Tag Archives: mind

New video game literally a mind game

Willpower is set to replace fast fingers in a new video game in which players move characters through a headset that monitors their brain waves.

California-based NeuroSky Inc. showed off the new headset — named Mindset — at the Tokyo Game Show, the industry’s biggest exhibition which opened near the Japanese capital Thursday.

The Mindset monitors whether the player is focused or relaxed and accordingly moves the character on a personal computer.

“We brought this to the game show as a new interface, a new platform for game creators,” NeuroSky managing director Kikuo Ito told AFP.

Children’s games using the system will hit the US market next year, Ito said.

“We are exploring the use of brain waves in the game industry because games are fun and so close to people,” he said.

“Once people get used to the idea of using brain waves for various applications, I hope we will see various products using this technology,” he said.

In distance learning courses, for example, teachers could monitor whether students were attentive, Ito said.

Train drivers and motorists could use it to judge their stress levels and alertness, Ito added.

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How a single neurotransmitter can provide the basis for the explanation of all social phenomena

Those of you who read this blog for sometime, already know some of my views concerning psychology. I am an avid supporter of “hard science”. Science that is based on solid facts and follows the reductionist paradigm. Even though solid facts are not always the answer and reductionism could be replaced in the following decades by something else, such as a holistic approach that focuses on “systems” rather than “reduction” (read this for example: Sacred Science: Using Faith to Explain Anomalies in Physics from Scientific American), I believe that this paradigm has just started to show its strength in cognitive science. Take this post for example: Neurons, politics and economics

The reason I am writing today is that I found this exciting article in Seed Magazine:

The article speaks of Read Montague, director of the Human Neuroimaging Lab at Baylor College of Medicine in downtown Houston. He has participated in something very interesting researches which I was aware of. I was surprised, because I had forgotten his name, despite the fact that he was the mind behind some recent papers. However, what really suprised me was how all these researches are connected, what this man is studying and how his view on neuroscience coincides with mine. I am going to present the article and then I’ll make a few comments. If you are bored just skip the article. :-)

Read Montague studies the actions of dopamine in the brain. However, his methodology is not an experimental (even though he is a researcher), but rather a theoritical one.

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[update] Reminder: Stem Cell Treatments Already Available

Medra… a company that is already offering stem cell cures to the public.

From the website:

A medical procedure whereby Human Fetal Stem Cells are transplanted into a patient. These cellular building blocks are usually administered intravenously and subcutaneously (under the skin). It is a painless procedure, which takes place in approximately one hour, and has no negative side effects.

The Fetal Stem Cell searches out, detects and then attempts to repair any damage or deficiency discovered, as well as releases growth factors, which stimulate the body’s own repair mechanisms.

Medra’s Medical Director William C. Rader, MD. has treated over one thousand patients with Human Fetal Stem Cells, including children and adults suffering from many of mankind’s most devastating diseases.

You should have a look at the two videos listed there.

  1. The power of Fetal Stem Cells to reverse a child’s fatal disease. Watch Video
  2. Successful clinical results of Fetal Stem Cells in Spinal Cord Injury, Down’s Syndrome and Epilepsy. Watch Video

This is just the beginning.

In the coming decade, we will see more and more diseases obliterated by modern science.

Looking back to the past, we will see our current times as a barbaric period in human history. A black page. One that we’ll eagerly forget.

Update:

This may be a complete hoax. See the comment below, which quotes from www.quackwatch.com.

When Computers Meld With Our Minds

Is your overflowing e-mail in-box a herald of the next stage in human evolution? Those e-mails represent just a small sample of the vast amount of digital information being generated by the gigabyte every minute. If we can cope with this rising flood of information, we are likely to be on track for using technology in the creation of superhuman intelligence, according to Vernor Vinge, futurist, best-selling science fiction author, and retired professor of computer science. Machines will become far more than just tools; they will physically merge with us, seamlessly endowing powers that are currently beyond our imagination. And all of this will happen in our lifetime, Vinge says.

DISCOVER asked Vinge about the consequences of living in a networked world that generates and distributes more and more data every day and how to cope with information overload.

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Also see this article.

New Alzheimer’s drug shows early promise

For the first time, an experimental drug shows promise for halting the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by taking a new approach: breaking up the protein tangles that clog victims’ brains.

The encouraging results from the drug called Rember, reported Tuesday at a medical conference in Chicago, electrified a field battered by recent setbacks. The drug was developed by Singapore-based TauRx Therapeutics.

