Mind Science


Lab-Created Mini-Brains

Authors: George Rajna

Scientists can now explore in a laboratory dish how the human brain develops by creating organoids—distinct, three-dimensional regions of the brain. [27] The inner workings of the human brain have always been a subject of great interest. Unfortunately, it is fairly difficult to view brain structures or intricate tissues due to the fact that the skull is not transparent by design. [26] 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]

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[v1] 2017-07-27 14:29:20

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