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Category: Mind Power

29 Dec 2018

Human Brain Project: EU’s shocking €1BILLION plan to grow SILICON BRAINS in a lab

A EUROPEAN UNION (EU) funded project is pioneering cutting-edge research into the human brain and is inspiring artificial intelligence breakthroughs, its scientific director has exclusively revealed.

The Human Brain Project (HBP) is the EU’s £899 (€1billion) flagship science initiative working on developing human-machine hybrids. The ambitious enterprise’s primary aim is to simulate the human brain using computers, improving science and technology on the way. Professor Katrin Amunts, HBP’s scientific director, believes tangible results are starting to arrive, halfway through the Human Brain Project’s ten-year tenure.

She said: “We are trying to emulate the capabilities of the brain, we are trying to understand the brain’s principles and the organisational rules behind cognitive function.”

We are trying to emulate the capabilities of the brain

Professor Katrin Amunts

“What we are trying to do at HBP is try and understand how we can use our knowledge about brain organisation and transfer it, for instance, to new computing devices called neuromorphic devices.”

The Human Brain Project is developing two major neuromorphic machines; Manchester University’s SpiNNaker and the University of Heidelberg’s BrainscaleS.

Read more: https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1063108/human-brain-project-european-union-silicon-brain-artificial-human

20 Dec 2018

Brain power: Mind-controlled drones focus of USF research

 – USF graduate student Dante Tezza is pretty good at flying a drone. He literally uses his head. He controls the drone with his brain.

“These are the sensors,” he says, showing us a round, plastic circle that fits on his head as he flies the small drone in a lab.

His brainwaves are transmitted to the drone. When he imagines walking, the drone flies forward. When he thinks of sitting down, the drone lands. He says you can learn to make it fly in a day.

“But to master it, it may take you weeks or even months of training,” says Tezza.

He and fellow computer science and engineering graduate student Sarah Garcia are working on their PhDs with BCI, or brain-computer interface.

They’re searching for some USF students to participate in the first International Brain Controlled Drone Races.

“The students who get the fastest time will get to compete in our actual event in February,” says Garcia.

It’s being held at the Yuengling Center on February 9.

What does it take to be the fastest brain drone flyer?

“That’s good research question,” smiles Tezza. “We don’t have an answer yet.”

It could be in the pilot’s ability to focus on how the sensors make contact with an individual’s brain. They believe drones are just the beginning of brain-controlled technology that could do everything from opening doors to mowing lawns to helping disabled people.

The power of the brain could be the greatest equalizer.

“It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman, or if you’re in a wheelchair. All that matters is how much you can focus your brain waves,” says Tezza.

They will soon advertise how USF students can come to their lab and try out for the 16-member brain drone team on a simulator game they’ve designed.

They say watch social media for details on  when the try-outs will happen. In the meantime, think drones and practice focusing your brain.

Read more: http://www.fox13news.com/news/local-news/state-vacuum-and-famed-gorilla-moving-to-new-location

08 Dec 2018
This neural-net powered AI is way better at chess than anyone

This neural-net powered AI is way better at chess than anyone

AlphaZero is from DeepMind Technologies, a subsidiary under Alphabet, which is Google’s parent company. It can tackle not only chess, but also shogi and Go — two equally difficult, if not even more challenging, games.

AlphaZero comes after many years of research, succeeding AlphaGo Zero from last year, the world’s best Go player. But this time around there wasn’t any human help. AlphaZero taught itself how to play from scratch.

The neural-net AI studied each of the three games, using a process that’s similar to how a brain is structured. (Neural nets are similar in some ways to neurons in our bodies: It’s essentially the way the computer takes info and works through it, sort of like a very complex equation.) AlphaZero trained for 9 hours on chess, 12 hours on shogi, and 13 days on Go. Playing itself, it thought about the same moves over and over again. And it worked.

The sheer hardware of the AlphaZero is intense (think a Mac Pro on steroids). It used 5,000 tensor processing units, or TPUs, in training alone. These processors are for AI and neural net tasks. Google Photos employs them for AI features within the app.

All of this shows how advanced computers are becoming. With neural net AI inside, decision-making abilities aren’t far off.

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/alphazero-ai-neuralnet-chess-player/#EEPsvYh0_iqC

14 Nov 2018
Manahel Thabet

Brain changes found in self-injuring teen girls

The brains of teenage girls who engage in serious forms of self-harm, including cutting, show features similar to those seen in adults with borderline personality disorder, a severe and hard-to-treat mental illness, a new study has found.

