Reconstructing Speech from Brain Activity

Brain activity

Speech is produced in the human cerebral cortex. Brain waves associated with speech processes can be directly recorded with electrodes located on the surface of the cortex. It has now been shown for the first time that is possible to reconstruct basic units, words, and complete sentences of continuous speech from these brain waves and to generate the corresponding text. Researchers at KIT and Wadsworth Center, USA present their ”Brain-to-Text“ system in the scientific journal Frontiers in Neuroscience (citation below). Read More →

Developmental Brain Plasticity in Humans

brain plasticity

Human development and plastic have little in common, yet they are both malleable. Developmental plasticity in humans refers to the ability to adapt to information, environmental or physical changes. When you learn new things, compensate for physical problems or speak a foreign language fluently, you are relying on your brain’s innate plasticity, which is most apparent during childhood. Read More →

Human Brain vs. Supercomputer

Blue Gene:Q Sequoia

The Blue Gene/Q Sequoia. (Image via IBM)

Last November, IBM revealed that its lightning speed, Blue Gene/Q Sequoia supercomputer achieved a record simulation of more than 530 billion neurons. The Blue Gene/ Q Sequoia can perform over 16 quadrillion calculations per second, ranking as the second-fastest supercomputer in the world. (The number one spot is held by Cray’s Titan, built by the Oak Ridge Laboratory in Tennessee.) Read More →

Learn About the Brain [App Review]

  Free App Download

The 3D Brain app is a great introduction to the human brain, and it’s free. Users shouldn’t have too much trouble getting it to run, and it’s compatible with a majority of iOS devices. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (the app developer) has quickly become known for a few different biology apps.

The software allows budding neurologists or neuroscientists to poke around the various structures of the brain. Artists have color coded the different sections, though the labels are also helpful. In fact, colorblind users should still be able to get plenty of use out of the 3D Brain app. While one might expect the program to cover physiological injuries, the presence of mental health information was honestly a pleasant surprise.

Fans of scientific research might be interested in the lineage of the app. Genes to Cognition (G2C) Online provided the knowledge bank that the software runs on, while financing came from the Dana Foundation and the Hewlett Foundation. Anyone who finds that they want to dig deeper than the lessons here can easily cross-reference 3D Brain with another free source. The classic 1918 publication of Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body, for instance, is a great place to look up information after messing with the app for a while.

Localizing Software in a Singularity

The idea of an auxiliary language was quite popular for a period of time in the 20th century. Esperanto was often thrown around as a serious option, though fictional languages have actually caught on more than this purposefully made auxiliary tongue ever did. Nevertheless, the ability to communicate is becoming increasingly important. The very concept of a technological singularity relies on the ability of individual people to speak to one another. Read More →

Artificial Cerebellum in Robotics Developed

University of Granada researchers have developed an artificial cerebellum (a biologically-inspired adaptive microcircuit) that controls a robotic arm with human-like precision. The cerebellum is the part of the human brain that controls the locomotor system and coordinates body movements. Read More →