Friday, December 26, 2008

New meaning to brain waves

This was recently posted on Brain Stimulant blog (good to know that my young field has reached into the blog world). Researchers at the Arizona State are investigating the use of ultrasound to stimulate the brain. They've done some in vitro studies and found some pretty cool effects (it can cause cells to fire and release neurotransmitters). It has some potential benefits that TMS doesn't such as the possibility to target deeper and smaller structures. Of course, since ultrasound has been used to kill tumors, safety may be a factor (though for brain stimulation a much lower intensity is used).

Arizona State has a press release about it also. One thing that struck me is that they're already talking about using it to treat diseases and create artificial memories like in Total Recall. I understand that to get it out into the media (and to get it funding) you need to make it sound sexy, but that's a bit far fetched (and misleading).
Ultrasound of brain (for imaging purposes, not stimulation)

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