Reduced brain volumes seen in these girls confirms biological – and not just behavioral – changes and should prompt additional efforts to prevent and treat self-inflicted injury, a known risk factor for suicide, said study lead author Theodore Beauchaine, a professor of psychology at The Ohio State University.

This research is the first to highlight physical changes in the brain in teenage girls who harm themselves.

The findings are especially important given recent increases in self-harm in the U.S., which now affects as many as 20 percent of adolescents and is being seen earlier in childhood, Beauchaine said.

“Girls are initiating self-injury at younger and younger ages, many before age 10,” he said.

Cutting and other forms of self-harm often precede suicide, which increased among 10- to 14-year-old girls by 300 percent from 1999 to 2014, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During that same time, there was a 53 percent increase in suicide in older teen girls and young women. Self-injury also has been linked to later diagnosis of depression and borderline personality disorder.

In adults with borderline personality disorder, structural and functional abnormalities are well-documented in several areas of the brain that help regulate emotions.

But until this research, nobody had looked at the brains of adolescents who engage in self-harm to see if there are similar changes.

The new study, which appears in the journal Development and Psychopathology, included 20 teenage girls with a history of severe self-injury and 20 girls with no history of self-harm. Each girl underwent magnetic resonance imaging of her brain. When the researchers compared overall brain volumes of the 20 self-injuring girls with those in the control group, they found clear decreases in volume in parts of the brain called the insular cortex and inferior frontal gyrus.

These regions, which are next to one another, are two of several areas where brain volumes are smaller in adults with borderline personality disorder, or BPD, which, like cutting and other forms of self-harm, is more common among females. Brain volume losses are also well-documented in people who’ve undergone abuse, neglect and trauma, Beauchaine said.

The study also found a correlation between brain volume and the girls’ self-reported levels of emotion dysregulation, which were gathered during interviews prior to the brain scans.

Read more: https://news.osu.edu/brain-changes-found-in-self-injuring-teen-girls/

12 Nov 2018

Einstein letter showed he was fearful before Nazis came to power

JERUSALEM (AP) — More than a decade before the Nazis seized power in Germany, Albert Einstein was on the run and already fearful for his country’s future, according to a newly revealed handwritten letter.

His longtime friend and fellow Jew, German Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau, had just been assassinated by right-wing extremists and police had warned the noted physicist that his life could be in danger too.

So Einstein fled Berlin and went into hiding in northern Germany. It was during this hiatus that he penned a handwritten letter to his beloved younger sister, Maja, warning of the dangers of growing nationalism and anti-Semitism years before the Nazis ultimately rose to power, forcing Einstein to flee his native Germany for good.

“Out here, nobody knows where I am, and I’m believed to be away on a trip,” he wrote in August 1922. “Here are brewing economically and politically dark times, so I’m happy to be able to get away from everything.”

The previously unknown letter, brought forward by an anonymous collector, is set to go on auction next week in Jerusalem with an opening asking price of $12,000.

As the most influential scientist of the 20th century, Einstein’s life and writings have been thoroughly researched. The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, of which Einstein was a founder, houses the world’s largest collection of Einstein material. Together with the California Institute of Technology it runs the Einstein Papers Project. Individual auctions of his personal letters have brought in substantial sums in recent years.

The 1922 letter shows he was concerned about Germany’s future a full year before the Nazis even attempted their first coup — the failed Munich Beer Hall Putsch to seize power in Bavaria.

“This letter reveals to us the thoughts that were running through Einstein’s mind and heart at a very preliminary stage of Nazi terror,” said Meron Eren, co-owner of the Kedem Auction House in Jerusalem, which obtained the letter and offered The Associated Press a glimpse before the public sale. “The relationship between Albert and Maja was very special and close, which adds another dimension to Einstein the man and greater authenticity to his writings.”

The letter, which bears no return address, is presumed to have been written while he was staying in the port city of Kiel before embarking on a lengthy speaking tour across Asia.

“I’m doing pretty well, despite all the anti-Semites among the German colleagues. I’m very reclusive here, without noise and without unpleasant feelings, and am earning my money mainly independent of the state, so that I’m really a free man,” he wrote. “You see, I am about to become some kind of itinerant preacher. That is, firstly, pleasant and, secondly, necessary.”

Addressing his sister’s concerns, Einstein writes: “Don’t worry about me, I myself don’t worry either, even if it’s not quite kosher, people are very upset. In Italy, it seems to be at least as bad.”

Later in 1922, Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics.

