Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Google said the sensors on the smart contact lens are so small they look like bits of glitter

Google has said it is testing a “smart contact lens” that can help measure glucose levels in tears.

It uses a “tiny” wireless chip and a “miniaturised” glucose sensor embedded between two layers of lens material.

The firm said it is also working on integrating tiny LED lights that could light up to indicate that glucose levels have crossed certain thresholds.

But it added that “a lot more work” needed to be done to get the technology ready for everyday use.

“It’s still early days for this technology, but we’ve completed multiple clinical research studies which are helping to refine our prototype,” the firm said in a blogpost.

“We hope this could someday lead to a new way for people with diabetes to manage their disease.”

‘Exciting development’

“Start Quote

It is likely to spur a range of other innovations towards miniaturizing technology and using it in wearable devices to help people monitor their bodies better”

Manoj Menon Frost & Sullivan

Many global firms have been looking to expand in the wearable technology sector – seen by many as a key growth area in the coming years.

Various estimates have said the sector is expected to grow by between $10bn and $50bn (£6bn and £31bn) in the next five years.

Within the sector, many firms have been looking specifically at technology targeted at healthcare.

Google’s latest foray with the smart contact lens is aimed at a sector where consumer demand for such devices is expected to grow.

According to the International Diabetes Federation, one in ten people across the world’s population are forecast to have diabetes by 2035.

People suffering from the condition need to monitor their glucose levels regularly as sudden spikes or drops are dangerous. At present, the majority of them do so by testing drops of blood.

Google said it was testing a prototype of the lens that could “generate a reading once per second”.

“This is an exciting development for preventive healthcare industry,” Manoj Menon, managing director of consulting firm Frost & Sullivan told the BBC.

“It is likely to spur a range of other innovations towards miniaturizing technology and using it in wearable devices to help people monitor their bodies better.”

Open innovation?

Google said it was working with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to bring the product to mainstream use.

It added that it would look for partners “who are experts in bringing products like this to market”.

Google said it would work with these partners to develops apps aimed at making the measurements taken by the lens available to the wearer and their doctor.

Mr Menon said it was “commendable” that Google was willing to work with other partners even before the product was commercially ready.

Sensible Baby
Sensible Baby showcased a prototype baby sleep monitoring system at this year’s CES

“Their open innovation approach is going to help accelerate the development of this product and get it out to the market much faster,” he said.

Other firms have also been looking towards wearable products that help monitor the health of the wearer.

Earlier this month, a gadget called Sensible Baby was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. It is a sensor put in an infant’s night clothes that tracks their temperature, orientation and movement.

It sounds a smartphone app alarm if it detects a problem.

Several smartwatches that can monitor data by studying key indicators such as the the wearer’s heart rate and temperature have also been launched.

Last year, Japanese firm Sony filed a patent for a ‘SmartWig’, with healthcare cited as one of its potential uses.

It said the wig could use a combination of sensors to help collect information such as temperature, pulse and blood pressure of the wearer.

A book titled “Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness Are the Keys to Understanding the Nature of the Universe“ has stirred up the Internet, because it contained a notion that life does not end when the body dies, and it can last forever. The author of this publication, scientist Dr. Robert Lanza who was voted the 3rd most important scientist alive by the NY Times, has no doubts that this is possible.

Beyond time and space

Lanza is an expert in regenerative medicine and scientific director of Advanced Cell Technology Company. Before he has been known for his extensive research which dealt with stem cells, he was also famous for several successful experiments on cloning endangered animal species.

But not so long ago, the scientist became involved with physics, quantum mechanics and astrophysics. This explosive mixture has given birth to the new theory of biocentrism, which the professor has been preaching ever since.  Biocentrism teaches that life and consciousness are fundamental to the universe.  It is consciousness that creates the material universe, not the other way around.

Lanza points to the structure of the universe itself, and that the laws, forces, and constants of the universe appear to be fine-tuned for life, implying intelligence existed prior to matter.  He also claims that space and time are not objects or things, but rather tools of our animal understanding.  Lanza says that we carry space and time around with us “like turtles with shells.” meaning that when the shell comes off (space and time), we still exist.

