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developments in neuroscience, USC, and why you should be afraid


There is quite a striking difference between the above image and my CT image. This difference demonstrates the dramatic changes happening in X-ray and Magnetic Resonance Imaging fields. These advancements have caused an explosion in neuroscience, allowing scientists to have clearer pictures of what's going on in our brains. We are quickly approaching a time where we can image a brain at speeds approaching real time. Why is this important? There reasons:

1) It gets us get one step closer to understanding how we work

2) After we understand ourselves then we'll have better health care (mental health)

3) We can take what we learn and make better machines (AI/Robots) in our image. You know… just like our heavenly father

The Human Connectome Project was established to map the brain with these tools. It was initially set up between Harvard/Massachusetts General Hospital and UCLA but UCLA wasn't cutting it so the scientists recently moved their lab to USC. Good choice :-) 

A landmark result of this technology and the brain mapping projects was the discovery of "grid patterns" in the brain. Before march of last year we thought our brains were just a mess of neurons and synapses. Well it turns out we just didn't have a detailed enough view.

We've been trying to build brains since 1642 and we've become pretty good at it. All of this was done without us knowing how our brains were built or how they worked. In the last 100 years or so we learned a great deal and we're only beginning to put this new knowledge into the design of our machines. Their's a whole field of study that's beginning to build circuits in the fashion of now neural networks work. This means less power consumption for our mechanical brains which someday will become more efficient than ours (Human Brain consumes 10-20W depending on how smart the person is…kidding). 

Stay tuned! This has major implications in the artificial intelligence field.