Bleak Cyborg Future from Brain-Computer Interfaces if We’re Not Careful

The most promising method to achieve real-world BCI applications is through electroencephalography, a method of monitoring the brain’s electrical activity. EEG-based BCIs will require a number of technological advances prior to widespread use, but more importantly, they will raise a variety of social, ethical, and legal concerns. Researchers conducted a review of modern commercial brain-computer interface devices and discuss the primary technological limitations and humanitarian concerns of these devices in APL Bioengineering.

A Remote, Computerized Training Program Eases Anxiety in Children

Using a computerized and completely remote training program, researchers have found a way to mitigate negative emotions in children. Results support the link between inhibitory control dysfunction and anxiety/depression. EEG results also provide evidence of frontal alpha asymmetry shifting to the left after completing an emotional version of the training. Computerized cognitive training programs can be highly beneficial for children, not just for academics, but for psychological and emotional functioning during a challenging time in their development.

Depressed Moms Who Breastfeed Boost Babies’ Mood, Neuroprotection and Mutual Touch

Feeding method and affectionate touch patterns in depressed and non-depressed mothers and babies as well as infant’s EEG activity showed that mother-infant affectionate touch differed as a function of mood and feeding method (breastfeeding and bottle-feeding). Infants in the depressed and bottle-fed group reduced touch toward their mothers while breastfeeding had a positive effect on both mother and baby. Infants of depressed and breastfeeding mothers showed neither behavioral nor brain development dysregulation previously found in infants of depressed mothers.

Mother/Infant Skin-to-Skin Touch Boosts Baby’s Brain Development and Function

As the world prioritizes social distancing due to COVID-19, new research shows that extended use of Kangaroo Care, a skin-to-skin, chest-to-chest method of caring for a baby, can positively benefit full-term infants and their mothers, which has important implications for post-partum depression. The study provides evidence that the physiology of mothers and their full-term infants is influenced by Kangaroo care: it increases oxytocin levels in mothers, and during infancy, can favorably influence both neurodevelopmental trajectories and infant neurobiological functioning.

Older children’s brains respond differently to rewarding versus negative experiences later in the day

Older children respond more strongly to rewarding experiences and less strongly to negative experiences later in the day, which may lead to poor decision-making at night, according to research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Time of day differences in neural reward responsiveness in children

The Reward Positivity (∆RewP) event-related potential (ERP), generally quantified as the difference between neural responsiveness to monetary gains (RewP-Gain) and losses (RewP-Loss) is commonly used as an index of neural reward responsiveness. Despite the popularity of this ERP component in…

Researchers Discover Method to Detect Motor-Related Brain Activity

Motor-related brain activity is of great interest to researchers looking for a better way to improve neurorehabilitation, and one factor to consider is the suppression of the specific rhythmic activity of neurons within the sensorimotor cortex of the brain. Studies indicate this feature suffers from variability when using traditional methods to explore it. In the journal Chaos, scientists in Russia are approaching the problem from a different angle to search for a more robust feature of brain activity associated with accomplishing motor tasks.