Even if bigger, more rigorous studies show it works, Rember is still several years away from being available, and experts warned against overexuberance. But they were excited.

“These are the first very positive results I’ve seen” for stopping mental decline, said Marcelle Morrison-Bogorad, director of Alzheimer’s research at the National Institute on Aging. “It’s just fantastic.”

The federal agency funded early research into the tangles, which are made of a protein called tau and develop inside nerve cells.

For decades, scientists have focused on a different protein — beta-amyloid, which forms sticky clumps outside of the cells — but have yet to get a workable treatment.

The drug is in the second of three stages of development, and scientists are paying special attention to potential treatments because of the enormity of the illness, which afflicts more than 26 million people worldwide and is mushrooming as the population ages.

The four Alzheimer’s drugs currently available just ease symptoms of the mind-robbing disease.

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By the looks of it, most of us won’t have to deal with this Alzheimer crap anymore by the time we get to senior age.

(not that I think ageing will still be an issue decades from now…)

MIT Students Develop Solar Dish Hot Enough to Melt Steel

‘New solar dish from MIT concentrates sunlight intensely enough to melt steel.’ –

The solar industry is booming. With waves of investment and grants, the solar power industry is for the first time becoming a serious business. New power plants will soon be pumping power out to consumers, while other firms market to sell panels directly to the consumer, providing them with a more direct means of experiencing solar energy.

There are many forms of solar power technology. Today the most dominant is photo-voltaics , which comprise the traditional solar panels that come to mind when one thinks of solar power. However, there are other promising ways of capturing the sun’s energy that are merely less developed.

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Stick It To Big Oil With The 235MPG Volkswagen

With gas prices going through the roof and regulators requiring cars to be ever more miserly, Volkswagen is bringing new meaning to the term “fuel efficiency” with a bullet-shaped microcar that gets a stunning 235 mpg.

Volkswagen’s had its super-thrifty One-Liter Car concept vehicle — so named because that’s how much fuel it needs to go 100 kilometers — stashed away for six years. The body’s made of carbon fiber to minimize weight (the entire car weighs just 660 pounds) and company execs didn’t expect the material to become cheap enough to produce the car until 2012.

But VW’s decided to build the car two years ahead of schedule.

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If this type of technology is feasible, then why has the world gotten its panties in a bunch over the energy problem?

Oh yes, I forgot. Big oil.

This news article is good news, though. Good enough to take our minds off how bad we’re getting screwed by the upper 1%.

If even for a few seconds…

Dean Kamen’s Robot Arm Grabs More Publicity

Dean Kamen showed some video of the impressive, mind-controlled prosthetic robot arm he’s invented today at D6 in Carlsbad. Kamen has been showing the arm off since early 2007, usually via video clips like what he showed today. But today’s demonstration at D6 was impressive enough that it’s got the gadget blogs and the Twitterverse all aflutter today.

Deservedly so: Kamen’s arm, dubbed “Luke” (after Skywalker, I assume), is an incredibly sophisticated bit of engineering that’s lightyears ahead of the clamping “claws” that many amputees are forced to use today. The arm is fully articulated, giving the user the same degrees of movement as a natural arm, and is sensitive enough to pick up a piece of paper, a wineglass or even a grape without mishap.

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Terahertz computing may not be dead after all

Terahertz computing may not be dead after all

The Gigahertz race was probably one of the most ill-fated ideas in the microprocessor industry in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Intel was almost brought down to its knees by the enormous power consumption and heat dissipation of 3+ GHz speeds in circuits of the time, eventually hitting a wall at 4 GHz. The Gigahertz race has now become a multi-core race, but scientists have ideas to ramp up the clock speed at a faster pace again: Terahertz computers may be within reach – if data is carried over optical instead of electrical circuits.

Researchers at the University of Utah have not given up on the idea of dazzling clock speeds in processors, reminding us of landmark comments made by Intel’s Pat Gelsinger back in 2001: Back then, the executive said that 30 to 40 GHz may be reached by 2010, requiring nuclear power plant-like energy systems within PCs. Ajay Nahata, a University of Utah professor of electrical and computer engine, believes that clock speeds, which are stalling in the range of 3 to 4 GHz today, could grow at a faster pace again within the next years, if systems design will take advantage of optical technologies. Within ten years, Nahata said, superfast far-infrared computers could become commercially available.