1. The science of implanting false memories

    MIT researchers have successfully incepted the minds of mice with events that never happened. Spooky.


  2. Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto

    In a scientific breakthrough that seems torn from the script ofPlanet of the Apes, researchers have designed an electrical brain implant that improves the thinking power of monkeys.

    The hope is that, one day, such an implant will improve the quality of life for people suffering from debilitating brain diseases such as dementia. 


  3. Scientists have finally figured out brain freeze

    Using diagnostic imaging to monitor blood flow in subjects’ heads, researchers had 13 healthy participants sip ice water (sadly, not ice cream) through a straw pressed against the upper palate. Subjects were told to raise their hands when the headache hit, and then raised them again when the pain went away. 

    Researchers discovered that consuming something cold causes “an abrupt increase in blood flow to a major artery in the brain,” which is subsequently followed “by the familiar headache-like pain.” When the artery constricts again after the sudden rush of blood, the pain stops. 

    They hope to use their findings to help treat migraines


  4. jtotheizzoe:

     Scientists ‘See’ YouTube Videos in the Mind

    What if what you saw with your eyes could be interpreted in a brain-scanner? Well, that just happened. Check it out:

    Gallant’s coauthors acted as study subjects, watching YouTube videos inside a magnetic resonance imaging machine for several hours at a time. The team then used the brain imaging data to develop a computer model that matched features of the videos — like colors, shapes and movements — with patterns of brain activity.

    “Once we had this model built, we could read brain activity for that subject and run it backwards through the model to try to uncover what the viewer saw,” said Gallant.

    Subtle changes in blood flow to visual areas of the brain, measured by functional MRI, predicted what was on the screen at the time — whether it was Steve Martin as Inspector Clouseau or an airplane. The reconstructed videos are blurry because they layer all the YouTube clips that matched the subject’s brain activity pattern. The result is a haunting, almost dream-like version of the video as seen by the mind’s eye.

    (via  ABC News)

    (via jtotheizzoe)