Ze’ev Rosenkranz, the assistant director of the Einstein Papers Project at Caltech, said the letter wasn’t the first time Einstein warned about German anti-Semitism, but it captured his state of mind at this important junction after Rathenau’s killing and the “internal exile” he imposed on himself shortly after it.

“Einstein’s initial reaction was one of panic and a desire to leave Germany for good. Within a week, he had changed his mind,” he said. “The letter reveals a mindset rather typical of Einstein in which he claims to be impervious to external pressures. One reason may be to assuage his sister’s concerns. Another is that he didn’t like to admit that he was stressed about external factors.”

When the Nazis came to power and began enacting legislation against Jews, they also aimed to purge Jewish scientists. The Nazis dismissed Einstein’s groundbreaking work, including his Law of Relativity, as “Jewish Physics.”

Einstein renounced his German citizenship in 1933 after Hitler became chancellor. The physicist settled in the United States, where he would remain until his death in 1955.

Einstein declined an invitation to serve as the first president of the newly established state of Israel but left behind his literary estate and personal papers to the Hebrew University.

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/science/einstein-letter-showed-he-was-fearful-before-nazis-came-to-power

05 Nov 2018
Manahel Thabet

Daytime Naps Boost Brain Power in Mysterious Ways

Recent sleep research has unearthed some fascinating correlations between the duration of time someone spends sleeping and his or her cognitive functions. One of the most extensive studies ever conducted on the link between sleep duration and cognition recently reported that sleeping more or less than seven to eight hours per night impairs specific cognitive abilities. Surprisingly, the brain researchers from Western University in Canada found that oversleeping can be just as detrimental to cognition as sleeping too little.

This massive worldwide survey also identified that getting too much sleep isn’t a problem for most of us; on average people around the globe only sleep about 6.3 hours per night. Unfortunately, this creates a sleep deficit that can cause the body, brain, and mind to function at a subpar level.

The good news is that another study by researchers at the University of Bristol in the UK recently reported that taking a power nap can improve domains of cognitive function associated with processing information below conscious awareness. This study, “Nap‐Mediated Benefit to Implicit Information Processing Across Age Using an Affective Priming Paradigm,” was recently published in the Journal of Sleep Research. The primary goal of this study was to identify if a relatively short period of sleep helps people process unconscious information and how this might improve automatic reaction times.

For this pioneering research on how short bouts of sleep improve memoryconsolidation of implicit tasks, the researchers hid information by “masking” it and then presenting it to study participants without their conscious awareness. Although the “masked” information was hidden from conscious perception, this research shows that it was being absorbed on a subliminal level somewhere in the brain.

For this study, 16 healthy participants practiced a masked task (unconscious processing) and a control task that involved conscious information processing. One group stayed awake after practicing both tasks while the other group took a 90-minute nap. Then, participants were monitored using an EEG as they performed both tasks again while researchers monitored pre-and-post nap brain activity.

The group that stayed awake throughout the experiment did not show significant improvements on either task. Interestingly, the researchers found that taking a nap improved the processing speed of the masked task — which required learning on an unconscious level — but not the control task, which involved explicit memory and conscious awareness. According to the researchers, this suggests sleep-specific improvements in subconscious processing and that information acquired during wakefulness can be processed in deeper, qualitative ways during short bouts of sleep.

“The findings are remarkable in that they can occur in the absence of initial intentional, conscious awareness, by processing of implicitly presented cues beneath participants’ conscious awareness. Further research in a larger sample size is needed to compare if and how the findings differ between ages, and investigation of underlying neural mechanisms,” co-author Liz Coulthard of the University of Bristol Medical School: Translational Health Sciences said in a statement.

Read more: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201810/daytime-naps-boost-brain-power-in-mysterious-ways

30 Oct 2018

Never underestimate the power of your mind

One thing that you need to know is that the power of the mind is something that we need to have in the palm of our hands. For one thing, the human race is one that has not been realising the full power of the noggin.

According to science and the halls of medicine, we are not using the full potential of the mind, and in this case, it means that more than 70% of the brain that is residing within our skulls is not being used to its full potential and this is the really tragic part of everything.

We need to know that there is more that we can do and the first thing that we must look at is really what we are doing that makes our brain so inert and inactive in the first place.

This means that we have been underutilised, we havebeen walking around the world today with only 20% of our brain in use, and it boggles the mind to how much potential we are actually wasting.

At the end of the day, what we need to do is to not underestimate the power of the mind, and how we can do this is look at the technology that has been around for a long time now, and from there postulate the actual potential power the mind has.

