TED Talk Thursday – Christopher deCharms looks inside the brain

According to ted.com: “Neuroscientist and inventor Christopher deCharms demonstrates a new way to use fMRI to show brain activity — thoughts, emotions, pain — while it is happening. In other words, you can actually see how you feel.”

“Neuroscientist Christopher deCharms is helping to develop a new kind of MRI that allows doctor and patient to look inside the brain in real time — to see visual representations of brain processes as they happen. With his company Omneuron, deCharms has developed technology they call rtfMRI, for “real-time functional MRI” — which is exactly what it sounds like. You move your arm, your brain lights up. You feel pain, your brain lights up.”

“How could we use the ability to see our brains in action? For a start, to help treat chronic pain with a kind of biofeedback; being able to visualize pain can help patients control it. And longer-term uses boggle the mind. Ours is the first generation, he believes, to be able to train and build our minds as systematically as a weightlifter builds a muscle. What will we do with this?”

“deCharms is also the author of the book Two Views of Mind, studying Buddhist theories of perception from a neuroscientist’s perspective.”

It’s a short talk, but a fascinating look at the possiblilities of theraputic use of MRIs.

For those of you not familiar with TED Talks here is a brief summery from www.ted.com:

“TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford UK each summer — TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and Open TV Project, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize”

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I look forward to your thoughts and comments!

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