The coordination of neural activity across widespread brain networks is essential for human cognition. Researchers have long assumed that oscillations in the brain, commonly measured for research purposes, brain-computer interfacing, and clinical tests, were stationary signals that occurred independently at separate brain regions. Biomedical engineers at Columbia Engineering have discovered a new fundamental feature of brain oscillations: they actually move rhythmically across the brain, reflecting patterns of neuronal activity that propagate across the cortex. The study was published today in Neuron. Photo Credit: Illustration showing the average direction of traveling wave propagation across the human brain. Credit: Joshua Jacobs/Columbia Engineering
Neural prostheses look promising in new studies, though there’s still a lot of work to do. How far would you go to keep your mind from failing? Would you go so far as to let a doctor drill a hole in your skull and stick a microchip in your brain? It’s not an idle question. In recent years neuroscientists have made major advances in cracking the code of memory, figuring out exactly how the human brain stores information and learning to reverse-engineer the process. Now they’ve reached the stage where they’re starting to put all of that theory into practice. Last month two research teams reported success at using electrical signals, carried into the brain via implanted wires, to boost memory in small groups of test patients. “It’s a major milestone in demonstrating...
Research progress in improving short-term memory performance could represent an important step toward two key health goals, according to a joint project involving Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The study is aimed at helping restore short-term memory loss and assisting individuals with holding onto memories as they age. The project features the successful implementation of a prosthetic system that uses a person’s own memory patterns to facilitate brain ability to encode and recall memory.
Memory loss is a devastating symptom of neurodegenerative diseases. Now, there is some hope as a group of scientists have found a way to assist the brain’s ability to encode and recall memories using a new prosthetic memory system. A promising study released last week from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem is showing results in restoring memory loss. The prosthetic memory system they devised uses a person’s own memory patterns, reinforces them using a mathematical model and then feeds the information back into the brain. Dr. Robert Hampson is a Professor of physiology/pharmacology and neurology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. He’s also the lead author of the study which began in the 1990s.
MIT neuroscientists may have taken a step toward treating brain disorders associated with memory loss — including epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers said in a recent paper. Here’s what the study, published Feb. 8 in the journal Neuron, said: First, a gene called Npas4 is necessary to create long-term memories. This gene exists in the brain’s CA3 subsection, one of three regions in the brain’s hippocampus, said Feng-Ju (Eddie) Weng, lead author of the study.
A little electrical brain stimulation can go a long way in boosting memory. The key is to deliver a tiny pulse of electricity to exactly the right place at exactly the right moment, a team reports in Tuesday’s Nature Communications. “We saw a 15 percent improvement in memory,” says Michael Kahana, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and an author of the study. The approach hints at a new way of treating people with memory problems caused by a brain injury or Alzheimer’s disease, Kahana says. But the technology is still far from widespread use. Kahana has spent years trying to understand why the brain often fails to store information we want it to keep. “When we’re trying to study a list of items,...
The study – led by University of Manchester psychologists – is the first of its kind to assess the similarities and differences in how the left and right sides of the brain process semantic memory. The research, led by Dr Grace Rice and Professor Matthew Lambon Ralph from The University of Manchester, was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Medical Research Council. The team – working with neuropsychologists at Salford Royal and The Walton Centre for neurology in Liverpool – worked with 41 patients who had part of their brains removed to treat their long-standing epilepsy.
No matter how much brain training we do, our memory is still subpar. Are memory-enhancing brain prosthetics the way to go? It appears to be the case that with hard work, intensive research, and $100 million, we can shape the future of human evolution. A society obsessed with constant betterment of ourselves, coupled with our boundless love for advancing technology, has led to the development of a memory prosthesis that has shown up to 30% improvement in memory recall in human participants. While prior research has shown similar methods which have enhanced the memory of some mammals, researchers at the innovative company Kernel say that this is the first time this has been demonstrated in humans. This ground-breaking research opens up the possibility of a market for brain prosthetics...
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University have found that one brain-training method often used in scientific studies can help to improve working memory. How can we train our brains to improve working memory? An existing cognitive task may be the answer, researchers say. Our working memory is what we use on a day-to-day basis, especially at school or in a work context. It refers to our ability to pick up new information and adapt our responses accordingly, over brief periods of time. (READ MORE ABD TRY THE EXERCISE AS WELL)
Although it’s been clear that seizures are linked to memory loss and other cognitive deficits in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, how this happens has been puzzling. In a study published in the journal Nature Medicine, a team of researchers reveals a mechanism that can explain how even relatively infrequent seizures can lead to long-lasting cognitive deficits in animal models. A better understanding of this new mechanism may lead to future strategies to reduce cognitive deficits in Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions associated with seizures, such as epilepsy.
In a pair of studies, scientists at the National Institutes of Health explored how the human brain stores and retrieves memories. One study suggests that the brain etches each memory into unique firing patterns of individual neurons. Meanwhile, the second study The studies were led by Kareem Zaghloul, M.D., Ph.D., a neurosurgeon-researcher at the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Persons with drug resistant epilepsy in protocols studying surgical resection of their seizure focus at the NIH’s Clinical Center enrolled in this study. To help locate the source of the seizures, Dr. Zaghloul’s team surgically implanted a grid of electrodes into the patients’ brains and monitored electrical activity for several days.
A study conducted in the US has hit upon a new strategy to identify genes that underlie specific brain processes, and may eventually help scientists develop treatments for patients with memory impairments. More than 100 genes linked to memory have been identified, paving the way for treatments for conditions like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.