Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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DARPA paving the way for a future brain-based Internet

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DARPA Wants Brain Inter­faces for Able-Bod­ied Warfight­ers (IEEE Spec­trum):

Until now, the neu­ro­science pro­grams at DARPA, the mad sci­ence wing of the Depart­ment of Defense, have focused on tech­nolo­gies for warfight­ers who have returned home with dis­abil­i­ties of the body or brain. For exam­ple, pro­grams have fund­ed research on pros­thet­ic limbs that are wired into the ner­vous sys­tem and brain implants that could treat post-trau­mat­ic stress dis­or­der.

But the way the mil­i­tary fights wars is chang­ing, and so must DARPA’s pri­or­i­ties Read the rest of this entry »

DARPA invests in nonsurgical neurotechnologies for eventual use in healthy human subjects

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Non­sur­gi­cal Neur­al Inter­faces Could Sig­nif­i­cant­ly Expand Use of Neu­rotech­nol­o­gy (DARPA News):

Over the past two decades, the inter­na­tion­al bio­med­ical research com­mu­ni­ty has demon­strat­ed increas­ing­ly sophis­ti­cat­ed ways to allow a person’s brain to com­mu­ni­cate with a device, allow­ing break­throughs aimed at improv­ing qual­i­ty of life, such as access to com­put­ers and the inter­net, and more recent­ly con­trol of a pros­thet­ic limb.

The state of the art in brain-sys­tem com­mu­ni­ca­tions has employed inva­sive tech­niques that allow pre­cise, high-qual­i­ty con­nec­tions to spe­cif­ic neu­rons or groups of neu­rons. These tech­niques have helped patients with brain injury and oth­er ill­ness­es. How­ev­er, these tech­niques are not appro­pri­ate for able-bod­ied peo­ple. DARPA now seeks to achieve high lev­els of brain-sys­tem com­mu­ni­ca­tions with­out surgery, in its new pro­gram, Next-Gen­er­a­tion Non­sur­gi­cal Neu­rotech­nol­o­gy (N3). Read the rest of this entry »

Dr. Anna Wexler to discuss the Present and Future of DIY Brain Enhancement at the 2017 SharpBrains Virtual Summit (December 5–7th)

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Proud to con­firm that Dr. Anna Wexler, a sci­ence writer, film­mak­er and post­doc fel­low in advanced bio­med­ical ethics at the Depart­ment of Med­ical Ethics & Health Pol­i­cy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia, will dis­cuss the Present and Future of DIY Brain Enhance­ment (espe­cial­ly brain stim­u­la­tion modal­i­ties such as tDCS) at the upcom­ing 2017 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit.

Her research cen­ters on the eth­i­cal, legal and social impli­ca­tions of emerg­ing neu­rotech­nol­o­gy. Dr. Wexler received Read the rest of this entry »

Required: Deep partnerships between industry and academia to upgrade healthcare and biomedical research via Big Data

Join the dis­rup­tors of health sci­ence (Nature):

Thomas R. Insel’s biggest les­son from his shift from NIMH direc­tor to Sil­i­con Val­ley entre­pre­neur: aca­d­e­m­ic and tech­nol­o­gy com­pa­ny researchers should part­ner up.

In ear­ly 2015, I tes­ti­fied with sev­er­al oth­er Nation­al Insti­tutes of Health (NIH) direc­tors at an annu­al hear­ing held by the US Sen­ate. It was my 13th and final year as direc­tor of the US Nation­al Insti­tute of Men­tal Health (NIMH) in Bethes­da, Mary­land. What struck me most was how Read the rest of this entry »

Mixed reaction to new BRAIN initiative

BRAINinitiativeMap­ping the mind—smart think­ing for brain health? (The Lancet):  “…Will the real­i­ty match the ambi­tion? Reac­tion has been mixed…Given that our brains change, learn, think, remem­ber, and are shaped by our expe­ri­ences, inter­ac­tions with oth­er peo­ple, and soci­ety, map­ping the elec­tri­cal spikes in the brain seems an over­ly restric­tive bio­med­ical approach to under­stand­ing the most com­plex organ in the human body. It is also doubt­ful that this approach will yield cures for con­di­tions such as Parkinson’s dis­ease and Alzheimer’s dis­ease as purported…There are also non-bio­med­ical aspects of brain dis­or­ders that require urgent atten­tion. For exam­ple, access to psy­cho­log­i­cal treat­ments for depres­sion world­wide is woe­ful­ly inad­e­quate…”

Relat­ed arti­cles:

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