The theory implies that death of consciousness simply does not exist.   It only exists as a thought because people identify themselves with their body. They believe that the body is going to perish, sooner or later, thinking their consciousness will disappear too.  If the body generates consciousness, then consciousness dies when the body dies.  But if the body receives consciousness in the same way that a cable box receives satellite signals, then of course consciousness does not end at the death of the physical vehicle. In fact, consciousness exists outside of constraints of time and space. It is able to be anywhere: in the human body and outside of it. In other words, it is non-local in the same sense that quantum objects are non-local.

Lanza also believes that multiple universes can exist simultaneously.  In one universe, the body can be dead. And in another it continues to exist, absorbing consciousness which migrated into this universe.  This means that a dead person while traveling through the same tunnel ends up not in hell or in heaven, but in a similar world he or she once inhabited, but this time alive. And so on, infinitely.  It’s almost like a cosmic Russian doll afterlife effect.

Multiple worlds

This hope-instilling, but extremely controversial theory by Lanza has many unwitting supporters, not just mere mortals who want to live forever, but also some well-known scientists. These are the physicists and astrophysicists who tend to agree with existence of parallel worlds and who suggest the possibility of multiple universes. Multiverse (multi-universe) is a so-called scientific concept, which they defend. They believe that no physical laws exist which would prohibit the existence of parallel worlds.

The first one was a science fiction writer H.G. Wells who proclaimed in 1895 in his story “The Door in the Wall”.  And after 62 years, this idea was developed by Dr. Hugh Everett in his graduate thesis at the Princeton University. It basically posits that at any given moment the universe divides into countless similar instances. And the next moment, these “newborn” universes split in a similar fashion. In some of these worlds you may be present: reading this article in one universe, or watching TV in another.

The triggering factor for these multiplyingworlds is our actions, explained Everett. If we make some choices, instantly one universe splits into two with different versions of outcomes.

In the 1980s, Andrei Linde, scientist from the Lebedev’s Institute of physics, developed the theory of multiple universes. He is now a professor at Stanford University.  Linde explained: Space consists of many inflating spheres, which give rise to similar spheres, and those, in turn, produce spheres in even greater numbers, and so on to infinity. In the universe, they are spaced apart. They are not aware of each other’s existence. But they represent parts of the same physical universe.

The fact that our universe is not alone is supported by data received from the Planck space telescope. Using the data, scientists have created the most accurate map of the microwave background, the so-called cosmic relic background radiation, which has remained since the inception of our universe. They also found that the universe has a lot of dark recesses represented by some holes and extensive gaps.

Theoretical physicist Laura Mersini-Houghton from the North Carolina University with her colleagues argue: the anomalies of the microwave background exist due to the fact that our universe is influenced by other universes existing nearby. And holes and gaps are a direct result of attacks on us by neighboring universes.

Soul

So, there is abundance of places or other universes where our soul could migrate after death, according to the theory of neo-biocentrism. But does the soul exist?  Is there any scientific theory of consciousness that could accommodate such a claim?  According to Dr. Stuart Hameroff, a near-death experience happens when the quantum information that inhabits the nervous system leaves the body and dissipates into the universe.  Contrary to materialistic accounts of consciousness, Dr. Hameroff offers an alternative explanation of consciousness that can perhaps appeal to both the rational scientific mind and personal intuitions.

Consciousness resides, according to Stuart and British physicist Sir Roger Penrose, in the microtubules of the brain cells, which are the primary sites of quantum processing.  Upon death, this information is released from your body, meaning that your consciousness goes with it. They have argued that our experience of consciousness is the result of quantum gravity effects in these microtubules, a theory which they dubbed orchestrated objective reduction (Orch-OR).

Consciousness, or at least proto-consciousness is theorized by them to be a fundamental property of the universe, present even at the first moment of the universe during the Big Bang. “In one such scheme proto-conscious experience is a basic property of physical reality accessible to a quantum process associated with brain activity.”

