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Researchers build first modular quantum brain sensor, record signal
#1

Researchers build first modular quantum brain sensor, record signal
https://phys.org/news/2021-06-modular-qu...ensor.html

Quote:A team of scientists at the University of Sussex have for the first time built a modular quantum brain scanner, and used it to record a brain signal. This is the first time a brain signal has been detected using a modular quantum brain sensor anywhere in the world. It's a major milestone for all researchers working on quantum brain imaging technology because modular sensors can be scaled up, like Lego bricks. The team have also connected two sensors like Lego bricks, proving that whole-brain scanning using this method is within reach—as detailed in their paper, which is published today in pre-print. This has not been possible with the currently commercially available quantum brain sensors from the United States.

These modular devices work like play bricks in that they can be connected together. This opens up the potential for whole-brain scanning using quantum technology, and potential advances for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.

The device, which was built at the Quantum Systems and Devices laboratory at the university, uses ultra-sensitive quantum sensors to pick up these tiniest of magnetic fields to see inside the brain in order to map the neural activity.

The team applied the sensors to outside of a participant's scalp, close to the visual cortex of the brain. They asked the participant to open and close their eyes at 10–20 second intervals, and were able to detect a signal. This is a very simple action, but to see it happening inside the brain—from the outside—requires hugely sophisticated quantum technology.

Thomas Coussens Ph.D. student at the University of Sussex, who built the sensor, explained:
"Our quantum sensor has to be exceptionally sensitive to pick up the magnetic fields in the brain which are very weak indeed. To put it into context, the magnetic field of a brain is a trillion times lower than that of a fridge magnet.

"Because our device is so-far unique in that it is modular—and we've shown the modularity works by connecting two sensors together—we now plan to scale up this project by building more sensors to turn this into an entire brain imaging system. This could provide significant advancements in detecting and delivering treatment for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Amazing accomplishment, I wonder if this can be used to record dreams as well? Or memories?
Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.  Deadpan Coffee Drinker
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#2

Researchers build first modular quantum brain sensor, record signal
Legos have been used to build everything.  Now brains.  Not surprising.  Someday when aliens from Dromedary Scintilla 4387 come visit we'll discover their entire civilization was built from Lego Set No. 834209.

Actually, here's a horrifying thought:  We build a scaled up sensor array that, unbeknownst to us, has self-awareness and memory.  And it's uncomfortable because it didn't evolve but got built without any thought given to what constitutes comfortable existence vs uncomfortable existence.  I can't imagine a more terrifying hell than a consciousness to find itself trapped there.
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#3

Researchers build first modular quantum brain sensor, record signal
It's a magnetometer that uses some interesting quantum effects to get high sensitivity. Interesting but not that novel. The difficulty will come from distinguishing between the magnetic field being generated by one neuron and the field being generated by another neuron a few microns away. Good luck with that! In this case I'd be leery of a false positive. I know that with EEGs the techs have to be careful to weed eye movement out of the data because the muscles in your eyes generate signals a few magnitude larger than the brainwaves that they're trying to detect.
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#4

Researchers build first modular quantum brain sensor, record signal
I don't see what they're trying to get at.
The brain functions at the (macro) cellular/tissue/atomic/molecular structural level
We already have MRI, MRA, FMRI, and PET scans. MRI lines up the protons to make a picture.
What good is a "quantum brain signal" ? If neurology or neurosurgery is going to do something, it's not going to be at the quantum level.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/med...0to%20them.
(Just playing "devil's advocate")
I fart in your general direction.  Angel
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#5

Researchers build first modular quantum brain sensor, record signal
(06-14-2021, 03:14 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote: I don't see what they're trying to get at.
The brain functions at the (macro) cellular/tissue/atomic/molecular structural level
We already have MRI, MRA, FMRI, and PET scans. MRI lines up the protons to make a picture.
What good is a "quantum brain signal" ? If neurology or neurosurgery is going to do something, it's not going to be at the quantum level.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/med...0to%20them.
(Just playing "devil's advocate")

Perhaps it could eventually be more cost-effective than an MRI?
Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.  Deadpan Coffee Drinker
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#6

Researchers build first modular quantum brain sensor, record signal
(06-14-2021, 05:05 PM)GenesisNemesis Wrote:
(06-14-2021, 03:14 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote: I don't see what they're trying to get at.
The brain functions at the (macro) cellular/tissue/atomic/molecular structural level
We already have MRI, MRA, FMRI, and PET scans. MRI lines up the protons to make a picture.
What good is a "quantum brain signal" ? If neurology or neurosurgery is going to do something, it's not going to be at the quantum level.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/med...0to%20them.
(Just playing "devil's advocate")

Perhaps it could eventually be more cost-effective than an MRI?

I don't really get what this is.  It's beyond my mental capacity so maybe I need to play with a bunch of Legos or something.
                                                         T4618
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#7

Researchers build first modular quantum brain sensor, record signal
(06-14-2021, 05:13 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: I don't really get what this is.  It's beyond my mental capacity so maybe I need to play with a bunch of Legos or something.

Oh yeah? Well maybe you do need to! Dodgy

Just kidding. Tongue
Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.  Deadpan Coffee Drinker
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#8

Researchers build first modular quantum brain sensor, record signal
(06-14-2021, 03:14 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote: I don't see what they're trying to get at.
The brain functions at the (macro) cellular/tissue/atomic/molecular structural level
We already have MRI, MRA, FMRI, and PET scans. MRI lines up the protons to make a picture.
What good is a "quantum brain signal" ? If neurology or neurosurgery is going to do something, it's not going to be at the quantum level.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/med...0to%20them.
(Just playing "devil's advocate")

It isn't measuring the quantum structure of the brain because, as you said, that would be stoopid. These guys barely managed to get a signal off the entire visual cortex. It measures using quantum effects within the detector and the designers threw quantum into the name for the sales value. The description isn't very good but it sounds like the detector contains a Bose Einstein condensate that they use to measure minute magnetic fields by measuring the speed of light in the BEC.
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#9

Researchers build first modular quantum brain sensor, record signal
(06-14-2021, 05:13 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote:
(06-14-2021, 05:05 PM)GenesisNemesis Wrote:
(06-14-2021, 03:14 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote: I don't see what they're trying to get at.
The brain functions at the (macro) cellular/tissue/atomic/molecular structural level
We already have MRI, MRA, FMRI, and PET scans. MRI lines up the protons to make a picture.
What good is a "quantum brain signal" ? If neurology or neurosurgery is going to do something, it's not going to be at the quantum level.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/med...0to%20them.
(Just playing "devil's advocate")

Perhaps it could eventually be more cost-effective than an MRI?

I don't really get what this is.  It's beyond my mental capacity so maybe I need to play with a bunch of Legos or something.
MRI
Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Principle:
Atoms can be viewed as tiny little spinners/gyros (with electric charge, ergo they are susceptible to magnetic fields). When you apply a (strong!) external magnetic field you can influence them. This influence in return can be measured and ultimately visualized. Its non-invasive and non-damaging, and has quite some penetration into our tissue.
Unfortunately the magnetic field needs to be very, very, strong, in the 1-10T(esla) ballpark. Earths magnetic field has some 20µT. The good ole "horseshoe magnet" has ca. 1mT. You also need to be able to manipulate the field.

This can be best achieved by the use of electromagnets. But 1-10T involve a lot of copper, ergo you have a lot of power loss. Ergo you need to cool down to superconduction, ergo you need liquid Helium to do so. Ergo, its fucking big, complex and expensive.
R.I.P. Hannes
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