If You Transplant a Head, Does Its Consciousness Follow?

Ultimately Vetovitz did not have the surgery, and paralysis remained a lingering hurdle for approving body transplants. At WIRED, we’ve covered brain computer interfaces, prosthetics, and patches to treat paralysis. How far do you think we are from that tech taking off? I don’t think it’s as far away as people think. I’m blown away […]

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This Is What It’s Like to Live Without Smell

Because of Covid-19, thousands of people around the world have lost their sense of smell, some of them for months. But like so many other symptoms of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, anosmia, or the inability to smell, isn’t a new phenomenon. Anosmia can be caused by viral infections like the flu, by traumatic brain injuries, or […]

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How to Remember a Disaster Without Being Shattered by It

McKinnon had grown up listening to police and fire scanners. Her father was a deputy fire marshal, and her mother was a nurse. From their living room, McKinnon heard about car crashes, people trapped inside of homes, or victims escaping from burning buildings, dragging themselves outside for help. Overhearing these life-or-death intrusions into an otherwise […]

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As More Women Enter Science, It’s Time to Redefine Mentorship

And it can be invaluable to have a supporter “in whose shoes you walk, or are likely to walk,” says Nilanjana Dasgupta, director of the Institute of Diversity Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In her research, Dasgupta has found that same-gender peer mentors, who are close in age and career stage to their […]

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For Marginalized Groups, Being Studied Can Be a Burden

Cindy Peltier, an associate professor and chair of indigenous education at Nipissing University, refers to this as “helicopter research.” “Folks would come in and take information and then publish whatever they wanted without ever consulting the community,” she says. “People had the notion that indigenous peoples were this captive audience.” (These issues are still very […]

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An AI Used Facebook Data to Predict Mental Illness

Sharath Guntuku, an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Pennsylvania who was not involved in the research, cautions that, even if these algorithms achieve impressive results, they are nowhere near replacing the role of clinicians in diagnosing patients. “I don’t think there’ll be a time, at least in my lifetime, where just […]

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How a Vibrating Smartwatch Could Be Used to Stop Nightmares

Every night, Patrick Skluzacek woke with his heart pounding and his T-shirt drenched with sweat. The details of his nightmares often slipped away when he snapped his eyes open, but he knew their broad strokes. He was back in the Iraq War, trekking to or from the hellish insurgent stronghold of Fallujah, alert to ever-present […]

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A New Study About Color Tries to Decode ‘The Brain’s Pantone’

At first, Conway was pretty skeptical that he would get any results. “The word on the street is that MEG has very crappy spatial resolution,” he says. Essentially, the machine is good at detecting when there’s brain activity, but not so great at showing you where in the brain that activity is. But as it […]

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A New Way to Plug a Human Brain Into a Computer: via Veins

Much more ambitious brain-computer interfaces and neural prosthetics have been in the news lately. Last month, Elon Musk’s company Neuralink demonstrated a wireless BCI with more than a thousand flexible electrodes, designed to be inserted directly into a brain by a specialized robot surgeon. (The company has so far only shown short-term use in pigs.) […]

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This Is My Brain on Salvia

When your attention turns inward, the communication between the brain regions in the default mode network syncs up like musicians in an orchestra. Other fMRI studies of volunteers high on better known psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin, the psychoactive molecule in mushrooms, have also shown decreases in coupling among the areas involved in this network. […]

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This Is My Brain on Salvia

When your attention turns inward, the communication between the brain regions in the default mode network syncs up like musicians in an orchestra. Other fMRI studies of volunteers high on better known psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin, the psychoactive molecule in mushrooms, have also shown decreases in coupling among the areas involved in this network. […]

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Neuralink Is Impressive Tech, Wrapped in Musk Hype

Musk didn’t seem to think this was essential. “A lot of people think, ‘I couldn’t possibly work at Neuralink because I don’t know anything about how brains work,’” he said at last Friday’s demo. “Well, that’s OK. You can learn. But we need software engineering, we need mechanical engineering, electrical engineering … chip design, robotics, […]

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What Virtual Reality for Flies Teaches Us About Human Vision

When the researchers presented the illusion to flies whose T5 neurons had been genetically turned off, the flies appeared to perceive motion even more strongly in the same direction as before—they moved even more enthusiastically in that direction atop the styrofoam ball. But when the team experimented on flies with inactivated T4 neurons, the flies […]

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Elon Musk Is About to Show Off His Neuralink Brain Implant

In the mind of Elon Musk, the world’s thorniest problems become shockingly, wonderfully simple. Traffic in LA got you down? Here, take a ride on this underground super-luge. Carbon emissions are stinking up the planet? Fix it with a fleet of electric cars—and while we’re at it, let’s make them drive themselves. Need a backup […]

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What the Science of Animal Networks Reveals About Protests

The living world turns chaos into order by making large structures out of small units. The sublime coordination of a flock of birds or a school of fish—built iteratively from the twitches and bumps of single individuals—turns instinctive behaviors into something vast and graceful. It’s not just for show. A lone gazelle can’t evade a […]

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The Sly Psychology Behind Magicians’ Card Tricks

Pick a card, any card. It’s a staple of traditional magic tricks. But if you choose the three of diamonds, chances are you may have been “primed” by the magician to pick that card without even being aware of it. That’s because certain subtle verbal and gestural cues can unconsciously influence decision-making, according to a […]

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The Equity-Diversity-Inclusion Industrial Complex Gets a Makeover

So diversity training doesn’t have a great track record of boosting Black employees into the executive suite. “I would advise companies to spend the money on something else,” says sociologist Frank Dobbin of Harvard University, who worked on the 2007 and 2016 studies. As an alternative to diversity training, he suggests companies try special recruitment […]

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How to Trick Your Brain into Remembering Almost Anything

Many people complain about having a terrible memory. Shopping lists, friends’ birthdays, statistics for an exam—they just don’t seem to stick in the brain. But memory isn’t as set in stone as you might imagine. With the right technique, you may well be able to remember almost anything at all. WIRED UK This story originally […]

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How to Trick Your Brain to Remember Almost Anything

Many people complain about having a terrible memory. Shopping lists, friends’ birthdays, statistics for an exam—they just don’t seem to stick in the brain. But memory isn’t as set in stone as you might imagine. With the right technique, you may well be able to remember almost anything at all. WIRED UK This story originally […]

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