Researchers at Washington University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed miniaturized electronic devices small enough to safely insert into the brains of live mice. The tiny wireless devices can target specific brain cells and influence behavior.
University of Illinois materials scientist John Rogers co-led the study and helped design the devices. He says they’re on the same size-scale as cells, so they can penetrate far down into the brain.
A map of brain regions associated with language processing in the human cerebral cortex. Yellow and red regions are activated by listening to stories, whereas green and blue regions are more strongly activated by doing mathematical calculations.
Credit D. Barch, M. Harms, G. Burgess for the WU-Minn HCP consortium.
Matt Langione, a subject in the study, reads Jane Austen's <em>Mansfield Park</em>. Results from the study suggest that blood flow in the brain differs during leisurely and critical reading activities.
At a recent academic conference, Michigan State University professor Natalie Phillips stole a glance around the room. A speaker was talking but the audience was fidgety. Some people were conferring among themselves, or reading notes. One person had dozed off.