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BrainFacts.org

Introduction

Might researchers one day design prosthetic limbs that respond to the brain’s signals? Will brain scans someday allow researchers to read a person’s thoughts? Recent advances in neuroscience are spurring the development of technology to address long-standing challenges. And the development of new technologies — such as ways to trace connections between our 100 billion nerve cells, decode activity patterns in neural circuits, and turn cells on and off with light — are guiding scientists to new understanding of the brain and nervous system. New technologies also aim to improve doctors’ abilities to diagnose neurological or psychiatric illness earlier and expand treatment options for people with brain disease or injury. For instance, therapies aimed at identifying and replacing defective genes or nerve cells are currently being tested. With each discovery, scientists uncover new details about brain function and how it differs in health and disease.

Discoveries

Source: Society for Neuroscience
Scientists are using color to visualize neurons and build better maps of the brain.
Source: Society for Neuroscience
Techniques that increase the resolution of microscopes are revolutionizing the ability to peer at brain structures in ever-increasing detail.
Source: Dana Foundation
The cochlear implant is a near-miraculous device, widely considered the most effective brain-machine interface technology yet developed. Now, researchers are working to make this very good implant even better.

Technologies in the News

Source: The Washington Post | Speaking of Science Blog
Date: 17 Dec 2014
Jan Scheuermann has been paralyzed from the neck down for years -- but thanks to a cutting-edge robotic arm, she can move and lift things with impressive dexterity.
Source: Inside Science
Date: 15 Dec 2014

New transistor design emulates mind's plasticity.

Source: New York Times
Date: 15 Nov 2014
An electrical device glued to the scalp can prolong survival in people with the deadliest type of brain tumor, glioblastoma, researchers have found.
Search for a researcher with Find a Neuroscientist.