We are capable of some wonderful things, and this is even more possible by the fact that we are then able to manipulate the world around us and respond when we are under duress. One thing that we need to know is that the world that exists around us is one that is constantly bombarding us with ideas that we should not be taking if we want our minds to perform at its maximum capacity. In all sense of the word, we are living in convenience, which means that we have to think less to survive, and for all intents and purposes when it comes to evolution, this means that we have placed a great anchor on our journey towards evolution.

How can we evolve anymore in any sense, if we have no need to utilise any more of our brain, and because according to many geneticists all over the world, the last key of evolution is in our minds, and once we have crossed that final human frontier, then are we able to move on from there and look at the world around us with a different perspective.

One of the things that we need to know is how we are going to unlock the power of the mind, and there is different technology out there that can be achieved with something as simple as this.

For one thing, you can look at things like subliminal audio and the ever popular binaural beats technology, which uses simple sound waves to effect a response in the cortical of the brain and make it a much better performer under different conditions – augmenting the power of the mind.

Source: https://blackexcellencenetwork.co.za/never-underestimate-the-power-of-your-mind/24121/

24 Oct 2018
Manahel Thabet

How Neuro-Physiotherapy Imparts Quality to Life

Since the last decade or so, we have been witnessing an upsurge in neurological problems such as strokes, Parkinson’s disease, diabetic neuropathy, and motor neuron diseases in our society. An alarming concern is that these problems have started affecting people at a younger age. Worldwide, neurological disorders are associated with higher rates of morbidity and mortality which in turn inflict higher cost of rehabilitation upon the sufferers. Given the topography, changing life style and the stressors, Kashmiris , per se, have a strong affinity toward neurological problems.
A belief that still dominates the clinical decision making of most healthcare professionals is that the recovery from neurological disorders is strictly a time bound phenomenon and to expect it happen after a set time frame, is unrealistic. Research has nullified it and suggests that brain can modify itself at any point in time provided the treatment is channelized in a right direction.
Unfortunately, we all come across a chunk of people who have fallen prey to such dogmas and live a lifeless life. Another chunk of the patient population is suffering because of its contentment with regard to the menial and irrelevant improvements. Needless to mention, it is the acumen of a skilled neuro-physiotherapist that determines the potential of rewiring of central nervous system connections essential for recovery. The concept of recovery has changed over a period of time; earlier, recovery was perceived as patients’ ability to achieve nominal and insignificant improvements that would enable them to come out of bed and walk a few steps. On the contrary, recovery now is tantamount to movements with a purpose in order to help patients regain functions, and eventually fulfill their social responsibilities.
Rehabilitation of patients with neurological problems is a high cost affair with huge financial and social costs. Soon after a person gets afflicted with a neurological disorder, besides the patient, the family members start bearing the brunt of the disease. Research reports reveal that the caregivers of neurologically impaired patients are exposed to a high level of stress which affects their productivity and, in turn, compromises the role they play in society. Recovery from neurological disorders, being relatively slower, demands close supervision and assistance from family members. In the meantime family members start dedicating their time and money towards the rehabilitation of the patient. Moreover, with modern family systems, every ailing person does not enjoy the luxury of extended social support and, eventually a number of impediments start emerging in the path of recovery.
In a nutshell, neurological problems not only affect patients but pose a massive challenge to family members too. The best strategy to cope up with the neurological problems is to facilitate patients’ functional independence as rapidly as possible that will eventually offload the family members to a greater extent.
Neurorehabilitation has undergone timely refinements to ensure best possible and evidence based care to patients. Modern day Neurorehabilitation uses approaches that emphasize minimizing compensations to ensure complete functional recovery. Functional independence is its essence and a neuro-physiotherapist proves to be an apt resource to deliver the best in order to achieve the short-term and long-term functional milestones. People in the valley have a limited knowledge of neuro-physiotherapy and the role a neuro-physiotherapist plays. A neuro-Physiotherapist, being a responsible member of healthcare team, plays a vital role right from the onset of a neurological problem to the stage of community rehabilitation of a patient.
Since Physiotherapists are movement science experts, fellow medical professionals and patients’ families can’t afford taking a neuro-Physiotherapist’s consultation and advice for granted. An insignificant problem, if left unaddressed, can have devastating repercussions later. For instance, a trivial fault in the shoulder after stroke/brain injury can affect a patient’s ability to drink and eat with the hand. Therefore, physiotherapy consultation from the outset remains crucial in determining a patient’s functional outcomes and ignoring it is at one’s peril.
Physiotherapists too need to be well versed in the latest developments in the field of neuro-physiotherapy to ensure quality care delivery. A neuro-Physiotherapist can make best use of treatments methods such as Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT), Virtual Reality (VR), Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES), Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF), Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT), Motor Relearning Programme (MRP), Task Specific Training, Partial Body Weight Support Treadmill Training (PBWSTT), and Robotics and so on. In order to achieve set functional objectives, neuro-physiotherapists equipped with the magic wand will surely help patients impart quality to their lives.

