As we speed into the future, we continue to increase our knowledge of the human brain and how it works. Scientific American, in conjunction with MIT, are publishing a 12 part series illuminating current advancements. These recent technological innovations are evolving how we perceive ourselves as human creatures.
This first article provides an overview of where neuroscience is at today. It explores MRIs, optogenetics, and Molecular and Cell Engineering as the three major communities dominating the realm of modern progress.
Dominant news highlights few among many technologies making neuroscience waves. If you look closer, creative and cross-disciplinary articles emerge. In the world of Brain Computer Interfaces, Google Glass explorers can now pair EEG headsets and take a photo simply by thinking. Other creative technologists have hooked up UAVs to portable EEGs and can fly the skies with their minds.
The more we know about the brain, the better we are equipped to prevent dysfunctions and fix it when things go wrong. We’re also poised to understand what makes brains thrive and potentially amplify our brains’ natural abilities. Nobel Laureate and MIT Neuroscience Professor Susumu Tonegawa muses that one day “one may be able to develop methods that help people to remember positive memories more strongly than negative ones.” Imagine a future where you don’t lose sleep to worry; where your willpower could be strategically enhanced; where you could learn faster and more effectively share ideas with others. It may sound far out. Our pace of innovation regularly outpaces current inventiveness. It was, after all, only 66 years after man’s first flight that we set foot on the moon. The human brain has its way of turning science fiction dreams into reality.
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