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Picower Institute

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buzzfeed

Prof. Earl Miller speaks with BuzzFeed reporter Terri Pous about the problems posed by multitasking. When it comes to juggling two tasks like driving and talking on the phone, Miller notes that "when someone is on the phone with you, they have no idea what’s going on in front of you. That’s just plain dangerous for drivers and anyone around them."

Boston Globe

Local biotech companies raised money to help MIT’s Bear Lab study Fragile X syndrome by competing in lawn games, writes Allison Hagan for The Boston Globe. The $30,000 raised provides “a very real chance at a success in this disease, and it’s going to have a much broader impact,” says Prof. Mark Bear.

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Jonathan Saltzman spotlights postdoctoral associates Matheus Victor, Jarrett Smith and Quinton Smith. They have been selected by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as Hanna Gray Fellows, a program that aims to encourage emerging young scientists who are underrepresented in life sciences.

Boston Magazine

Boston Magazine reporter Jamie Ducharme spotlights Prof. Li-Huei Tsai’s quest to vanquish Alzheimer’s disease. Ducharme writes that Tsai’s work, including two recent papers outlining potential treatments for Alzheimer’s, “established her as a bona fide rock star in the neuroscience world.”

United Press International (UPI)

A new study by MIT researchers shows that different types of learning correspond with different brainwave frequencies, reports Brooks Hays for UPI. The findings, “could help doctors diagnose and treat learning disabilities and cognitive diseases.”

NBC News

NBC News reporter Maggie Fox writes that MIT researchers have developed a noninvasive brain stimulation technique that could eventually offer relief to patients with diseases like Parkinson’s and epilepsy without requiring surgery. Fox explains that the method allows for sending, “electrical signals deep into the brain without affecting the layers in between.”

Science

MIT researchers have developed a noninvasive method to stimulate specific neurons deep in the brain that could be used to help treat patients with diseases such as Parkinson’s, reports Meredith Wadman for Science. This new method could also allow scientists to “selectively prod deep-brain neurons into action,” explains Wadman. 

Wired

Writing for Wired, Abigail Beal highlights how MIT researchers have developed a noninvasive technique to trigger reactions in deep brain cells using low frequency electrical signals. “If we could noninvasively stimulate deep regions, without hitting overlying regions, we might be able to help more people because we could stimulate deep regions selectively, without needing surgery,” explains Prof. Ed Boyden. 

New York Times

New York Times reporter Pam Belluck writes that MIT researchers have developed a new, non-invasive deep brain stimulation technique. The technique could be used to help treat, “a range of neurological and psychiatric disorders more cheaply and safely than current approaches,” writes Belluck. 

Guardian

MIT researchers have developed a non-invasive technique for deep brain stimulation, which could be used to help patients with brain diseases, reports Mo Costandi for The Guardian. “Targets for disorders such as depression, Alzheimer’s, PTSD, and so forth, are deep in the brain, and they might be more selectively stimulatable with our method,” says Prof. Ed Boyden. 

Radio Boston (WBUR)

Prof. Emery Brown is a guest on WBUR’s Radio Boston to discuss the feasibility of merging computers with the human brain in an attempt to keep up with artificial intelligence. “Putting the emphasis on using the computational power to understand the physiology and neurocircuitry of the brain is where the success is going to come,” suggests Brown.

Scientific American

Simon Makin of Scientific American writes that MIT researchers have discovered the brain uses a complimentary memory system that simultaneously creates and stores both long and short-term memories. “There is a division of labor. The hippocampus can form active memories very quickly, while the cortex takes care of long-term stability,” explains Prof. Susumu Tonegawa.

CNBC

Meg Tirrell of CNBC spotlights research by Prof. Li-Huei Tsai that shows that flashing lights could be used as a non-invasive treatment method for Alzheimer’s disease. Tsai and her colleagues found that flashing light could potentially be used to restore gamma rhythms in the brain, which are often impaired in people with Alzheimer’s. 

Wired

Wired reporter Nicola Davison spotlights the work of graduate student Dheeraj Roy, whose research is focused on developing new techniques to help Alzheimer’s patients remember lost memories. Davison writes that Roy’s findings offer a potential “strategy for improving memory that could go beyond the modest benefit of available drugs.”

Los Angeles Times

MIT researchers have found that exposure to flickering lights at a precise frequency may help fight off Alzheimer’s disease, reports Melissa Healy for The Los Angeles Times. The technique recruits “neurons and other cell types in the brain to sort of enable the brain’s inner ability to repair itself,” explains Prof. Li-Huei Tsai, director of the Picower Institute.