Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Brain Mechanics at MIT

Just read a very insightful article by Ed Boyden "an assistant professor in the MIT Media Lab and MIT Department of Biological Engineering, where he leads the Neuroengineering and Neuromedia Group." Link
He goes into some very insightful thoughts on how to approach the problems associated with fixing problems in the brain, particularly how to view the brain as a complex system that demand you approach a dysfunctional subsystem the same way a computer engineer would: by abstracting the problem and ignoring the surrounding complexity. He goes on to note that the tools could use to fix various problems will depend on what the nature of the problem is. Should we use something focal and invasive, or noninvasive yet cruder with regards to spatial resolution?
Boyden goes on with some nice thoughts about, you guessed it: TMS!
I have to admit I would love to have attended the Neuroengineering panel at the MIT Emerging Technologies Conference.
As I have said before, we are just starting to open the black box that is the brain and technology like TMS and fMRI, used by scientists like Boyden, are going to, at the very least, kick a wedge to keep that door cracked open.