Our souls are in fact constructed from the very fabric of the universe – and may have existed since the beginning of time.  Our brains are just receivers and amplifiers for the proto-consciousness that is intrinsic to the fabric of space-time. So is there really a part of your consciousness that is non-material and will live on after the death of your physical body?

Dr Hameroff told the Science Channel’s Through the Wormhole documentary: “Let’s say the heart stops beating, the blood stops flowing, the microtubules lose their quantum state. The quantum information within the microtubules is not destroyed, it can’t be destroyed, it just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large”.  Robert Lanza would add here that not only does it exist in the universe, it exists perhaps in another universe.

If the patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the microtubules and the patient says “I had a near death experience”‘

He adds: “If they’re not revived, and the patient dies, it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body, perhaps indefinitely, as a soul.”

This account of quantum consciousness explains things like near-death experiences, astral projection, out of body experiences, and even reincarnation without needing to appeal to religious ideology.  The energy of your consciousness potentially gets recycled back into a different body at some point, and in the mean time it exists outside of the physical body on some other level of reality, and possibly in another universe.

Robert Lanza on Biocentrism:

Sources:

http://www.learning-mind.com/quantum-theory-proves-that-consciousness-moves-to-another-universe-after-death/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biocentric_universe

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2225190/Can-quantum-physics-explain-bizarre-experiences-patients-brought-brink-death.html#axzz2JyudSqhB

http://www.news.com.au/news/quantum-scientists-offer-proof-soul-exists/story-fnenjnc3-1226507686757

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/biocentrism/201112/does-the-soul-exist-evidence-says-yes

http://www.hameroff.com/penrose-hameroff/fundamentality.html

16th September 2013

By Steven Strong
http://wakeup-world.com/2013/09/16/australias-stonehenge/

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

According to Frederic Slater, who was the President of the Australian Archaeological and Education Research Society, an Original stone arrangement he and a colleague were investigating throughout 1939 is “the Stonehenge of Australia.” Assumed to be lost for the last 63 years, this impressive and complex sandstone arrangement is much more than a collection of rocks, signs and symbols positioned on a mound. According to Slater, “the mound is one of the oldest; I should say the oldest, forms of temples in the world, and dates back to the… advent of first man.”

Not only was the mound the first temple, the narrative and wisdom it chronicles is as profound as it is sublime, so much so that Slater claimed it formed “the basis of all knowledge, all science, all history and all forms of writing.”

These are extremely bold claims to make; to suggest that the very first language was spoken and recorded in stone in Australia carries with it many inconvenient historical implications. Modern humanity is assumed to have had its genesis in Africa. We are told a few restless inquisitive souls set foot outside African soil some 60,000 years ago and spread their culture and genes. In this theoretical construct, there is no room for Australia to be anything other than an afterthought and merely an African colony peopled by mariners who surely spoke before setting sail to Australia.

Bulldozing Australia’s History
Despite the unpopular stance advocated by Slater, his research was meticulous and the methodology sound. More to the point, such was the strength of the case he made on behalf of this arrangement being the First Language, in 1940 representatives of the Australian Government approached the farmer and threatened to confiscate his land because of these rocks. The landholder under threat was openly sympathetic to the archaeology being done, but realised while the stones stood he would lose his land, income and livelihood. Within days of the threat by Government, the stones were reluctantly bulldozed and the land was left alone. Slater had lost his proof and not another supporting public statement was made. The whole unpleasant episode was expunged from the public arena and Slater’s correspondence was apparently lost or destroyed.

And so this historical vacuum remained… until about three months ago when local teacher Richard Patterson was rummaging through some discarded files in the back room of the local Historical Society. Amongst the accumulation of papers and documents were Slater’s letters to his on-field colleague. Soon after, Richard contacted me and my team, and so the unraveling has began.

Rudimentary Language?
The First Sacred Language that Slater claimed to have deciphered is very complex, multi-layered and at his last count of “28,000 words,” far more diverse and complicated than what could be assumed in relation to the very first language spoken on Earth. We are of the belief this complex language spread throughout most of the coastal regions of Australia unified under Southern Law.

While historical and linguistic texts propose that the first tongue was crude and limited to the most basic emotions and objects, which then slowly increased in number and sophistication, here a symbol can have four different meanings. This formalised method of communication was made up of numbers, hand signs, stone arrangements, elements, trees, letter sounds, animal shapes, etc. The intricate combination of all manner of apparently unrelated themes and disciplines creating a seamless blend into one formal script, is in contradiction to the expected rudimentary linguistic starting point, and calls into question many assumptions relating to human ascension and development.

Leaving aside that reports from the Original Elders of Lore are in accord with the integrity of Slater’s claims, the logistics, technology and labour involved in creating this mound was unparalleled in this country… and deserving of further archaeology on site. By my estimation after viewing from a discreet distance, the hundreds of tonnes of sand, clay and sandstone that make up one mound deposited on top of this flat swampy plain is not part of the local geology. According to Slater and his co-worker, the closest deposit of sandstone was more than 20 kilometers (12 miles) away. The problem is, until the arrival of British settlers in Australia, no-one in this country had a wheel, pulley, wheelbarrow or metal chisel to cut and move the rocks 20 kilometres, and nor is there any other example in Australia of a mound or stone arrangement weighing over a tonne.

Quite simply, this Original construction doesn’t fit into any academic book or curriculum.

The Mystery of Life
What only unsettles the academic climate further is the content of the narrative contained within this stone arrangement called “The Mystery of Life.” The opening placement of stones on the southern edge, which looks very much like a medicine wheel, was interpreted by Slater to read as “guided by truth, man came to Earth through darkness from light of life that shines far off.” This extra-terrestrial theme of somebody or being coming to this planet from “far off” is repeated throughout these constructions, extolling that the “truth was brought out on wings to Earth” and “the Divine Light from afar to the Earth brings the soul to man.”

It is a site without parallel on the east coast of Australia at so many levels. The means of construction, significance, content, sacredness and real possibility that this arrangement chronicles the first time modern humans devised a formal means of expressing words and thoughts, are but some of issues that need to be investigated.

In what only adds to the intrigue, Slater is not only adamant that the ancient Egyptians were not only present (and most probably assisting in the transport of sandstone and fill) but they came in homage and reverence. He asserted that “there is no mistaking the fact that the Aborigines… gave not only to the Egyptians their knowledge and their foundation of hieroglyphics and their philosophy, but formulated the basis of all knowledge in the beginning, now and to come.”

Initial Observations
The archaeology conducted on site is still in the process of being compiled and analysed, however a few simple observations can be already offered. The chances are extremely high that this stone arrangement is an actual account of the First Sacred Language and conveys both historical details and a prophecy of times soon to come. The first mound is definitely artificial, its shape is too symmetrical, the placement on a flat swampy plain is dramatically at odds with the surrounding topography, and the sand, clay and sandstone that makes up this construction is in contradiction with its immediate geology. Throw into this mix confirmation from Original Elders and Custodians versed in Original Lore and history that this is one of, if not the, most sacred site in Australia, and we begin to see why Slater was so adamant that this is “Australia’s Stonehenge.”

Frederic Slater was an Egyptologist. He was the President of the Australian Archaeological Research and Education Society. Australian Government officials approached the landholder in 1940 and threatened to confiscate their freehold land simply because of these standing stones. These are facts. Slater’s opinions and our research of them is obviously up for debate and alternative explanations. But with the bounty of archaeology found on site and Elders confirming Slater’s translation, this stone arrangement is potentially the most sacred archaeological site in Australia.

There is no other explanation on offer.

 

By Michael Millar BBC Business News

Two heads Human-to-human “mind control” has, until now, been a concept in science fiction and fantasy

With one tap on his space bar, Andrea Stocco fires the cannon on his computer game and blows a rocket out of the sky.

