Articles about brain

Fruit fly in nature - drosophila melanogaster

Fruit flies use the power of the sun to help them fly in straight lines

Fruit flies may have tiny brains about as big as poppy seeds, but their noggins are complex enough to the remember the Sun’s position to help with navigation, according to a new study in the journal Current Biology. Without these special compass cells in their brain fruit flies, known as Drosophila, would end up flying …
Katyanna Quach, 31 Aug 2018
Meanwhile, in the El Reg canteen

Brain brainiacs figure out what turns folks into El Reg journos, readers

Is your morning coffee half empty? Do you feel it's always darkest before it goes pitch black? Have you ever wondered why you, like each of us here, is such a pessimist – apart from, y'know, the fact everything inevitably goes horribly wrong all the time? Well, now scientists think they may have figured the out answer. …
Katyanna Quach, 10 Aug 2018
Bees surround queen bee

Boffins stalk house-hunting bees, find colony behaves kind of like a human brain

Boffins at Sheffield University have discovered that colonies of honeybees follow the same laws as the human brain when making collective decisions. For the research, published in Nature Scientific Reports, the team constructed a house-hunting model and treated a simulated bee colony as a single organism, able to respond in a …
Richard Speed, 28 Mar 2018

Roses are red, are you single, we wonder? 'Cos this moth-brain AI can read your phone number

A pair of academics have reproduced part of a moth's brain as an artificial neural network – and taught it to recognize numbers to a fairly high accuracy with just a few training examples. The software, dubbed MothNet, can apparently discern handwritten digits with 75 per cent to 85 per cent accuracy, given 15 to 20 training …
Katyanna Quach, 14 Feb 2018

ARM chip OG Steve Furber: Turing missed the mark on human intelligence

"Brains are massively parallel. We each have just under 100 billion neurons inside our heads, all running at the same time. And they are hugely connected, with 1015 synapses connecting the neurons together. The way forward in computing is parallelism. There is no other option." Professor Steve Furber, one of the designers of …
Alistair Dabbs, 19 Oct 2017

Pretty fly for an AI: Bioboffins use machine learning to decipher fruit flies' brains

Scientists in the US have developed a computer program called JAABA that uses machine learning to map groups of neurons responsible for the different behaviors observed in tiny fruit flies. The brain is a tangled mess of neurons that continues to mystify neurologists. Creating a detailed map allows scientists to learn the …
Katyanna Quach, 14 Jul 2017

Shock horror: US military sticks jump leads on human brains to teach them a lesson

The boffinry nerve center of the US military is working with seven American universities to see if electrically stimulating the brain will increase the ability to learn new skills. The Targeted Neuroplasticity Training (TNT) program is focused on synaptic plasticity, the ability of the brain to build new neural pathways to …
Iain Thomson, 28 Apr 2017

Neuromorphic progress: And we for one welcome our new single artificial synapse overlords

A team of engineers has built an artificial synapse with the hopes of creating a neural network system with similar processing powers as the human brain. "The brain is capable of massively parallel information processing while consuming only 1‑100 fJ per synaptic event. Inspired by the efficiency of the brain, CMOS-based …
Katyanna Quach, 22 Feb 2017

What's the difference between you and a sea slug? When it comes to IT security, nothing

Usenix Enigma Several academics have been using brain scanning methods to see how people handle computer security, and the resounding result is that our brains are biochemically working against us in this realm. In a talk at the Enigma 2017 security conference, Anthony Vance, professor of information systems at Brigham Young University in …
Iain Thomson, 1 Feb 2017

Boffins turn timid mice into psycho killers – by firing lasers into brains

Video Scientists have turned wimpy mice into ferocious hunters by zapping their brains with a laser. Using optogenetics, a technique that makes specific neurons fire when stimulated with light, the scientists activated a set of neurons in the amygdala. The amygdala, a small region within the brain, is associated with memory, …
Katyanna Quach, 13 Jan 2017

Cognitive computing: IBM uses phase-change material to model your brain's neurons

IBM scientists claimed – for the first time – to have created artificial spiking neurons using a phase-change material, opening up the possibilities of building a neural network that could be used for AI. The brain is the biggest inspiration for researchers working in cognitive computing: the exact mechanisms that describe how …
"New and shiny" person lies with eyes closed, covered in grey glitter. Photo by Shutterstock

Would we want to regenerate brains of patients who are clinically dead?

A trial to see if it is possible to regenerate the brains of patients who have been declared clinically dead has been approved. Reanima Advanced Biosciences aims to use stem cells, injections of peptides, and nerve stimulation to reverse “brain death as noted in clinical examination or EEG”, a project which at least scores …
Pinky and the Brain

Boffins raise five-week-old fetal human brain in the lab for experimentation

A scientific team in Ohio has managed to raise the most complete human brain yet, and plan to use it for testing drugs and trying to understand autism. The brain is at the same stage of development as a five-week-old fetus and contains 99 per cent of the same cells that you'd find in an in-utero equivalent. It's about the size …
Iain Thomson, 19 Aug 2015

Self/Less: Crap science, eyebrow acting, and immortality for the 1%

Film review Director Tarsem Singh has something of a fascination with technology and medicine. His first film, The Cell, posited using a virtual reality mind meld system and his latest, Self/Less, is all about swapping minds though the power of high tech. Daniel, a cancer-stricken New York property developer (Ben Kingsley), receives an …
Iain Thomson, 3 Jul 2015
One of the newly-uncovered photos of Albert Einstein's brain

BRAIN STORM: Nine mislaid cerebra found near railway line in New York

Cops were called in to solve the mystery of nine abandoned BRAINS found near a railway line in New York last week. Clover Forsythe, resident, posted a picture on Facebook. He wrote: "And what are these you might ask? They appear to be brains. Small, the size of an apple. Laying on the side of the road by Beckwith St in …
Kat Hall, 29 May 2015
One of the newly-uncovered photos of Albert Einstein's brain


It's an embarrassing situation that's happened to most students after too much snakebite and black. One minute you're in the pub with mates, the next you find yourself idiotically clutching onto a stolen traffic cone or, you know ... a jar of brains. At least that's what professors at the University of Texas long assumed had …
Kat Hall, 5 Dec 2014
2001: A Space Odyssey

HUMAN RACE PERIL: Not nukes, it'll be AI that kills us off, warns Musk

Multibillionaire tech ace Elon Musk has a bee in his bonnet about the threat to humanity from ... artificial intelligence. And since he's a major investor in the technology, he ought to know. Worth reading Superintelligence by Bostrom. We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes. — Elon Musk (@ …
Iain Thomson, 5 Aug 2014
glass brain

Boffins urge European Commission to reboot electric brain project

More than four hundred scientists have signed an open letter asking the European Commission to rethink the Human Brain Project (HBP), a €1.19b attempt to build a computer capable of simulating the human brain. The HBP has been pitched as beneficial for neuroscience and computer science. The former discipline gets a whole new …

Create a news alert about brain, or find more stories about brain.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018