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EEGs and MEGs and MRIs take pictures of out brains (images in jagged lines overlaid onto regions of the brain) to diagnose problems in the hardware. But when used in conjunction with specific pictures across different individuals, it appears that the pictures cause similar enough responses that a computer can determine what picture the person is viewing 8 out of 10 times.

Keep in mind (do you like that pun?) that the 3 devices are electromagnetic in nature whereas the brain is electrochemical in nature so this brings up a number of questions:
can an electromagnetic field affect a neuron?
does an activated neuron generate an electromagnetic fieldif so, is that field strong enough to affect neighboring neuronsdoes the field have enough energy to carry information
Keep in mind that the neuron carries an electrical signal from the dendrites (inputs) to the axon with branches (output). Neurotransmitters (chemicals) carry the signal from neuron to neuron (axon to dendrites) and each neuron has a minimum activation potential which dampens weak signals. With the average brain composed of 100 billion neurons with each having an average of 7,000 synaptic connections - about 400 trillion connections.

The neurons are shielded (by a myelin sheath but it is not a continuous sheath but a series of small sheaths) and the dendrites are not insulated.

I could go on but is anyone interested?

Some links:
http://cogprints.org/3190/1/solitons.pdf
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/mar/06/medicalresearch

Edited by GrimJack: You really don't want to know.

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After your post, twenty people probably just went out to buy some spools of Velostat and large baggies of multicolored pills.

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...my 0.02 and a borrowed dime.

>can an electromagnetic field affect a neuron?
Yes. Google "transcranial magnetic stimulation"

>does an activated neuron generate an electromagnetic field
Yes.

>if so, is that field strong enough to affect neighboring neurons
Yes, but the affect is largely unknown and a subject of current research:
J Neurosci. 2010 Feb 3;30(5):1925-36.
The effect of spatially inhomogeneous extracellular electric fields on neurons.
Anastassiou CA, Montgomery SM, Barahona M, Buzsáki G, Koch C.

>does the field have enough energy to carry information
IMO, probably. It's also probably not reliable enough to be used by the nervous system. To stretch an analogy if you have a few spotty tv stations over broadcast or 150 channels over digital cable you'd probably choose the latter.

a computer can determine what picture the person is viewing 8 out of 10 times.
These types of studies (I haven't read the one in question) can overgeneralize to the point where you can say with 99% certainty that if two of your neighbors have their porch lights on it's a Thursday.

Edited by jonsca: n/a

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That pic is actually unrelated - it is of a performance artist who assigned different tones to the various signals coming off his brain. I searched but could not find any recording of the concert and most references lead to Scandinavian websites that don't have English translations.

Edited by GrimJack: truth in forums.

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...my 0.02 and a borrowed dime.

>can an electromagnetic field affect a neuron?
Yes. Google "transcranial magnetic stimulation"

>does an activated neuron generate an electromagnetic field
Yes.

>if so, is that field strong enough to affect neighboring neurons
Yes, but the affect is largely unknown and a subject of current research:
J Neurosci. 2010 Feb 3;30(5):1925-36.
The effect of spatially inhomogeneous extracellular electric fields on neurons.
Anastassiou CA, Montgomery SM, Barahona M, Buzsáki G, Koch C.

>does the field have enough energy to carry information
IMO, probably. It's also probably not reliable enough to be used by the nervous system. To stretch an analogy if you have a few spotty tv stations over broadcast or 150 channels over digital cable you'd probably choose the latter.

a computer can determine what picture the person is viewing 8 out of 10 times.
These types of studies (I haven't read the one in question) can overgeneralize to the point where you can say with 99% certainty that if two of your neighbors have their porch lights on it's a Thursday.

I overgeneralized for brevity's sake. The questions came from an article on the scientificblogging site

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I overgeneralized for brevity's sake. The questions came from an article on the scientificblogging site

My bad, I wasn't sure if you were posing them rhetorically or not. I hadn't realized it was such an active area of research at present. That article was a good read, the one about microtubules. Interesting stuff...

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Nope! I have ADD, internet access, and insatiable curiosity.


Take a look at nano-batteries
- scale these up in layers and the automobile becomes almost completely green.

Uh oh every body duck,ah shuckins as long yer hav'n fun go fer it.

Saw article about this in one of my science magazines verrry interresting, could be the place to use all this excess carbon they are screaming about and get a decent power cell to boot. Later---

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