health
Scientists Propose New Way to Treat Depression With Brain Implants

In recent years, doctors have explored an unorthodox method to address cases of depression that haven’t responded to other treatments: sending precise electrical shocks directly to areas of a patient’s brain, otherwise known as deep brain stimulation (DBS). While the technique has shown some promise, its positive effects tend to be inconsistent. Read More >>

science
A Lightning Strike Shut off a Woman’s Brain Implant, and It Could Have Been Even Worse

It’s the sort of story that you’d find in a Marvel movie, but with far less cool consequences. Doctors in Slovenia have reported what they say is the first instance of lightning shutting down a person’s brain implant. Read More >>

science
DARPA Is Funding Brain-Computer Interfaces to Treat Blindness, Paralysis and Speech Disorders 

These days, it seems you’re nobody if you’re not working on a way to merge machines with the human brain. Earlier this year, both Facebook and perpetual moonshot-enthusiast Elon Musk announced plans for brain-computer interfaces that could allow us to read the thoughts of others and improve our capacity for learning. Today, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced plans to spend $65 million developing advanced neural implants that connect our brains to computers in order to treat sensory deficits like blindness. Read More >>

science
Why People With Brain Implants Are Afraid to Go Through Automatic Doors

In 2009, Gary Olhoeft walked into a Best Buy to buy some DVDs. He walked out with his whole body twitching and convulsing. Olhoeft has a brain implant, tiny bits of microelectronic circuitry that deliver electrical impulses to his motor cortex in order to control the debilitating tremors he suffers as a symptom of Parkinson’s disease. It had been working fine. So, what happened when he passed through those double wide doors into consumer electronics paradise? He thinks the theft-prevention system interfered with his implant and turned it off. Read More >>

privacy
Proposed Human Rights Would Protect Your Mind From the Likes of Facebook

“It sounds impossible but it’s closer than you may realise,” Facebook’s Regina Dugan recently told audience members at the F8 developer conference. Dugan was referring to the social network’s plans to read users’ thoughts. Just in time to inject some practical considerations into that terrifying scenario, researchers have proposed four new human rights to protect our minds from those who might have the worst intentions. Read More >>

science
DARPA’s Brain Chips Could Be the Next Big Mental Health Breakthrough—Or a Total Disaster

How did a Massachusetts woman end up with a four electrodes implanted into her brain? Why is the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency developing a controversial, cutting-edge brain chip technology that could one day treat everything from major depressive disorder to hand cramps? How did we get to deep brain stimulation and where do we go from here? Read More >>