The game itself is unremarkable – in fact it looks like a relic of the 1980s.

What is remarkable is the way it is being played because the University of Washington researcher can’t actually see it.

 

The person who can, fellow scientist Rajesh Rao, is sitting across campus looking at the screen.

He is wearing a cap with wires coming out of it (which looks like something you might have seen in a 1950s sci-fi programme that was imagining this moment).

Without moving a muscle, or using a communication device, Mr Rao told his colleague to fire the cannon at just the right moment.

The only thing Mr Rao had was the power of his mind, so, at the right moment, he imagined firing the cannon.

This sent a signal via the internet to Mr Stocco, who, wearing noise-cancelling earphones (and a purple swimming cap) involuntarily moved his right index finger to push the space bar.

Imperius curse

What has just happened seems to be the first documented case of human-to-human “mind control”.

The researchers gave it the rather less alluring title of human-to-human brain interface, but that’s scientists for you.

Researchers doing the experiment University of Washington researcher Rajesh Rao, left, plays a computer game with his mind. Across campus, researcher Andrea Stocco, right, carries out the command

Until now this concept remained in the realms of theory, or more likely science fiction and fantasy.

Those of a wizarding persuasion will see parallels with the evil Voldemort’s Imperius curse, used to manipulate people in the Harry Potter stories.

Continue reading the main story

“Start Quote

It could lead to better-linked teams of people – who may speak different languages – working together to solve hard problems faster”

Daniel Wilson Robopocalypse author

Mr Stocco jokingly refers to the experiment as a “Vulcan mind meld”, after a technique employed by Mr Spock in Star Trek to share thoughts.

“The internet was a way to connect computers, and now it can be a way to connect brains,” Mr Stocco says.

He compares the feeling of his hand moving to that of a nervous tic.

Mr Rao says it was “both exciting and eerie” to watch an imagined action from his brain get translated into actual action by another brain.

“The next step is having a more equitable two-way conversation directly between the two brains,” he adds.

Brain activity

There are already numerous examples of the human brain being used to control technology.

For example, Samsung is experimenting with a mind-control tablet.

Technology firm Interaxon is marketing a “brain sensing headband” that it hopes will allow people to control devices with their minds.

It is already widely used to help those with physical disabilities.

Indeed the technology for recording and stimulating the two researchers’ brains in this experiment are both well-known.

Cycle of the experiment Brain signals from the “Sender” are recorded. When the computer detects imagined hand movements, a “fire” command is transmitted over the internet, causing an upward movement of the hand of the “Receiver”

Electroencephalography – the technique used to send the message from Mr Rao – is routinely used by the medical profession to record brain activity from the scalp.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation – which made Mr Stocco’s finger move – is a way of delivering stimulation to the brain to prompt a response.

But putting the two together, effectively allowing one person to direct the responses of another, is new.

‘Trivial’

The researchers are quick to point out that this experiment is very basic in terms of the concept.

But Daniel Wilson, who has a PhD in robotics and is the author of Robopocalypse, says it remains important as a “proof of concept” experiment.

Continue reading the main story

“Start Quote

There’s no possible way the technology that we have could be used on a person unknowingly or without their willing participation”

Chantal Prat University of Washington

“It has sparked a discussion of how brain-to-brain interfaces might impact society in the future,” he says.

“Although the experimental set-up is too narrow to have practical value, it certainly makes us think.”

However, others are unimpressed.

Dr Ian Pearson, a futurologist with a background in science and engineering, compares it to experiments by Australian performance artist Stelarc 15 years ago.

He enabled people to remote control his limbs via the internet.

“Adding a simple thought recognition control system is pretty trivial,” Dr Pearson says.

“If they were taking a thought from one person and directly creating a thought in another then I’d be impressed.”

Collaboration

There is more general agreement on the impact that future developments in this field could have on the way humans collaborate and communicate.

Mr Stocco says that one day it could be used to enable someone on the ground to help a passenger land an aeroplane if the pilot becomes incapacitated.

