CBR: Google’s AI Team Open-Sources Brain Mapping Visualisation Technology

CBR: Google’s AI Team Open-Sources Brain Mapping Visualisation Technology. “Google’s research team have open-sourced a new visualisation technology that allows researchers to view petabyte-scale 3D models of brains in a web browser. The Neuroglancer project, available on Github, enables neurologists to build 3D models of a brain’s neural pathways in interactive visualisations.”

EurekAlert: These trippy images were designed by AI to super-stimulate monkey neurons

EurekAlert: These trippy images were designed by AI to super-stimulate monkey neurons. Sounds like Facebook. “To find out which sights specific neurons in monkeys ‘like’ best, researchers designed an algorithm, called XDREAM, that generated images that made neurons fire more than any natural images the researchers tested. As the images evolved, they started to look like distorted versions of real-world stimuli. The work appears May 2 in the journal Cell.”

Ubergizmo: Study Finds Screen Time Physically Changes The Brain Structure In Kids

Ubergizmo: Study Finds Screen Time Physically Changes The Brain Structure In Kids. “In an ongoing study funded by the National Institutes of Health (via Bloomberg), it has been found that too much screen time can actually physically alter the brain structure in kids. The study found that in the first batch of brain scans of 4,500 9-10 year olds, those who spent more than 7 hours a day in front of a screen showed premature thinning of the brain cortex, which is the outermost layer that helps to process information from the physical world.”

VentureBeat: Google researchers create AI that maps the brain’s neurons

VentureBeat: Google researchers create AI that maps the brain’s neurons. “Mapping the structure of biological networks in the nervous system — a field of study known as connectomics — is computationally intensive. The human brain contains around 86 billion neurons networked through 100 trillion synapses, and imaging a single cubic millimeter of tissue can generate more than 1,000 terabytes of data. Luckily, artificial intelligence can help.”

Health Europa: Neurodegenerative disease research funding up by a third since 2011

Health Europa: Neurodegenerative disease research funding up by a third since 2011. “Global neurodegenerative disease research funding has seen a substantial improvement, with funding being up by a third since 2011, according to a new survey. As of today (17 July), funders and researchers are able to access a database that contains survey information from across three-decades worth of global neurodegenerative disease research funding.”

UC San Diego: Scientists Construct Google-Earth-like Atlas of the Human Brain

UC San Diego: Scientists Construct Google-Earth-like Atlas of the Human Brain. “The researchers said their ultimate goal is to construct an online surface-based atlas containing layered maps of multiple modalities that can be used as a guide map to understand the topological organization, functions, and disorders of the human brain. This online atlas will be constructed for searching and browsing brain areas and functions, they said, include interactive multi-layer features similar to ‘Google Earth.’”

Santa Maria Times: Researchers explore how activities affect brain development in kids

Santa Maria Times: Researchers explore how activities affect brain development in kids. “Parents wondering how video games, athletic pursuits or sleeping habits may affect their kids’ brains may get some answers thanks to a massive effort underway at 21 institutions across the country. Researchers are recruiting 11,500 kids aged 9 or 10 to participate in the largest study of its kind on the affects — good and bad — of myriad activities on adolescent brain development. They plan to create a giant new database available to researchers everywhere that could inform everything from public policy to education to parenting.”

The Bulletin: Researchers explore how activities affect brain development in kids

The Bulletin: Researchers explore how activities affect brain development in kids. “Parents wondering how video games, athletic pursuits or sleeping habits may affect their kids’ brains may get some answers thanks to a massive effort underway at 21 institutions across the country. Researchers are recruiting 11,500 kids aged 9 or 10 to participate in the largest study of its kind on the effects — good and bad — of myriad activities on adolescent brain development. They plan to create a giant new database available to researchers everywhere that could inform everything from public policy to education to parenting.”

University of Southern California: Shared database of brain images aims to boost stroke patients’ recovery

University of Southern California: Shared database of brain images aims to boost stroke patients’ recovery. “A USC-led team has archived and shared hundreds of brain scans from stroke patients, which researchers hope will help to forecast which patients will respond to a variety of rehabilitation therapies. The study of the data set, known as Anatomical Tracings of Lesion After Stroke (ATLAS), was published in Scientific Data, a Nature journal.”

Phys .org: How Life Online Influences Young People

Phys.org: How life online influences young people. “Young people spend a lot of their time online. Even so, we still know very little about how this intensive use of social media influences their development. Brain researcher and Spinoza Prize winner Eveline Crone from Leiden University and media psychologist Elly Konijn (VU) describes what the research has already generated in terms of usable information and what kinds of urgent questions have to be answered. The study is published in Nature Communications.”

National Institutes of Health: NIH releases first dataset from unprecedented study of adolescent brain development

National Institutes of Health: NIH releases first dataset from unprecedented study of adolescent brain development. “The National Institutes of Health Tuesday released to the scientific community an unparalleled dataset from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. To date, more than 7,500 youth and their families have been recruited for the study, well over half the participant goal. Approximately 30 terabytes of data (about three times the size of the Library of Congress collection), obtained from the first 4,500 participants, will be available to scientists worldwide to conduct research on the many factors that influence brain, cognitive, social, and emotional development.”

Scanning the Brains of Earth’s Megafauna

New to me and apparently in its early stages: a digital archive for the brain scans of megafauna. From the “Background” page: “Despite the advances in neuroimaging tools, they have not been widely applied to the brains of non-human animals. Apart from humans, non-human primates, rats and mice, almost no information exists about the connectivity of other species’ brains. For example, what is it in a tiger’s brain that makes it a tiger? Or in a bear’s brain that makes a bear? The relationship between brain and species is fundamental to understanding the evolution of the nervous system, and can illuminate sensory, motoric, and cognitive adaptations that help situate each species in its ecological niche. A leading theory suggests that as brains get bigger they become more modularized. With new imaging tools and advances in network science, we can now test these ideas.”

Semantic Scholar Search Engine Adds Another Focus

Semantic Scholar is getting another focus. “The Allen Institute’s latest effort is Semantic Scholar, a scientific-paper search engine powered by machine learning and other artificial intelligence systems. Semantic Scholar went live in November 2015 with a focus on computer science papers. Today, the service expanded to include neuroscience, bringing the search engine’s database to more than 10 million papers.” More to come, according to the article.

In Development: Database of Brain Scans

In development: a database of human brain scans. “The Human Connectome Project, a $40 million endeavor to map out all of the brain’s connections, has been ongoing since 2010. The research itself — a painstaking effort to scan and analyze the brains of thousands of adults — has shown that each person’s brain activity is highly unique and can be used to identify individuals with 99 percent accuracy…. Collaborators at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Minnesota, who make up one of the two scientific consortia working on the Human Connectome Project, are uploading the brain scan data of over 1,200 subjects to a database online so it can be freely accessed by neurologists worldwide. ”