News ArchivesRead News
New Smart Cap can 'Read' Your Mind
Sunday June 01, 2014
Business Standard - Scientists have developed a new mind-reading cap that uses LEDs to record neural activity.
Researchers advanced a brain-scanning technology that tracks what the brain is doing by shining dozens of tiny light-emitting diode (LED) lights on the head.
This new generation of neuroimaging compares favourably to other approaches but avoids the radiation exposure and bulky magnets the others require, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis.
The optical approach to brain scanning is ideally suited for children and for patients with electronic implants, such as pacemakers, cochlear implants and deep brain stimulators (used to treat Parkinson's disease).
The new technology is called diffuse optical tomography (DOT).
The DOT instrument covers two-thirds of the head and for the first time can image brain processes taking place in multiple regions and brain networks such as those involved in language processing and self-reflection (daydreaming).
The technique works by detecting light transmitted through the head and capturing the dynamic changes in the colours of the brain tissue.
Although DOT technology now is used in research settings, it has the potential to be helpful in many medical scenarios as a surrogate for functional MRI, the most commonly used imaging method for mapping human brain function.
Because DOT technology does not use radiation, multiple scans performed over time could be used to monitor the progress of patients treated for brain injuries, developmental disorders such as autism, neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's, and other diseases, researchers said.
Unlike fMRI and Positron emission tomography (PET), DOT technology is designed to be portable, so it could be used at a patient's bedside or in the operating room.
Using DOT, researchers can get reliable data to a depth of about one centimetre of tissue.
That centimetre contains some of the brain's most important and interesting areas with many higher brain functions, such as memory, language and self-awareness, represented, researchers said.
During DOT scans, the subject wears a cap composed of many light sources and sensors connected to cables.
The full-scale DOT unit takes up an area slightly larger than an old-fashioned phone booth, but researchers have built versions of the scanner mounted on wheeled carts.
The research was published in the journal Nature Photonics.
(1 June 2014). Business Standard. New smart cap can 'read' your mind. http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/new-smart-cap-can-read-your-mind-114060100470_1.html
Recent NewsMay 15 - Study offers answers on life expectancy for people with Parkinson's disease, Lewy body dementia
May 5 - Parkinson's in a dish: Researchers reproduce brain oscillations
May 5 - ‘Hunger Hormone’ Could Help Treat Parkinson’s Disease
May 3 - Antibiotic doxycycline may offer hope for treatment of Parkinson's disease
May 1 - Impulse Control Disorders in Parkinson's Disease: Building Physician, Patient Awareness
Apr 28 - Does Parkinson’s disease begin in the gut?
Apr 28 - New empathy-creating digital device could be revolutionary for caregivers
Apr 24 - Treating Depression With Deep Brain Stimulation Works—Most of the Time
Apr 24 - Parkinson’s disease shows links to depression
Apr 21 - TOLEDO Trial: Apomorphine Infusions Reduce 'Off' Time in Parkinson's Disease
Apr 21 - New drug provides long-awaited breakthrough for Parkinson's psychosis
Apr 12 - Obstructive Sleep Apnea Affects Cognition in Parkinson's Disease
Apr 11 - Seattle boxing gym giving hope to Parkinson's patients
Apr 10 - A new rhythm
Apr 10 - Brain cells reprogrammed to make dopamine, with goal of Parkinson's therapy
Apr 6 - FDA allows marketing of first direct-to-consumer tests that provide genetic risk information for certain conditions
Apr 5 - Combatting the isolation of young onset Parkinson's disease
Apr 1 - The Kid is Alright
Mar 30 - Hepatitis Tied to Parkinson's Risk
Mar 28 - Elon Musk's new company said to see brain-computer link