The Dramatic High-Tech Race to Merge Minds and Machines
Author: Malcolm Gay
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
The gripping and revelatory story of the dramatic race to merge the human brain with machines Leading neuroscience researchers are racing to unlock the secrets of the mind. On the cusp of decoding brain signals that govern motor skills, they are developing miraculous technologies to enable paraplegics and wounded soldiers to move prosthetic limbs, and the rest of us to manipulate computers and other objects through thought alone. These fiercely competitive scientists are vying for Defense Department and venture capital funding, prestige, and great wealth. Part life-altering cure, part science fiction, part military dream, these cutting-edge brain-computer interfaces promise to improve lives—but also hold the potential to augment soldiers' combat capabilities. In The Brain Electric, Malcolm Gay follows the dramatic emergence of these technologies, taking us behind the scenes into the operating rooms, start-ups, and research labs where the future is unfolding. With access to many of the field's top scientists, Gay illuminates this extraordinary race—where science, medicine, profit, and war converge—for the first time. But this isn't just a story about technology. At the heart of this research is a group of brave, vulnerable patient-volunteers whose lives are given new meaning through participating in these experiments. The Brain Electric asks us to rethink our relationship to technology, our bodies, even consciousness itself—challenging our assumptions about what it means to be human.
Electroencephalography (EEG) is practiced by neurologists, cognitive neuroscientists, and others interested in functional brain imaging. Whether for clinical or experimental purposes, all studies share a common purpose-to relate scalp potentials to the underlying neurophysiology. Electrical potentials on the scalp exhibit spatial and temporal patterns that depend on the nature and location of the sources and the way that currents and fields spread through tissue. Because these dynamic patterns are correlated with behavior and cognition, EEG provides a "window on the mind," correlating physiology and psychology. This classic and widely acclaimed text, originally published in 1981, filled the large gap between EEG and the physical sciences. It has now been brought completely up to date and will again serve as an invaluable resource for understanding the principles of electric fields in living tissue and for using hard science to study human consciousness and cognition. No comparable volume exists for it is no easy task to explain the problems of EEG in clear language, with mathematics presented mainly in appendices. Among the many topics covered by the Second Edition are micro and meso (intermediate scale) synaptic sources, electrode placement, choice of reference, volume conduction, power and coherence measures, projection of scalp potentials to dura surface, dynamic signatures of conscious experience, neural networks immersed in global fields of synaptic action, and physiological bases for brain source dynamics. The Second Edition is an invaluable resource for neurologists, neuroscientists (especially cognitive neuroscientists), biomedical engineers, and their students and trainees. It will also appeal to physicists, mathematicians, computer scientists, psychiatrists, and industrial engineers interested in EEG.
Topographic Mapping of Brain Electrical Activity presents the state of topographic mapping. It discusses its contributions to brain research. It addresses its research and clinical applications. It also explains completely the brain electrical activity mapping as a tool used in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological dysfunction Some of the topics covered in the book are the color imaging of scalp somatosensory evoked potential fields; visual evoked potential topography; spatial analysis of EEG and evoked potential data; intra-individual changes in EEG during mental performance; and changes in transversal coherence. The event-related desynchronization mapping of visualization of cortical activation patterns is fully covered. The spatiotemporal mapping display is discussed in detail. The text describes in depth the physical aspects of EEG data as a basis for topographic mapping. The human scalp field injection experiments are presented completely. A chapter is devoted to the classification strategies for topographic mapping data. Another section focuses on the topological factors. The book can provide useful information to radiologists, neurologists, students, and researchers.
In brain science, there are two phenomena which are becoming increasing common in modern society. Firstly, rates of depression and anxiety disorders are increasing, with as many as one in five people either clinically depressed or anxious at any given time. Secondly, our aging population is revealing a range of cognitive problems associated with aging, including memory loss and other cognitive impairments. Each of these has a common thread - They are underpinned by clear deficits in neurochemical function. You have probably heard that "depression is caused by a serotonin imbalance" (sometimes, but not always, this is the case), however did you also know - - Depression can be caused by low dopamine or noradrenaline (norepinephrine) - Problems with aceylcholine and glutamate can lead to cognitive, memory and attention-related issues - Deficits in your natural opioids (such as endorphins) not only leads to increased pain, but also poor tolerance to stressful life events or situations However the good news is that whether your problem is serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline, glutamate, endorphins or any of the other major neurotransmitters and neuro-hormones, your situation is usually fixable with either medication, supplements, cognitive behavioral therapy or other lifestyle modifications. They key is to first know exactly how it feels to be deficient in a particular neurotransmitter. For example, did you know that - - Just the simple act of writing out a plan on how you will change your life for the better can boost serotonin and dopamine - Just hanging out with friends and loved ones boosts serotonin - Most people who are diagnosed with depression will receive a medication to boost serotonin, however for many people, serotonin is not their problem - Meditation has been shown to boost serotonin In his latest book, following on from his hugely successful anti-aging book, The Methuselah Project, James Lee gives you all you need to know regarding the major neurotransmitters including - - What they are - What do they do in your brain and body - What are the symptoms when they are depleted - How to boost levels Lee also details some of the more obscure (yet no less important) neurochemicals such as substance P, which has recently been implicated in neuropathic pain conditions and poor tolerance to stress. As always, Lee has focused on creating a book that sticks to the key facts to create a boredom-free exploration of that mysterious electrical activity that is occurring 24/7, between your ears.
Since the days of Galileo, time has been a fundamental variable in scientific attempts to understand the natural world. Once the first recordings of electrical activity in the brain had been made, it became clear that electrical signals from the brain consist of very complex temporal patterns. This can now be demonstrated by recordings at the single unit level and by electroencephalography (EEG). Time and the Brain explores modern approaches to these temporal aspects of electrical brain activity. The temporal structure as revealed from trains of impulses from single nerve cells and from EEG recordings are discussed in depth together with an exploration of correlations with behaviour and psychology. The single cell and EEG approaches often tend to be segregated as the research occurs in laboratories in different parts of the world. By bringing together modern information acquired using both methods it is hoped that they can become better integrated as complimentary windows on the information processing achieved by the brain.
This book provides eloquent support for the idea that spontaneous neuron activity, far from being mere noise, is actually the source of our cognitive abilities. In a sequence of "cycles," György Buzsáki guides the reader from the physics of oscillations through neuronal assembly organization to complex cognitive processing and memory storage. His clear, fluid writing-accessible to any reader with some scientific knowledge-is supplemented by extensive footnotes and references that make it just as gratifying and instructive a read for the specialist. The coherent view of a single author who has been at the forefront of research in this exciting field, this volume is essential reading for anyone interested in our rapidly evolving understanding of the brain.
Neuroimaging techniques have made a huge contribution to our understanding of schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Until now however, texts on both schizophrenia and neuroimaging have paid little attention to the overlap between these areas. This new volume is the first dedicated to unraveling how these techniques can help us better understand this complex disorder. Each chapter focuses on a particular research method, describing the nature of the findings, the main technological problems, and future possibilities. Though including sufficient methodological detail to be of value to imaging researchers, the emphasis throughout is on providing information of value to clinicians. Written and edited by leaders in schizophrenia research, this book details what structural and functional brain imaging studies have already established about schizophrenia and what developments are likely in the foreseeable future. It will be of great value to psychiatrists, neuropsychiatrists, and cognitive neuroscientists.