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December 14, 2020.
The dream of reading the human mind is already a reality. Are we prepared?
The technological whirlpool increases every day and Neurotechnology with it. We are talking about simple headbands that read mental states, that detect sleep or that through them a device can be mentally controlled. Soon this technology will be among us on a daily basis. In principle, these are all benefits, from better treatments for mental health disorders, to enhancing cognitive abilities such as concentration. Even through brain implants the quality of life of people with Parkinson's can be improved, such as the innovative and recent project of the Krembil Brain Institute in Toronto using a technology known decades ago as deep brain stimulation (DBS), which can help to control tremors and muscle tension related to Parkinson's, managing these movements remotely and at any time of the day.   Mental manipulation tools? Nick Bostrom, a leading expert on artificial intelligence, talks about the existence of white, black and gray balls in terms of human discoveries and innovations. The white balls are discoveries and innovations where the benefit for human beings is absolute and clear. An example of this would be a cure for a disease. Then there are the black balls, where the discovery of something could put humanity's survival at risk. And there are also gray balls, where there are benefits but also risks, as in the case of nuclear fission, which has generated energy for humans but also ldeadly weapons. If neurotechnology is not handled properly in the future, it can pose risks to our integrity.   It is inevitable to think that if we can "read" the mind we can be manipulated. Although no Neurotechnology is necessary for this, since the manipulation of our instincts and senses is done day through multiple stimuli in social networks, stores or movies. Of course, brain data is extremely delicate and can be manipulative if used inappropriately. If you can record and change neurons, in principle you can read and write people's minds. This is not science fiction. We are doing it successfully in laboratory animals. Says Rafael Yuste, director of the Center for Neurotechnology at Columbia University and who leads the BRAIN Project (Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies).  Yuste, together with 25 other leading scientists, signed an article in the Journal Nature entitled "Four ethical priorities for neurotechnologies and Artificial Intelligence". contributing greatly to the development of Neuroethics.    Currently Yuste is working with a great team of Neuroscientists advancing the inclusion of Neuro-rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations.   YouTube interview     LATAM taking the lead   Chile is leading Neuroethics in the region, including the Future Challenges Commission that exists in the Senate and is made up of Guido Girardi, Francisco Chahuán, Carolina Goic, Alfonso De Urresti and Juan Antonio Coloma. There a constitutional reform is being processed (N ° 13827-19) that creates Neuro-rights and integrates them into the Fundamental Charter, in addition to a bill (N ° 13827-19) that protects mental integrity and free will.   This has had international repercussions and Chile could be the first country to implement Neuro-rights:   ... the transition team of the president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden, contacted me to prepare a summary on these matters and they have also been impressed by the legislative effort that is being made in Chile, which they seek to replicate" says Girardi.    "Hopefully, by next January, it will be Chile's contribution to one of the main challenges for humanity, which is to establish a regulation that allows all the neurotechnology of the digital age to be for the benefit and not for the detriment of humanity," he added.  Advancing to this new world of brain-computer interface, legally and ethically framing the technology, will be the only way to enjoy the tremendous and revolutionary benefits of Neurotechnology for humanity. And it is the right way.   At Naxon Labs we understand that the only possible way to implement our technologies improving human life and without prejudice, is to ensure the safety, autonomy and freedom of people. So we follow the advances in ethics and Neuro-rights every day.   We invite you to see some of our developments: Explorer, Emotions and MindLace.   References:   Mind control: Toronto doctors regulate patients' brains from afar using electrode stimulation   Scientists urge UN to add 'neuro-rights' to Universal Declaration of Human Rights   The Vulnerable World Hypothesis 
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September 04, 2020.
Before Neuralink: we can already connect our brains
In recent days Neuralink, founded by Elon Musk, presented its advances and possible applications of the controversial brain chip that with thousands of high-tech electrodes will be able to (in the not so distant future) increase our cognitive abilities, cure neurological diseases of great morbidity and merge us with artificial intelligence in a concept that until recently was just science fiction, the symbiosis between humans and computers.   From the presentation, opinions of all kinds arose that show how much the great technological advances make us reconsider our worldview, and the big question: where are we heading with this Neurotechnological revolution that is here to stay and will have a great leap towards the mass public in 2021.   The expectations are enormous, the essence of the human being and its entire evolutionary history focuses on its brain capacity. While Neuralink’s team of experts led by Max Hodak is advancing by leaps and bounds, there is a great chasm of experimentation, validation and understanding of how neurons encode information before being able to load data directly into our brain through intracranial implants.   This is mentioned by Thomas Oaxley, CEO of Synchron, an Australian company that is also developing a system to insert brain probes. Oaxley says effective results should not be expected soon, as the technology is not advanced enough to achieve this. However, he believes that because Musk is willing to invest large amounts of money in his company, it will be "exciting to see what he will develop." And of course, it will be, the futuristic tech mogul seems to take things seriously. Neuralink’s brain chip Is it possible that Neurotechnology enhances our capabilities even before the arrival of Neuralink in the future? The answer is yes, and it is already among us: non-invasive EEG.   Thanks to the remarkable amount of comments that even behind memes showed concern about implanting something inside the brain, there was also several posts about non-invasive EEG (electroencephalography), we talk about portable EEGs that are gaining more popularity every day in the market through headbands, headphones or tattooEEG.   Neuralink is a promising Neurotechnology with a great positive impact on society, but it seems that we are not ready for this yet, it will take time, perhaps more than 10 years to achieve massive consent to place intracranial chips. Meanwhile, the entire society is left with the desire to enhance brain capabilities with artificial intelligence and this is exactly where portable EEGs come into play.    At this time, companies such as Interaxon, Emotiv, BrainCo and Naxon Labs are showing that society is ready to use headbands and wearables that measure our brain activity, enhance cognition and help fight mental and neurological disorders.   Connected only with bluetooth, without implanting chips and with a horizon full of possibilities that range from improving the ability to study or work, detecting when a driver is falling asleep, detecting emotions or accelerating the treatment of many mental and neurological problems on a scale never seen before before.   Interaxon for example, has created brainwave-controlled computing technology and applications that converts brainwaves into digital signals. They have an app that can be used with their hardware to train in mindfulness and meditation that can help you calm you down and reduce stress. Interaxon’s portable EEG device Naxon Labs on the other hand, provides software and data platforms that work with Interaxon’s Muse headset to offer an accessible, simple and low-cost way to record brain activity and mental states of the person and work with this data to meet the needs of academic centers, clinics and professionals. Naxon released recently the software Explorer, a system for professionals in the fields of Neuroscience, Psychology, Medicine, Engineering and Information Technology, formworking with brain data. At the same time, the company is working on Emotions, a platform for emotion recognition which promise to detect states like anxiety, relaxation, concentration, joy, anger or sadness in real time. The system can be used by mental health professionals to improve patient records for diagnosis and treatment, enable monitoring of patient progress, remote monitoring and therapy, improve the implementation of techniques for regulating mental disorders, and also allowing applications in various specific disorders such as ADHD. Naxon Labs’ Emotions platform In this way and as a collateral effect, Neuralink opens the door to curiosity about portable EEGs and sows a path towards the future with a society that will no longer be shocked by moving objects with a simple thought.
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June 09, 2020.
Will the future of EEG measurement be with tattoos?
Recently, "tattoo" electrodes have been developed to stick on the skin, used to measure ECG, among other biosignals. But now researchers are beginning to adapt these electrodes to the area where they are most expected: non-invasive EEGs. Although we are several years from the start of the actual implementation of this technology, its advance is going by leaps and bounds and will greatly boost the entire non-invasive Neurotech area, and with it the entire biosignal recognition market.   Francesco Greco together with researchers from the Graz University of Technology in Austria are in charge of the project.   "Researchers have developed ultralight tattoo electrodes that are barely noticeable on the skin"   Even small hairs could grow over these electrodes without affecting their function.   A very interesting fact is its complete safety to use with MEG (magnetoencephalography) since the use of EEG during this study is very limited today, due to the type of electrodes that must be used.     But not everything is rosy, there are still many challenges to overcome. One of them is the complexity of brain waves compared to other, simpler biosignals:   "Brain waves are in the low frequency range and the EEG signals are very low in amplitude. They are much more difficult to capture in high quality than EMG or ECG signals."   Among other things, it also adds its poor compatibility with very hairy areas of the scalp, essential to capture certain topographies.   Much remains to be improved and validated, but it seems that the future is promising for EEG tattoos or "Tatteeg".   Perhaps in 10 years you will be scrolling through articles like this with your mind, without even feeling the electrodes on your scalp…   Federico Romano – Co-founder Director – Naxon Labs.
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May 11, 2020.
Naxon Labs launches Brain to Computer Interface solution to explore the mind: Naxon Explorer
Montevideo, May 11th, 2020.   Naxon Labs, a company working with portable EEG technology to obtain neuronal information based on brain waves, officially launched today Naxon Explorer: a cheap and useful tool and neurofeedback system for professionals in the fields of Neuroscience, Psychology, Medicine, Engineering and Information Technology.   Explorer consists of an electroencephalography monitor adapted for portable EEG (Electroencephalography), in particular the Muse headset by Interaxon Inc.    With Naxon Explorer you can visualize, record and analyze brain activity with wireless EEG technology. It incorporates features to organize projects, clients or participants, at the same time you can attach notes, synchronize events and change parameters during recordings. Using this technology, you can save time with automatic blink and artifact detection and display in real time brain wave frequencies per channel or by average. The data captured can be downloaded for further analysis with tools like MATLAB, Brainstorm or EEG Lab. The device can be connected from a PC, a MAC or a tablet with Bluetooth.     To access the service, get your portable EEG and your account on the platform and you can start using it for USD 14.99 per month (or an annual payment with discount) plus one-time purchase of the hardware (USD 249), al taxes included. For those already owning a Muse headset all you need is the service subscription.    An upcoming update will integrate machine learning tools and automatic pattern analysis for analyzing EEG data and detect the presence of certain evoked potentials based on the events or stimuli marked in a session, and also training models based on input EEGdata that can then be used for practical applications.   “We want to open to the world the possibilities of researching the brain while betting on innovation on what the major current technology leaders agree is the 21st century next frontier: neurotechnology, an area that combines applied neuroscience, wearable technology, BCI, Cybernetics, biosensor development, AI and machine learning” said  the cognitive neuroscientist Leandro Castelluccio, MSc, Naxon Labs’ CEO and Co-Founder.   Through Chevening Scholarships, Leandro got his master in Cognitive Neuroscience in the University of Sussex, a leading research-intensive university located in Brighton, United Kingdom, where he got a lot of interest in leveraging information technology tools to have a better understanding of brain activity in patients. Currently Leandro also develops research activities at the Psychology School at Universidad Católica del Uruguay where he got his bachelor’s degree in psychology.   Explorer comes as a first release as the company works in Emotions, a second platform consisting of an emotion monitoring system that translates brain information into objective visual markers of states such as anxiety, relaxation, concentration, joy or sadness, among others.   About Naxon Labs:   Under the framework of Brain-Computer Interfaces, Naxon Labs is a company that works with portable EEG technology for the development of practical tools and innovative applications for Medicine, Clinical Psychology (Neurofeedback), Educational Psychology, Sleep and Well-being, Brain Research, as well as mind-controlled hardware and software technology.   Naxon’s team of professionals in the areas of cognitive neuroscience, psychology, neurophysiology, medicine, computer engineering and information technology, are realistic and committed to down to earth products that solve current real issues, always betting on novelty and generating differential proposals.   More information about Naxon Labs is available at www.naxonlabs.com E-mail:  contact@naxonlabs.com Montevideo, Uruguay
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April 17, 2020.
Join the BCI & Neurotechnology Spring School 2020
We’ll be joining one of the most significant BCI Meeting worldwide: the BCI & Neurotechnology Spring School 2020, consisting of virtual talks and keynotes by international experts. 5 days long starting next Monday 20th of April.   You can register for free at Eventbrite BCI.   Some of the keynote speakers:   Paul Sajda (Columbia University USA) Jose Azorin (University of Elche Spain) Milena Korostenskaja (Institute of Neuroapproaches USA) Nuri Firat Ince (University of Houston USA) Dean Krusienski (Virginia Commonwealth University USA) Tomasz M. Rutkowski (RIKEN AIP, University of Tokyo Japan)   Some of the subjects that will be addressed:   -Bci with eeg & other biosignals -Motor rehabilitation with bci -Invasive bci and brain stimulation -Bci with eeg/fnirs and hyperscanning -Brain assessment and unicorn brain interface   For more information go to: link   Naxon
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March 30, 2020.
Recent news in Neurotech
Find out the latest news related to neurotech, EEG wearables and neuroscience:  Neurotech in Sports: “The Head Should Always Be in the Game” Neurotechnology & Corporate Wellbeing? Yes, Please! Why we should develop neurotechnology. The brief history of neurotech: the origin of data reading, visualization, and brain stimulation technologies. The definitive guide to neuroexperience The Top Neurotechnology Devices of 2020 Ulster University pioneering ways to improve the treatment of patients with serious brain injuries Epilog – Medical-grade seizure monitoring from the comfort of home New electrodes can better capture brain waves of people with natural hair (Art) Night at the Museum
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March 30, 2020.
EEG, Smartphones and Pattern Detection
Brain-Computer interfaces or BCIs are booming, where new equipment and analysis techniques are seen every day for applications development.   Imagine a personal laboratory where, through a simple headband and a smartphone, you can record your brain waves, extract significant patterns automatically and apply that information to the activities or tasks you perform everyday.    In Naxon we are working to make this possible.   Through the combination of EEG sensors with smartphones, computers or tables, we offer new opportunities to obtain daily activity brain records. This is facilitated by the development of tools to interpret data and provide meaningful measures.   We intend to interpret brain activity quickly and efficiently to interact directly with hardware and software. It is common to work with motor activity to move a robotic arm, or to use brain information related to what a person wants to try to communicate without having the need to speak. Those are some of the applications of this type of technology. Currently in Naxon we are developing software that will allow us to obtain significant patterns in an automated way. From link An example is the event related potential "P300", a very studied pattern in academia, where several studies manage to detect it with portable EEG devices. It indicates, among other things, the registration of an unusual stimulus by a person.    Imagine being able to see how your brain responds to stimuli personally, with a laboratory on your smartphone. What until recently was extremely expensive, with the new technology and developments such us our work, we are making it possible for such applications to be available massively.
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March 30, 2020.
2019: the year Montevideo started the Neurotechnology Meetup Group
It was November 2019 when we decided to create a Meetup Group in Montevideo focused on neurotechnology and brain computer interfaces (BCI). The aim of the group is to promote, disseminate, update and encourage synergies between of companies related to the field.  The group caught attention, quickly captured +100 members and we ran the first meeting on early December 2019. In Parque Rodo area, Pyxis hosted the inaugural session in its high floor conference room with a very nice view of the park, the city and the river. Neurotechnology and Neurosciences are booming worldwide As host, Diego Sastre, Pyxis CEO, introduced the session giving the context of Pyxisportal initiatives related to wellness and people centered initiatives, which will have development in 2020 promoting ecosystems and synergies between companies. Leandro Castelluccio, psychologist, neuroscientist and Naxon Labs CEO, continued the session and gave an introduction into the topic, the state of the art and the developments being made in Uruguay with global projection. Leandro began by explaining how neuronal signaling uses energy, synapses, how we measure brain activity, different methods in cognitive neuroscience, to finally introduce BCI as a direct communication path between a brain and an external device. Using the Gartner technology maturity model, it was presented the current state of the art and the cases of invasive and non-invasive connections were presented. One of the invasive mechanisms is the one promoted by Elon Musk in his Neuralinkventure. This system faces competition from the Pentagon, which has funded research to develop robotic control systems that allow brain control of the prosthetic devices. Separately, researchers backed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have managed to create interfaces that allow quadriplegics to manipulate robot arms with skill. Rarely activity can be isolated in regions of the brain, such as the prefrontal lobe and the hippocampus. Then there is the question of translating the neuronal electrical impulses into machine-readable information. Researchers have yet to decipher the coding of the brain. The pulses of the visual center are not like those that occur when formulating the speech, and sometimes it is difficult to identify the points of origin of the signals. In a recent study published in the journal Nature, scientists trained a machine learning algorithm on data recorded from previous experiments to determine how tongue, lips, jaw and larynx movements create sound. They incorporated this into a decoder, which transformed brain signals into estimated movements of