Source: https://kashmirreader.com/2018/10/24/how-neuro-physiotherapy-imparts-quality-to-life/

14 Oct 2018

Daytime Naps Boost Brain Power in Mysterious Ways

Recent sleep research has unearthed some fascinating correlations between the duration of time someone spends sleeping and his or her cognitive functions. One of the most extensive studies ever conducted on the link between sleep duration and cognition recently reported that sleeping more or less than seven to eight hours per night impairs specific cognitive abilities. Surprisingly, the brain researchers from Western University in Canada found that oversleeping can be just as detrimental to cognition as sleeping too little. (For more see, “Does Too Much Sleep Have Negative Repercussions?”)

This massive worldwide survey also identified that getting too much sleep isn’t a problem for most of us; on average people around the globe only sleep about 6.3 hours per night. Unfortunately, this creates a sleep deficit that can cause the body, brain, and mind to function at a subpar level.

The good news is that another study by researchers at the University of Bristol in the UK recently reported that taking a power nap can improve domains of cognitive function associated with processing information below conscious awareness. This study, “Nap‐Mediated Benefit to Implicit Information Processing Across Age Using an Affective Priming Paradigm,” was recently published in the Journal of Sleep Research. The primary goal of this study was to identify if a relatively short period of sleep helps people process unconscious information and how this might improve automatic reaction times.

For this pioneering research on how short bouts of sleep improve memory consolidation of implicit tasks, the researchers hid information by “masking” it and then presenting it to study participants without their conscious awareness. Although the “masked” information was hidden from conscious perception, this research shows that it was being absorbed on a subliminal level somewhere in the brain.

For this study, 16 healthy participants practiced a masked task (unconscious processing) and a control task that involved conscious information processing. One group stayed awake after practicing both tasks while the other group took a 90-minute nap. Then, participants were monitored using an EEG as they performed both tasks again while researchers monitored pre-and-post nap brain activity.

The group that stayed awake throughout the experiment did not show significant improvements on either task. Interestingly, the researchers found that taking a nap improved the processing speed of the masked task — which required learning on an unconscious level — but not the control task, which involved explicit memory and conscious awareness. According to the researchers, this suggests sleep-specific improvements in subconscious processing and that information acquired during wakefulness can be processed in deeper, qualitative ways during short bouts of sleep.

“The findings are remarkable in that they can occur in the absence of initial intentional, conscious awareness, by processing of implicitly presented cues beneath participants’ conscious awareness. Further research in a larger sample size is needed to compare if and how the findings differ between ages, and investigation of underlying neural mechanisms,” co-author Liz Coulthard of the University of Bristol Medical School: Translational Health Sciences said in a statement.

Read more: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201810/daytime-naps-boost-brain-power-in-mysterious-ways

12 Sep 2018
Manahel Thabet

Human-Technology Symbiosis in Manufacturing: Changing the Discussion About Automation and Workforce

Will technology help or replace workers?

The debate within manufacturing about whether technology will completely replace people is interesting, but it’s the wrong debate to be having. Technology is changing the workforce, it’s a fact, and it has eliminated low-skilled manufacturing jobs in the past; but it’s not as black-and-white as most arguments suggest.

Rather, the discussion should be about the concept of human-machine (or man-computer) symbiosis, the mutually beneficial relationship between humans and technology, and how machines and software can intelligently and physically increase the productivity of the systems to be more than that of human or machine alone. With the emergence of Industry 4.0 and the capabilities of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), the conversation should refocus on how to best transition displaced workers into the high-salaried, higher-skilled roles that are created along with the adoption of technology.

In fact, human-machine symbiosis is not a new concept. We know this from historical experience–and not just the old go-to story of the first Industrial Revolution.  Accountants have abandoned handwritten ledgers in favor of electronic spreadsheets. Product designers and architects have transitioned from manual to automated drawing tools. And few scientists and engineers use the once ubiquitous slide rule to assist with calculations. In each of these instances, technology eliminated tedious, time-consuming manual work, even as it augmented the education, skills and experience of the professionals.

Source: Forbes