Peering through opaque brains with new algorithm

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In research described June 26 in Nature Methods, the team, led by Rockefeller's Alipasha Vaziri, used a light microscope-based technique to capture neural activity within a volume of mouse brain tissue at unprecedented speed. The algorithm allowed them to pinpoint the signals from hundreds of individual neurons in a single recording. "Our goal is to better understand brain function by monitoring the dynamics within densely interconnected, three-dimensional networks of neurons," says Vaziri, head of the Laboratory of Neurotechnology and Biophysics. For this research, Vaziri and his colleagues engineered the animals' neurons to fluoresce; the stronger the signal, the brighter the cells shine. To capture this activity, they used a technique known as light field microscopy, in which an array of lenses generates views from a variety of perspectives.


Five reasons the future of brain enhancement is digital, pervasive and (hopefully) bright

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Innovation is enabled by the core fact – called neuroplasticity – that the human brain continually changes itself through experience. Neuroplasticity, also known as brain plasticity, refers to the brain's ability to rewire itself based on experience by generating new neurons and by forming new connections between neurons, among other factors. It was believed for a long time that, after a certain age, the brain became "fixed". Now we know that the brain never stops changing, and that's why there's so much interest and hope around ways to harness that neuroplasticity to lead better lives, to enhance our brains, and to delay brain health decline.


Google and Microsoft are making gigantic artificial brains

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Computers have long been good at carrying out assigned tasks but terrible at learning things on their own. Thus all the excitement around "neural networks," a breakthrough artificial intelligence technique that mimics the structure of the human brain and allows machines to learn things independently. Tech giants are using neural networks to do some pretty impressive things. Microsoft is using them to make instant translation real for Skype. Google's artificial intelligence learned Atari video games and then mastered the ancient game of Go, with its AlphaGo program beating the human champion Lee Sedol 4 to 1.


Google and Microsoft are making gigantic artificial brains

#artificialintelligence

Computers have long been good at carrying out assigned tasks but terrible at learning things on their own. Thus all the excitement around "neural networks," a breakthrough artificial intelligence technique that mimics the structure of the human brain and allows machines to learn things independently. Tech giants are using neural networks to do some pretty impressive things. Microsoft is using them to make instant translation real for Skype. Google's artificial intelligence learned Atari video games and then mastered the ancient game of Go, with its AlphaGo program beating the human champion Lee Sedol 4 to 1.


Google and Microsoft are making gigantic artificial brains

#artificialintelligence

Computers have long been good at carrying out assigned tasks but terrible at learning things on their own. Thus all the excitement around "neural networks," a breakthrough artificial intelligence technique that mimics the structure of the human brain and allows machines to learn things independently. Tech giants are using neural networks to do some pretty impressive things. Microsoft is using them to make instant translation real for Skype. Google's artificial intelligence learned Atari video games and then mastered the ancient game of Go, with its AlphaGo program beating the human champion Lee Sedol 4 to 1.