Technology

Neurophilosophy

Category archives for Technology

Movable micromotor brain implants

BRAIN implants containing microelectrodes are used widely in the laboratory and clinic, both to stimulate nerve cells and to record their activity. Researchers routinely implant electrode arrays into the brains of rodents to investigate the neuronal activity associated with spatial navigation, or into monkeys’ brains to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms of motor…

SECOND LIFE is an online “virtual world” which enables users to create a customised avatar, or digital persona, with which they can interact with each other. It has become incredibly popular since its launch just over 6 years ago, with millions of “residents” now using it regularly to meet others, socialize and even to have…

Flight of the remote-controlled cyborg beetle

REMOTE-CONTROLLED insects may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but they have already been under development for some time now. In 2006, for example, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA, the Pentagon’s research and development branch) launched the Hybrid Insect Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems program, whose ultimate aim is to turn insects into unmanned aerial…

Mobile phone microscopy

RESEARCHERS at the University of California, Berkeley have developed a microscope attachment which enables a standard mobile phone with a camera to be used for high-resolution clinical microscopy. Daniel Fletcher and his colleagues describe the CellScope in a paper published today in the open access journal PLoS One, and demonstrate that it can be used…

Follow me on Twitter

I have finally jumped on the bandwagon and started to use Twitter. I had avoided it because I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to share the mundane details of their life with others, but am now beginning to see how it can be useful, and also to enjoy using it. If you too are…

Artificial eye

A short piece in the MIT Technology Review describes a new retinal implant designed to remain in place for long periods of time: In retinal diseases such as acute macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa, the light-sensing cells of the retina may no longer work, even though the neurons that carry signals from these cells to…

2,000+ subscribers

Last week, the number of subscribers to this blog’s RSS feed passed the 2,000 mark, after teetering just below that number for a couple of months. It’s very gratifying to know that so many people enjoy my writing, and although this increase in subscriptions is tiny compared to the total number of subscribers, it somehow…

Last week, I wote about the robot controlled by a “brain” in a culture dish, and in that post, I mentioned that several other groups, including members of the Neuroengineering Lab at Georgia Tech, have been doing similar work. Steve Potter, who leads one of the groups at Georgia Tech’s NeuroLab (and whose work I…

Researchers from the Cybernetic Intelligence Research Group at the University of Reading have developed a robot whose movements are controlled by neurons growing in a culture dish. The robot’s “brain” consists of several hundred thousand neurons isolated from embryonic rat neocortex. The cortical tissue was first dissected out, then treated with enzymes which caused the…

The use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs, or roadside bombs) has led to an increase in the numbers of troops sustaining traumatic brain injury during military service in Afghanistan and Iraq. Such injuries are caused by the high pressure shock waves generated by the explosions, which cause rapid head movements, such that the brain is…