UW/MIT team up to create improved brain-computer interface

Researchers from University of Washington and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are testing a new brain-computer interface known as the MIT Probe. Two features set the device apart from existing models: the device is significantly smaller, and is equipped to pierce through the glial sheath once it forms. Researchers hope these features will enable the MIT Probe to record brain activity for a longer period of time to create better solutions for motor-impaired individuals. The device is currently being tested on animal models. (The Daily)

Work begins on brain stimulator to correct memory

Can deep brain stimulation affect how well and what we remember? For some of the approximately 10 million people worldwide with traumatic brain injury (TBI), forming and holding onto new memories can be one of the hardest things they’ll do in a day. Now imagine a device implanted in the brain that can help them encode memories by means of small electric shocks. (MIT Technology Review)

Tiny brain implants allow blind rats to see

University of Tokyo team believe that similar implants may one day help blind people navigate more easily. Researchers have given blind rats a fresh sense of direction by connecting tiny digital compasses to their brains. The study by Japanese scientists shows that the animals learned quickly to use the unfamiliar signals to find their way around the world. (The Guardian)