Physics of Biology


Brain Scanners Read Minds

Authors: George Rajna

But now there is a technology that enables us to "read the mind" with growing accuracy: functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). [25] Advances in microscopy techniques have often triggered important discoveries in the field of neuroscience, enabling vital insights in understanding the brain and promising new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. [24] What is the relationship of consciousness to the neurological activity of the brain? Does the brain behave differently when a person is fully conscious, when they are asleep, or when they are undergoing an epileptic seizure? [23] 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". [22] New research published in the New Journal of Physics tries to decompose the structural layers of the cortical network to different hierarchies enabling to identify the network's nucleus, from which our consciousness could emerge. [21] Where in your brain do you exist? Is your awareness of the world around you and of yourself as an individual the result of specific, focused changes in your brain, or does that awareness come from a broad network of neural activity? How does your brain produce awareness? [20] In the future, level-tuned neurons may help enable neuromorphic computing systems to perform tasks that traditional computers cannot, such as learning from their environment, pattern recognition, and knowledge extraction from big data sources. [19] IBM scientists have created randomly spiking neurons using phase-change materials to store and process data. This demonstration marks a significant step forward in the development of energy-efficient, ultra-dense integrated neuromorphic technologies for applications in cognitive computing. [18] An ion trap with four segmented blade electrodes used to trap a linear chain of atomic ions for quantum information processing. Each ion is addressed optically for individual control and readout using the high optical access of the trap. [17]

Comments: 38 Pages.

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[v1] 2017-02-25 11:04:44

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