Spock “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Star Trek character Mr Spock used the “mind meld” to share thoughts

Dr Pearson cites the example of a complex project where numerous different types of professionals are involved.

“Say you’re trying to design a building and you have engineers, designers and artists,” he says.

“Even if they are far apart, the artist could conjure up an idea and perhaps the engineer thinks that won’t work for some reason, so they refine it.

“Working together they could come up with something complex, very quickly.”

Dr Pearson, who gazes in to the future for a living, is pretty sure this scenario will one day be real, based on nano-technology placed directly onto the brain.

Continue reading the main story

“Start Quote

When we have full links into the brain directly and you can control someone like a robot then we might have problems”

Dr Ian Pearson Futurologist

But we’ll have to wait another 30 to 40 years for that, he says.

No zombies

Of course, the whole concept of mind control is often overshadowed by the disturbing implications of its misuse.

Although he has written a book about a dystopian, robot-controlled future, Mr Wilson is sanguine about the implications of the experiment.

“I see nothing inherently dangerous about increasing the communication bandwidth between human beings,” he says.

“If anything, it could lead to better-linked teams of people – who may speak different languages – working together to solve hard problems faster.

“The intricate technical requirements of transcranial magnetic stimulation make covert mind control unfeasible.”

Chantal Prat is assistant professor in psychology at the University of Washington and helped conduct the experiment.

She agrees with Mr Wilson’s analysis.

Ian Pearson Dr Pearson believes these techniques will be used in the future by teams carrying out complex tasks

“I think some people will be unnerved by this because they will overestimate the technology,” she says.

“There’s no possible way the technology that we have could be used on a person unknowingly or without their willing participation.”

Just beware of someone coming at you holding a swimming cap with wires poking out of it.

But these are early days; what will come as the technology develops is anyone’s guess.

“We are not in the realms of creating zombies,” Dr Pearson says.

“When we have full links into the brain directly and you can control someone like a robot then we might have problems.

“Whether it turns to slavery or state control – who knows; you could write any number of sci-fi books about that.”

Mikael Thalen

by
November 1st, 2013
Updated 11/01/2013 at 7:01 pm

Biohacker and transhumanist Tim Cannon may be the first known human to implant a computer chip capable of transmitting biometrical data to an android device.

During an interview with Motherboard Magazine, the “Circadia 1.0,” an open-source device capable of recording and transmitting body temperature over Bluetooth, was successfully implanted into Cannon’s left forearm.

Built by Cannon and his business associates at Grindhouse Wetware, a company focused on “merging man and machine,” the large chip was implanted by body modifier Steve Haworth without the use of anesthesia. The battery powered device, enclosed in a protective case, is charged wirelessly through the use of a charging coil placed against the skin.

“Instead of taking snapshots of your health by visiting a doctor, you can aggregate weeks or months of medical data that you can store for your personal viewing. Messages, warnings, or texts from your android phone to Circadia implant can be displayed via LEDs through your skin,” the device description reads.

Cannon says the device will allow him to study what causes his temperature to fall or rise, with a later upgrade configuration allowing text messages to be sent if his temperature begins reaching 100 degrees °F.

Device

“The human body is really really failing in almost every way,” Cannon says. “I want to live to be thousands of years old. I don’t want to die. I don’t know why anybody would.”

Leaders in the transhumanist movement such as Google’s director of engineering Ray Kurzweil predict that the human body will be completely replaced by machines by the end of the century, with human minds uploaded to computers by the year 2045.

Others such as Russian millionaire Dmitry Itskov believe that immortality through placing human brains in controllable robot bodies, also referred to as the “singularity,” will be reached in as little as 25 years.

During the Global Futures 2045 International Congress in New York last June, Kurzweil laid out his predictions of the march towards singularity in detail.

“We’re going to become increasingly non-biological to the point where the non-biological part dominates and the biological part is not important any more. In fact the non-biological part – the machine part – will be so powerful it can completely model and understand the biological part, Kurzweil said. “So even if that biological part went away it wouldn’t make any difference.”

