February 07, 2021.
COVID-19: not the only protagonist of the year 2020
The year 2020 will always be remembered, people will talk about it for the rest of their lives. It is impossible to forget that a pandemic stopped the entire world and forced every single person to get used to a new way of life. SARS-CoV-2, also known as Coronavirus or COVID-19, changed the world on every area; economics, politics, social and cultural life, medicine… and it also made a huge impact on Neuroscience.
Science was overturned and questioned by this virus, which led to many investigations and discoveries.
The Science field is thankful to COVID-19, it pushed scientists to investigate, interrogate themselves, do research and solve. This originated many discoveries that are now revolutionizing Neuroscience. Many advances were made, and at the moment, there are lots of projects aiming for a better world by making people’s lives greater, increasing their performances, health, wellbeing, education, among others.
As we said, even if Coronavirus was the protagonist of the year, other historical events happened. NASA accomplished a crucial mission that took two astronauts to the International Space Station and brought them back to earth. This allowed NASA to verify and reveal numerous findings on how space travel changes the human body to survive out of earth. One of those discoveries was the detection of a teeny-tiny CRISPR enzyme, which is revolutionary for the genome editing field. Some biological neurons got attached to two silicon-based artificial neurons, and others to dopamine, leading projects based on the brain functioning to another intensity, it enhanced AI.
Neuroscientists were forced to re-investigate on how people respond to feedback as they learn, inspired by the reinforcement learning algorithm.
But this wasn’t the only new finding, and neurofeedback wasn’t the only field benefited. Lately, Anti-Aging has been one of the dominating subjects on the neuroscience investigations. Fortunately, it was also one of the areas touched by these new discoveries. Neuroscientists were able to develop many more methods to prevent age-related diseases, just like memory, hearing or vision loss, or even to slow the aging process itself.
A drug that reverses the age-related mental decline was invented and tested on mice, showing promising results, such as the restoration of memory function after traumatic brain injuries, the reversion of cognitive deficiencies in Down Syndrome, or the fight against some types of cancer. This is possible because of a quick repair of youthful cognitive abilities in aged mice, and the rejuvenation of brain and immune cells.
So, all of this helped to explain and understand some of the brain operations, encouraging neuroscience to develop new algorithms, investigations, and methods to analyze the human brain. Naxon Labs was one of the companies who took advantage of this, and created Naxon Explorer, an intuitive platform for electroencephalography (EEG) analysis and processing. Basically, Explorer is a neurofeedback system, a platform integrated with machine-learning tools and automatic pattern analysis that records brain data. This instrument was made to easily explore the brain and help researchers in the areas of Neuroscience, Psychology, Medicine, Engineering, and Information Technology.
Explorer operates through the utilization of an innovative type of Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) to obtain neuronal information based on brain waves, which gets recorded in the software. The portable EEG equipment used for this platform has many benefits, such as the easy installation – due to its wireless connectivity-, which explains the wider accessibility and control of the environment of people with physical difficulties, and the fact that it can be used by medical, clinical and professional centers, schools and for mind-controlled applications.
In fact, last year also overturned education. Neurofeedback systems like Naxon Explorer are now helping to improve education in the effectiveness of teaching methods, on the students’ performances and their wellbeing: education is being personalized. This means that students can learn in different ways, according to their own level and learning mechanism, thanks to microlearning routines.
Also, just like education, the sports field is also being enhanced. Formula 1 teams are starting to form partnerships with Oura Rings, a wearable sleep tracker that collects data about the body, activity, and sleep. Their goal is to provide the Formula 1 team racers a better performance by optimizing their health.
This is just another example of how important portable equipment is being to analyze the human body.
But Naxon Labs is focused on brain analysis, and that is why Naxon Emotion is about to be brought to light. This is a platform that aims to monitor, classify, and provide feedback for mental and emotional states. Using Explorer as a basis, this new platform employs the algorithms and neuroscience integrated in the analytical software. This means that Emotion, by wearing the EEG portable device, will be able to read people’s emotions and cognitive states, and translate brain information into objective visual markers of states such as anxiety, relaxation, concentration, joy, sadness, anger, disgust or pain, among others. This platform will help to intensify objective patient records for diagnosis and treatment in mental health, allowing also to track the patient’s evolution, his therapy, and remote monitoring. This instrument is also going to allow psychologists and cognitive scientists to measure behavioral responses, providing real time feedback and speeding diagnosis.
Naxon Emotion could be useful as well in the marketing area, for example, by recording the emotional impact of a product on the consumer’s reaction to it.
To sum up, the year 2020 was a complete chaos but it left the world a lot of new discoveries and opportunities to change peoples lives for good. Science is improving and new methods to increase quality of human life are emerging. Education and Medicine are getting better, and the comprehension of the human body as well. That is due to the new platforms that are letting professionals and students to analyze the brain and its operations, just like Naxon Labs’ projects.