How Virtual Reality is Being Used to Deliver Mental Health Care

Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 10/11/2016

Through the use of VR (Virtual Reality), scientists seek to lower the cost and increase the availability of mental health care. They use VR technologies to help patients overcome their fears in a safe environment, by creating simulated situations that reproduce their fears. The availability of this treatment is increasing due to the lower costs of VR devices. The success of the VR experiments might potentially lead to higher quality and more accessible mental health care.

Can We Open the Black Box of AI?

Nature International Weekly Journal of Science, 10/5/2016

Scientists attempt to understand how computers think and learn in order to verify the reliability of large scale data analysis. This article covers several efforts in the last few years to understand how deep neural nets work. If scientists can understand how computers gather and interpret data in deep learning, these techniques can be used with more confidence, in day to day applications as well as in cutting edge scientific research.

Brain To Robot: Move, Please

ETH News/Globe Magazine, 9/17/2016

A new exoskeleton design seeks to lower the recovery time for stroke victims in rehabilitation. Researchers are investigating the exoskeleton design to observe whether patients can use their mind to perform basic actions with their numb limbs. The exoskeleton design provides a more natural path towards recovery through reintegrating the use of paralyzed limbs.

Big Pixel Initiative Develops Remote Sensing Analysis to Help Map Global Urbanization

UC San Diego News Center, 9/14/2016

An interdisciplinary research team developed a large dataset of 21,030 high-resolution satellite images of India labeled for whether they show built-up areas. The dataset can be used as input to algorithms for detecting urban areas; for example, the team used it to map urbanization in India. This allows scientists and governments to study changes in urbanization and industrialization over time.

Paraplegics Take a Step to Regain Movement

Duke Today, 8/10/2016

Patients using brain-machine interfaces to control robotic prosthetics, along with virtual-reality devices that simulated moving their own limbs, were unexpectedly able to regain some actual control of their own limbs, apparently reengaging their spinal cord nerves. Includes a short description of computational modeling of how the brain controls movement.