With the release of the Oculus Rift in March 2016, the age of virtual reality (VR) truly began. VR tech had been generating buzz since the 1990s, but the Rift was the first high-end VR system to reach the consumer market, and early reviews confirmed that it delivered the kind of experience users had been hoping for. Virtual reality was finally real. Research into VR exploded in this new era, and experts soon started to find innovative ways to make virtual experiences more immersive…more real. To date, VR technologies have moved beyond just sight and sound.
The nature of neuroplasticity and the physiological mechanisms involved in the induction of both short- and long-term changes in the brain that enable us to store and retrieve motor memories for later use is discussed. The ways in which neuroplastic changes can be classified using the biological principles related to neuroplasticity and the underlying tenets of learning are reviewed. The fundamental elements of experience-dependent neuroplasticity and clinical interventions, including VR technology, which have the potential to induce and affect neuroplasticity are considered. The empirical evidence of the effects of VR on neuroplastic changes in the brain is summarised.
Computer brains are becoming more intelligent -- we've been trying to work out who is smartest and sharpest since since the dawn of video games if not before. Computer'brains' in the world of Artificial Intelligence don't actually function organically, like a human brain, obviously. But as we continue to build new and ever more powerful layers of functionality into the machine brain, they can start to'ape' some of our human imperfections and nuances in an attempt to be more like us. Software application developers (and their IT'Ops' operations buddies) are working hard to move statistical models into computer brains and advance not just AI, but the inextricably closely related area of machine learning which helps feed the practice of'automation', which in and of itself has become the darling buzzword of the IT industry in recent times. Data intelligence firms like Elastic are building machine learning functions into their software as fast as they can.
Interaxon started out developing wearables like its Muse headband meditation tool, and it's now applying its learnings to virtual reality. Its new Muse Virtual Reality aftermarket add-ons will attach to the HTC Vive and Samsung Gear VR headsets to pick up users' brainwaves and collect information about how they're reacting to stimuli. The company is planning on sending out software development kits to developers in Q2 of this year, and rolling it out to markets in Q4.
Today in Switzerland, the 135 members of the Human Brain Project gathered to kick off the 10 year global project that will give us a deeper and more meaningful understanding of how the human brain operates. This project is considered the most advanced neuroscience project in the world. The Human Brain Project's is comprised of 130 research institutions throughout Europe and coordinated through the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EFPL). In the launch of the project, neuroscientists, doctors, computer scientists, and roboticists will begin to refine the project in across six research platforms including neuroinformatics, brain simulation, high-performance computing, medical informatics, neuromorphic computing and neurorobotics, each composed of technological tools and methods to ensure the project's objectives will be met. The scientists, through their research institutions, will set up and test the platforms over the next 30 months and in 2016, these platforms should be ready for testing by the Human Brain Project scientists and researchers from around the world.