research. But as many of these journals have raised their subscription fees to bank-breaking levels, and locked life-saving research […]

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Q&A: Can We Preserve Our Brains After Death?

As promised, here’s the first-ever official Connectome Q&A! We’ve been getting lots of incoming questions on our Facebook and Twitter pages – some of them on the technical side; others of the more “general interest” variety. Most of these questions require pretty involved answers – and it’s important to me that each of them gets […]

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