Hardware

LG will smarten home appliances with eyes and ears

LG has made news headlines recently because now it has its own artificial intelligence chip. LG is out to impress with its own chip for smart home products—to make them even smarter.

Engineering

Boosting the 'brains' of computers with less wasted energy

Many internal components used in today's computers reach temperatures that are hot enough to cook a Thanksgiving meal. The heat produced by the computations can easily burn human skin and tissue – and much of the heat is ...

Computer Sciences

Are human brains vulnerable to voice morphing attacks?

A recent research study led by the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Department of Computer Science investigated the neural underpinnings of voice security, and analyzed the differences in neural activities when users ...

Engineering

Fast, flexible ionic transistors for bioelectronic devices

Many major advances in medicine, especially in neurology, have been sparked by recent advances in electronic systems that can acquire, process, and interact with biological substrates. These bioelectronic systems, which are ...

Robotics

Brain-inspired artificial intelligence in robots

Research groups at KAIST, the University of Cambridge, Japan's National Institute for Information and Communications Technology, and Google DeepMind argue that our understanding of how humans make intelligent decisions has ...

Hi Tech & Innovation

Augmented wheelchair effort shows admirable regard for independence

Real life in the public space is not exactly an elegant straight line. Ramps. Boxes. "Floor is Wet" signs. Store aisles calling for multiple right and left turns to reach shelves in pursuit. No small challenge for a person ...

Engineering

Engineers translate brain signals directly into speech

In a scientific first, Columbia neuroengineers have created a system that translates thought into intelligible, recognizable speech. By monitoring someone's brain activity, the technology can reconstruct the words a person ...

Engineering

Controlling neurons with light—but without wires or batteries

University of Arizona biomedical engineering professor Philipp Gutruf is first author on the paper Fully implantable, optoelectronic systems for battery-free, multimodal operation in neuroscience research, published in Nature ...

Computer Sciences

Using ablation to examine the structure of artificial neural networks

A team of researchers at RWTH Aachen University's Institute of Information Management in Mechanical Engineering have recently explored the use of neuroscience techniques to determine how information is structured inside artificial ...

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Brain

The brain is the center of the nervous system in all vertebrate, and most invertebrate, animals. Some primitive animals such as jellyfish and starfish have a decentralized nervous system without a brain, while sponges lack any nervous system at all. In vertebrates, the brain is located in the head, protected by the skull and close to the primary sensory apparatus of vision, hearing, balance, taste, and smell.

Brains can be extremely complex. The cerebral cortex of the human brain contains roughly 15-33 billion neurons depending on gender and age, linked with up to 10,000 synaptic connections each. Each cubic millimeter of cerebral cortex contains roughly one billion synapses. These neurons communicate with one another by means of long protoplasmic fibers called axons, which carry trains of signal pulses called action potentials to distant parts of the brain or body and target them to specific recipient cells.

The most important biological function of the brain is to generate behaviors that promote the welfare of an animal. Brains control behavior either by activating muscles, or by causing secretion of chemicals such as hormones. Even single-celled organisms may be capable of extracting information from the environment and acting in response to it. Sponges, which lack a central nervous system, are capable of coordinated body contractions and even locomotion. In vertebrates, the spinal cord by itself contains neural circuitry capable of generating reflex responses as well as simple motor patterns such as swimming or walking. However, sophisticated control of behavior on the basis of complex sensory input requires the information-integrating capabilities of a centralized brain.

Despite rapid scientific progress, much about how brains work remains a mystery. The operations of individual neurons and synapses are now understood in considerable detail, but the way they cooperate in ensembles of thousands or millions has been very difficult to decipher. Methods of observation such as EEG recording and functional brain imaging tell us that brain operations are highly organized, but these methods do not have the resolution to reveal the activity of individual neurons.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA