. Earth Science News .

NIST mini-sensor measures magnetic activity in human brain
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Apr 25, 2012

NIST's atom-based magnetic sensor, about the size of a sugar cube, can measure human brain activity. Inside the sensor head is a container of 100 billion rubidium atoms (not seen), packaged with micro-optics (a prism and a lens are visible in the center cutout). The light from a low-power infrared laser interacts with the atoms and is transmitted through the grey fiber-optic cable to register the magnetic field strength. The black and white wires are electrical connections. Credit: Knappe/NIST.

A miniature atom-based magnetic sensor developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has passed an important research milestone by successfully measuring human brain activity.

Experiments reported this week verify the sensor's potential for biomedical applications such as studying mental processes and advancing the understanding of neurological diseases.

NIST and German scientists used the NIST sensor to measure alpha waves in the brain associated with a person opening and closing their eyes as well as signals resulting from stimulation of the hand. The measurements were verified by comparing them with signals recorded by a SQUID (superconducting quantum interference device).

SQUIDs are the world's most sensitive commercially available magnetometers and are considered the "gold standard" for such experiments. The NIST mini-sensor is slightly less sensitive now but has the potential for comparable performance while offering potential advantages in size, portability and cost.

The study results indicate the NIST mini-sensor may be useful in magnetoencephalography (MEG), a noninvasive procedure that measures the magnetic fields produced by electrical activity in the brain.

MEG is used for basic research on perceptual and cognitive processes in healthy subjects as well as screening of visual perception in newborns and mapping brain activity prior to surgery to remove tumors or treat epilepsy. MEG also might be useful in brain-computer interfaces.

Related Links
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
All About Human Beings and How We Got To Be Here

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Meat eating led to earlier weaning, helped humans spread across globe
London, UK (SPX) Apr 23, 2012
When early humans became carnivores, their higher-quality diet allowed mothers to wean babies earlier and have more children, with potentially profound effects on population dynamics and the course of human evolution, according to a study published in the open access journal PLoS ONE. In a comparison of 67 mammalian species, including humans, apes, mice, and killer whales, among many other ... read more

European body sees broad failures in Libya migrant deaths

Helicopter transport improves trauma patient survival compared to ground transport

Desolation of Pakistan avalanche site

Lawyer to take over at Fukushima plant operator

360-Degree MEADS Radar Begins Integration Testing

Apple profit soars on rocketing iPhone-iPad sales

China enjoying fruit of Apple's labor

US commission says iPhone infringes Motorola patent

Research is ensuring stormwater systems are designed for the future

Planned dams in Amazon may have largely negative ecosystem impact

Bangladesh faces water problems

7,000 workers strike at Brazil's Amazon dam project

Breaking the Ice on Icebergs

Arctic marine mammals and fish populations on the rise

Arctic Ocean could be source of greenhouse gas: study

Scientists call for Arctic fishing moratorium, rules

Genetically modified corn affects its symbiotic relationship with non-target soil organisms

Global famine if India, Pakistan unleash nukes: study

Study finds evidence nanoparticles may increase plant DNA damage

Warming set to make corn prices pop

NASA's New Satellite Movie of One Week's Ash Activity from Mexico's Popocatepetl Volcano

Warning signs from ancient Greek tsunami

Hundreds evacuated as Russian village flooded

Rumbling Mexican volanco keeps locals awake

Sierra Leone's gruesome 10-year civil war

Stench of death in Heglig, where Sudan says 1,200 died

Mali junta yet to return to barracks: groups

G.Bissau will 'defend itself' if foreign troops sent: junta

NIST mini-sensor measures magnetic activity in human brain

Meat eating led to earlier weaning, helped humans spread across globe

Chimpanzee ground nests offer new insight into our ancestors descent from the trees

Genetic adaptation of fat metabolism key to development of human brain

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement