Tinkering with our own brains

The Long News: stories that might still matter fifty, or a hundred, or ten thousand years from now.

The brain has been called the most complicated machine ever built. But that doesn’t seem to be stopping those who are working to understand it, repair it, or improve it. Then again, what could go wrong? It’s not rocket science, it’s just brain surgery.

Recent stories from the brain sciences:

1. Does every emotion have its own map? We’re beginning to find out: Neuroscientists locate where fear is stored in the brain

2. There are many non-traditional ways to promote learning. For example, fun with magnets: Magnetic brain stimulation improves skill learning

3. New visualization techniques to help us see inside the brain: Reading the surface of the brain, Breakthrough in 3-D mapping enables removal of fist-sized tumor

4. Discovery of a protein that might protect against Alzheimer’s: Key protein might shield brain cells

5. Some things you might already be doing right: Caffeine reverses memory impairment in Alzheimer’s mice, Regular moderate alcohol intake has congitive benefits in older adults

6. A good summary of what brain enhancement might mean: Will designer brains divide humanity?

7. Finally, who better to sum it all up than Stephen Hawking? “Humans have entered a new stage of evolution” (thanks to Bob Citron for the pointer.)

We invite you to submit Long News story suggestions here.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

More from Long News

What is the long now?

The Long Now Foundation is a nonprofit established in 01996 to foster long-term thinking. Our work encourages imagination at the timescale of civilization — the next and last 10,000 years — a timespan we call the long now.

Learn more

Join our newsletter for the latest in long-term thinking

Long Now's website is changing...