At the convergence of biotechnology and nanotechnology, a new project to map the active human brain may eventually lead to an understanding of human perception and consciousness, as well as therapies for neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and autism.
Distinct patterns of activity, which may indicate a predisposition to care for infants, appear in the brains of adults who view an image of an infant face, even when the child is not theirs, according to a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and in Germany, Italy, and Japan. Seeing images of infant faces appeared to activate in the adult’s brains circuits that reflect preparation for movement and speech as well as feelings of reward.
Reflecting a convergence of skills and advances in electrical engineering, materials science and neurosurgery, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia have developed a flexible brain implant that conforms to the brain’s surface and may make possible a whole new generation of brain-computer interfaces for treating neurological and psychiatric illness and research.
Regardless of high or low overall scores on an IQ test, children with dyslexia show similar patterns of brain activity, according to researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health. The results call into question the discrepancy model — the practice of classifying a child as dyslexic on the basis of a lag between reading ability and overall IQ scores.
Recent research by Michielsen and colleagues has demonstrated that “mirror therapy”, which can be given at home, results in significant, albeit modest, improvement in arm, wrist and hand movement abilities of stroke patients . Mirror therapy is where the arm with impaired movement is placed behind a mirror and the unimpaired arm is reflected in the mirror, giving the appearance to the patient that when the unimpaired arm is moved, the impaired arm is also moving.