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Brain

  1. “Braingate” Allows Paralyzed Woman to Control Robotic Arm With Her Mind

    No jokes. This is just really cool.

    This video from Business Insider series Game Changers is incredible. It shows "Braingate," a piece of technology that allows paralyzed patients to control a robotic arm using their brain, in action. It also gives an update on where the technology is at currently and where it could be going in the future.

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  2. AsapSCIENCE Takes on 7 Myths About the Brain

    Your brain probably believes some silly things about itself.

    AsapSCIENCE's latest YouTube video explains the truth behind seven common myths about our brains. Can you be "left-brained" or "right-brained"? What percentage of our brain do we really use? Does size matter? They've got the answers.

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  3. Men Who Watch a Buttload of Porn Could Be Shrinking Their Brains

    Or murdering kittens. You know, whichever scare tactic is popular this month.

    Apparently, self-love can really take it out of you, if by "it" you mean gray matter. A study published last week in JAMA Psychiatry shows a potential link between porn consumption and (brain) shrinkage, but the researchers say not to worry about deleting your browser history just yet.

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  4. Apps That “Train Your Brain” Work, but Only Make You Better at Playing Them

    Kind of like how Temple Run doesn't make you a better runner.

    Games like Nintendo's Big Brain Academy and apps like Lumosity promise to help you train your brain, but a new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience says such brain training activities only work at improving your ability to do the activities themselves.

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  5. Can Your Brain Be Hacked? This AsapSCIENCE Has the Answer [Video]

    This video is better than Johnny Mnemonic

    As neuroscience gets more advanced it raises the question of whether or not our brains can be hacked. In some ways it already has, but not in the way you might be thinking. This AsapSCIENCE video lays out the scientific and ethical questions around brain hacking. So what do you think? Who wants to hack their brain?

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  6. Researchers Grow Tiny Human Brains In Lab

    "Guys, do you ever wonder if we're crossing lines into an ethical grey area where mankind was never meant to tread?" "Meh."

    Researchers at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences have done the impossible -- or at least the creepy and ill-advised -- and grown tiny miniature models of the human brain in a lab from stem cells. Don't worry, though. They haven't been networked together into a terrifying living computer. Y'know, yet.

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  7. Scientist Connects His Brain to the Internet to Control Another Guy’s Finger

    No bid deal, just one guy controlling another guy's body over the Internet like it ain't no thing.

    If you've ever wanted to control someone's finger over the Internet you may soon get your chance. Researchers at the University of Washington used dark magic EEG helmets, magnets, and the Internet to take the impulse to move a finger from the brain of one person and put it into the brain of another. Science is crazy awesome.

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  8. Doctors Fined for Implanting Fecal Bacteria into Patients’ Brains

    This sounds like the worst episode of House ever.

    A hospital was fined after a pair of neurosurgeons implanted fecal bacteria into the brains of patients during operations without proper authorization. A few things jump out at us here. 1) They did WHAT!?! 2) There's proper authorization for putting poop in people's brains!?! 3) Ewwwwwww.

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  9. Scientists Make Electrical Activity In Fruit Flies’ Brain Cells Light Up

    Like a cartoon light bulb, but with more genetic engineering and neuroscience.

    We know that electricity drives neural impulses in the brain, forming complex networks of neurons, but it's still difficult to trace the electrical activity of the nervous system. Scientists at the Yale School of Medicine have developed a fluorescent protein that may provide a more effective way to map the electrical impulses in brain cells.

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  10. Want to Be Better at Math? A Jolt of Electricity to the Brain Might Do the Trick

    If you're not great at doing math in your head, you're in pretty good company around these parts. In general, too -- an estimated 20% of otherwise healthy adults regularly struggle to do basic arithmetic without showing their work. Don't give up hope, though! A new treatment being studied at Oxford University could make you better at doing math in your head for up to six months at a time -- and all you have to do is put on what looks like a steampunk gimp mask and let someone deliver electrical shocks to your brain!

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  11. Here’s Looking At You: Why We Like Art That Looks Back At Us

    The old idiom states that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." Which D&D gamers know isn't true at all -- beholders are hardly beautiful, and will negate your magic with their central eye, then zap you with their eyestalk rays. A new study of art through the ages suggests that a more accurate adage might be "beauty is in eye contact with the beholder." Research shows that what we find beautiful -- or at least engaging -- are works of art that look back at us. Of course, we still wouldn't recommend staring for very long into the eyes of Vigo, the Scourge of Carpathia.