the vocal tract and fed them to a separate component that converted the movements into synthetic speech. The neuronal activity in the brain is random: it is stochastic, which means that the neuronal representation at the level of the individual neuron is noisy. This is just one of the reasons why we need to register many neurons to get a high fidelity reading. But Musk projects that the Neuralink system will eventually be used to create what he describes as a "[super smart] [cognitive] digital layer" that allows humans to "merge" with artificially intelligent software. “The restriction is input and output speed. What will ultimately limit our capabilities is bandwidth” In addition to Neuralink, invasive systems such as Neuropace, Paradomics and Synchronwere presented. Then, different non-invasive BCI initiatives were discussed such as Cognixion, CTRL-labs recently acquired by Facebook, BrainRobotics, NextMind, Neurable, Myndlift, Emotiv, Brainlink, Brainco, Bitbrain, Atentiv, Focusband, Starlab, Gtec, Dreem, Neurosky, Muse and the Open BCI initiative. These systems use electroencephalography, an electrophysiological monitoring method to record the electrical activity of the brain. It is typically non-invasive, with electrodes placed along the scalp. It is used in medicine for diagnostic applications.  Through the use of non-invasive electrodes in the scalp, the electric field produced by neurons is captured. Particularly, portable electron encephalography has lower costs, more versatility (it can be used in novel scenarios), the information is easier to read and interpret, has wireless connectivity and is easier to place and use. Exploring the mind and discovering emotions By developing SaaS platforms that work with a specific type of BCI known as portable EEG, Naxon Labs delivers useful information for professionals and consumers in general. Naxon Explorer is an electroencephalography monitor for portable EEG. It is aimed at academics and researchers. It has the advantage of low cost and has integrated AI tools and automatic pattern analysis. Naxon Emotions shows in a simple and objective way states such as anxiety, relaxation, concentration and other emotional states. It provides objective records of patients for diagnosis and treatment, monitoring the evolution of the patient, allows remote monitoring and therapy, and improves the implementation of techniques for the regulation of mental disorders. It has applications in various specific disorders such as attention deficit and phobias. These products use neural networks, multilinear predictive models and well-known brain patterns in academia. Anyone can use it without knowing about neurosciences.
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March 30, 2020.
7 Ted talks about Neurotech you must watch
1) In this first talk, Tan Le (founder & CEO of Emotiv, a bioinformatics company), one of the fist Portable EEG Technology Companies, shows us a computer interface that reads its user's brainwaves, making it possible to control virtual objects, and even physical electronics, with mere thoughts (and a little concentration). She demos the headset, and talks about its far-reaching applications. 2) In the following talk Tan Le show brain research that is something typically done in a hospital or lab, taking a look at a patient experiencing some sort of brain irregularity. Tan Le demonstrates how we can take a different approach to better understand the way the brain works in everyday situations. 3) Modern technology lets neuroscientists peer into the human brain, but can it also read minds? Armed with the device known as an electroencephalogram, or EEG, and some computing wizardry, our intrepid neuroscientists attempt to peer into a subject's thoughts. 4) Greg Gage is on a mission to make brain science accessible to all. In this fun, kind of creepy demo, the neuroscientist and TED Senior Fellow uses a simple, inexpensive DIY kit to take away the free will of an audience member. It's not a parlor trick; it actually works. You have to see it to believe it 5) You may remember neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis — he built the brain-controlled exoskeleton that allowed a paralyzed man to kick the first ball of the 2014 World Cup. What’s he working on now? Building ways for two minds (rats and monkeys, for now) to send messages brain to brain. Watch to the end for an experiment that, as he says, will go to "the limit of your imagination." 6) Two hundred million years ago, our mammal ancestors developed a new brain feature: the neocortex. This stamp-sized piece of tissue (wrapped around a brain the size of a walnut) is the key to what humanity has become. Now, futurist Ray Kurzweil suggests, we should get ready for the next big leap in brain power, as we tap into the computing power in the cloud. 7) As an expert on cutting-edge digital displays, Mary Lou Jepsen studies how to show our most creative ideas on screens. And as a brain surgery patient herself, she is driven to know more about the neural activity that underlies invention, creativity, thought. She meshes these two passions in a rather mind-blowing talk on two cutting-edge brain studies that might point to a new frontier in understanding how (and what) we think.