Robots are better than humans in recognizing individual neurons

The brain is a delicate machine, and scientists continue to look for technology to make it easier and safer to study. In the field of brain surgery, we have smart scalpels that can differentiate tumor cells from healthy tissue, VR glasses, and the like.
Now engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have published a research paper describing the use of robots that can record electrical signals to single neurons in the brain. Until now, neurologists have relied heavily on a complex technique that requires invasive neuronal membrane excision and takes months of training before it can be applied to a living brain. The new MIT system uses computer algorithms to analyze images from a microscope, then directs a robotic hand to the desired neuron. All this makes study of single neurons much easier - scientists can understand how they interact with each other, what creates cognition, sensory perceptions and other important brain functions. "Knowing how neurons communicate is fundamental to clinical neurology," says one of Ed Burden's authors. "Our hope is for this technology to help understand what is happening inside the cage and to use this information to treat various diseases."

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