While the push towards immortality is praised by some, many see a much darker outcome, with such future technologies controlled by a wealthy few as average humans become increasingly irrelevant to the “transhumanist utopia.”

“While everyone would welcome some of the technological advancements predicted by Kurzweil, most notably the virtual elimination of all diseases, his fixation with cheating death by achieving technological singularity has several dark spiritual and practical overtones that have not been properly debated,” Infowars writer Paul Joseph Watson notes. “Moral considerations are once again being cast aside in the feverish pursuit of technological progress at all costs.”

The U.S. government now plans to spend $70 million over the next five years to fund the Systems-Based Neurotechnology for Emerging Therapies project, a surgically implanted brain pacemaker that will monitor the mental health and brainwaves of soldiers and veterans in real time.

 
Reuters / Denis Balibouse / files

Reuters / Denis Balibouse / files

Published time: October 18, 2013 17:51
Edited time: October 19, 2013 19:51

Neuroscientists at Stanford University have made a major breakthrough with regards to how the human brain engages in quantitative thought, and some say it’s opening the door for being able to someday eavesdrop on the mind’s inner-workings.

A team at Stanford’s School of Medicine had their findings published this week in the journal Nature Communications, and their eye-catching result is being considered a big step to understanding how the brain operates, specifically in terms of numbers.

After monitoring the brain waves of three seizure patients, the scientists determined that a particular part of the mind became active when the subjects were asked to solve mathematical equations, but also when quantitative terms — such as “more than” or “an extra little bit” — were spoken during routine discussions.

Bruce Goldman wrote about the study for the Stanford School of Medicine website and said the team of scientists “collected the first solid evidence that the pattern of brain activity seen in someone performing a mathematical exercise under experimentally controlled conditions is very similar to that observed when the person engages in quantitative thought in the course of daily life.”

According to the scientists who conducted the study, however, it could be the start of something much more.

We’re now able to eavesdrop on the brain in real life,” Dr. Josef Parvizi, the director of Stanford’s Human Intracranial Cognitive Electrophysiology Program and lead scientist behind the studio, said to Goldman.

To conduct the study, Parvizi and company monitored electrical activity in a region of the brain called the intraparietal sulcus which, according to earlier studies, has ties to numerosity, or the mathematical equivalent of literacy, as Goldman explained.

As expected, the Stanford scientists experienced a reaction occurring on that part of the brain when basic math was asked of the subjects. His team also compared those results with video recordings of the patients interacting with friends and family, and determined that just discussing quantitative concepts caused that part of the brain to become active.

You are able to see how neurons within the human brain are working in a real life setting,” Parvizi told Time Magazine.

The patient doesn’t need to talk to you. They can think about numbers and you can see that red mark (corresponding with activity in a particular brain region) go up,” he said to CNN.

As the team also learned, quantitative concepts cause similar reactions. When the subjects hear phrases such as “some more” and “many,” electrodes attached to the intraparietal sulcus alerted the doctors of activity. In one patient’s case, her intraparietal sulcus became active when she spoke over the phone about being given “some more Vicodin” and while discussing a “ten-to-fifteen minute seizure.”

Dr. Parvizi told Time that “[t]he only thing we can tell is that they were thinking about numbers,” and not specifics such as what integer in particular. As technology advances, though, new possibilities might someday emerge.

This is exciting, and a little scary,” Henry Greely, the chair of Stanford’s Center for Biomedical Ethics, said in a statement. “It demonstrates, first, that we can see when someone’s dealing with numbers and, second, that we may conceivably someday be able to manipulate the brain to affect how someone deals with numbers.”

As far as Dr. Parvizi is concerned, that’s still a long way coming.

We’re still in early days with this,” he told reporters. “If this is a baseball game, we’re not even in the first inning. We just got a ticket to enter the stadium.”

http://rt.com/usa/stanford-parvizi-brain-study-385/

Giant Ant Colony Excavated, You won’t believe what they build underground!