Neurophilosophy

Neuroscience at Davos

Technology blogger Robert Scoble attended the World Economic Forum at Davos, and made quite a few video recordings of the conversations he had with various people while he was there, which he has uploaded to Qik.

In this film, Scoble talks to the Brazilian neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis, who discussed his recent experiments in which a monkey with a brain-computer interface implanted into its motor cortex controlled the movements of a robot that was located more than 7,000 miles away.

Nicolelis presented his results during a session called Redefining the limits of the human body, which included Emory Brown, a computational neuroscientist at MIT, and Hugh Herr, the director of MIT’s Biomechatronics Group. In this 14-minute film, Scoble talks to Brown, Herr, and Cynthia Breazeal, who heads the Personal Robotics Group (also at MIT).

The World Economic Forum YouTube channel includes videos of talks given by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Afghani President Hamid Karzai, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Bill Gates, Bono, and so on. Unfortunately, none of the science sessions are available.

(Nicolelis is also spearheading an initiative to “establish scientific institutes across Brazil…[as a means] of distributing the intellectual and economic fruits of science.” He explains the initiative in this Scientific American web feature, and discusses it, and his recent BCI research, with SciAm editor Christine Soares in this podcast interview. Soares has also written an article about the initiative fro the February issue of the magazine.)

Comments

  1. #1 Chand
    February 4, 2008

    Well I hope he is wrong about children losing their passion because I am only 17 and I’m very passionate about neuroscience and am thinking of taking that course at university(UCL is really attractive). So maybe he’s just wrong about me and the people I know who will do anything to have a chance at improving their lifestyles. :)But other then that, this was really interesting to watch. :)

  2. #2 Dave Briggs
    February 4, 2008

    experiments in which a monkey with a brain-computer interface implanted into its motor cortex controlled the movements of a robot that was located more than 7,000 miles away.

    I think this is an exciting accomplishment that is just a foretaste of where this field is going. Helping handicapped people will be a marvelous thing, but I also think it will over time evolve into commercial applications we can’t even start to imagine right now!
    Dave Briggs :~)

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