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  12. This Tadpole Can See Out Of An Eye Transplanted Onto Its Butt

    Yes, you read that right. Researchers at Tufts University have found that an ectopic eye transplanted near the tail of a tadpole -- an eye that has no direct connection to the animal's brain -- will still let the animal see. It's the first time that researchers have observed a vertebrate that can demonstrate vision through a non-traditional, implanted eye, and the implications for bioengineering could be impressive. The results suggest that we could one day develop literal working eyes in the back of our head -- or in our palms, like the Pale Man in Pan's Labyrinth. You know, if you're into that sort of thing.

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  13. Obama Plans 10-Year Project to Map Human Brain

    In his State of the Union address last week, President Obama made several mentions of a commitment to science that caught our attention. Now it seems some details about those plans are surfacing. One area of study he mentioned in his speech was that scientists are working to map the human brain, and it's now being reported that the President wants to launch a decade-long program to create the most detailed map of the active human brain to date.

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  14. Researchers Find Way To Instill Terror In Brain Damaged Patients Who Can’t Normally Feel Fear

    A team of researchers at the University of Iowa studying human fear response has found evidence suggesting that the amygdala -- a part of the brain known to be important in fear responses -- may not be the only key to human fear. Studying subjects with damaged amygdalas who don't feel fear from outside sources, the team was still able to instill a fear response by switching to internal cues -- in this case, making the body feel it was suffocating -- suggesting that there are more moving parts to our fear response than a knee jerk reaction from the amygdala. The lesson here, of course, is watch out, because if there's one thing that comic books have taught us, it is that at least one person working in this lab is a convenient aerosol spray away from a full, rich life of super-villainy.

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  15. AsapSCIENCE Wants to Teach Your Old Brain New Tricks

    Sometimes, the best way to find out how a thing works is to break it first. Now, these interesting brain tricks from the folks at AsapSCIENCE won't necessarily break your brain... but they will give you enough of a pause that you have to put in some real thought about how your mind works, and the occasionally competing forces at play in your head. If you're not one for introspection, though, that's okay, too -- you can put some of these to good use confusing your friends for fun and profit! Everyone's a winner!

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  16. Thinking About Doing Something is Pretty Much the Same as Doing It [Video]

    Ready for a strange and uncomfortable fact to start your Friday morning? Sure you are, and here it is, courtesy of the fine cartoonists and deep thinkers over at AsapSCIENCE: when you think deeply about a thing -- seeing the letter 'B,' for example, or fixing a sandwich -- the same parts of your brain involved in performing that action light up. Some studies even suggest that you can improve your piano skills just by thinking diligently about playing while not actually touching a piano. Check out AsapSCIENCE's latest video below and learn more about how your brain is just weird sometimes.

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  17. Shocking New Trial to Test Pacemakers on Brains of Alzheimer’s Patients

    A new hope for Alzheimer's patients may lie in a treatment already being used for diseases like Parkinson's, epilepsy, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Deep-brain stimulation (DBS) works by implanting a device similar to a pacemaker directly into the brain of patients. Doctors are expanding a study to test the effectiveness of DBS on Alzheimer's patients. The new round of testing hopes to build on the promising results of an earlier study.

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  18. Your Neuroses Could Be Good For Your Health, If You’re Not A Jerk About Them

    A new study suggests that being neurotic could actually be good for your health -- just as long as you're also pleasant and responsible while you're indulging your eccentricities. Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center found that people who were both neurotic and conscientious -- defined for this study as being "organized, responsible and hardworking" -- had unusually low levels of a protein associated with a host of chronic diseases including diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. In principle, this should give neurotics around the world one less reason to worry about their health, though in practice...we totally won't. Nice try, though!

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  19. Your Brain Can Be Nice or Logical, But Not Both At Once

    Offering a sympathetic ear can be a kind and noble gesture, but it's one you should be careful of if you also need to be logical, say researchers at Case Western University. A study, released online today in the journal NeuroImage, shows that the brain is incapable of being simultaneously logical and empathetic. So if you need to be nice, get ready to stop being analytical, and if you need to channel your inner Vulcan, be ready for other people to call you a jerk, because you will probably be acting like a jerk.

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  20. Vampires Had It Right: Blood Transfusions From Young Subjects Improve Brain Performance

    In what has to be a strong contender for creepiest news of the week, researchers at Stanford University have found that a transfusion of blood from young mice makes the brains of older mice sharper and more effective. The research is not only ghoulish, but totally galling, meaning that not only vampires but also dictator Kim Jong Il  -- who was long rumored to receive blood transfusions from young virgins, because hey, what's even the point of being a tyrannical dictator if you're not going to be a little batshit loony about it sometimes --may have had a point about the life restoring qualities of other people's blood.

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