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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Minimizing negative side-effects from electromagnetic neural stimulation: Key neurotechnology patent #39

neural stimulation system

– Illustrative image from U.S. Patent No. 7,831,305

Today we highlight a 2010 patent by Advanced Neuromodulation Systems addressing a serious concern during the use of electromagnetic brain stimulation methods–where unintended stimulation of neurons can cause seizures or migraine headaches.

U.S. Patent No. 7,831,305: Neural stimulation system and method responsive to collateral neural activity

  • Assignee(s): Advanced Neuromodulation Systems, Inc.
  • Inventor(s): Bradford E. Gliner
  • Technology Category: Transcranial Stimulation
  • Issue Date: November 9, 2010

SharpBrains’ Take:

The ‘305 patent addresses a phenomenon occurring during electromagnetic stimulation treatments of neurological conditions, where unintended stimulation of neurons can cause undesirable or collateral activity such as seizures or migraine headaches. Read the rest of this entry »

Neuroplasticity as seen by one of its earliest scientist proponents: Neuroscience pioneer Santiago Ramón y Cajal

— One of Ramón y Cajal’s iconic images, showing a Purkinje neuron with its treelike structure

A couple of weeks ago The New York Times published an excellent article about the life and work of neuroscience Read the rest of this entry »

Understand your connectome, understand yourself

connectome—–

NO ROAD, NO trail can penetrate this forest. The long and delicate branches of its trees lie everywhere, choking space with their exuberant growth. No sunbeam can fly a path tortuous enough to navigate the narrow spaces between these entangled branches. All the trees of this dark forest grew from 100 billion seeds planted together. And, all in one day, every tree is destined to die.

This forest is majestic, but also comic and even tragic. It is all of these things. Indeed, sometimes I think it is everything. Every novel and every symphony, every cruel murder and every act of mercy, every love affair and every quarrel, every joke and every sorrow — all these things come from the forest. Read the rest of this entry »

7 ways in which the Human Connectome Project is moving the brain research needle

humanconnectome———-

The Human Connectome Project: Progress and Prospects (Cerebrum):

“Understanding the human brain in health and disease represents a grand scientific challenge for the 21st century and beyond. How does a collection of 90 billion neurons interconnected by 150 trillion synapses give rise to the extraordinary capabilities of human behavior and the amazing diversity of talents among the billions of people populating our earth?” Keep reading The Human Connectome Project: Progress and Prospects over at the Dana Foundation website.

To learn more:

Landmark study on neural circuits shows that “cells that fire together wire together,” refining the popular “Use it or lose it”

— A network of neurons reconstructed with large-scale electron microscopy. Credit: Clay Reid, Allen Institute; Wei-Chung Lee, Harvard Medical School; Sam Ingersoll, graphic artist.

Research on largest network of cortical neurons to date profiled (Medical Xpress):

“Even the simplest networks of neurons in the brain are composed of millions of connections, and examining these vast networks is critical to understanding how the brain works. An international team of researchers Read the rest of this entry »

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