Press & News Reports

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ResearchGate, May 9, 2017

Why some still images trigger seizures


People with photosensitive epilepsy already know to avoid flashing lights. But seizures can also be triggered by still images. The visual patterns to blame can also cause migraines in those with general photosensitivity, and make even healthy people feel a little woozy. In order to work out why certain images have this effect, researchers conducted an extensive review of existing data on how patterns affect the brain. The findings could inform better building designs, making the built environment safer for people with photosensitive epilepsy, and more comfortable for everyone else. We spoke to one of authors, Dora Hermes about the work.
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EurekAlert, May 8, 2017

Why some images trigger seizures


In people with photosensitive epilepsy, flashing lights are well known for their potential to trigger seizures. The results can be quite stunning. For instance, a particular episode of Pokémon sent 685 people in Japan to the hospital. But seizures can be triggered by certain still images, too. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology on May 8 who have conducted an extensive review of the scientific literature think they know what it is about some static pictures that can trigger seizures.
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Gizmodo, May 8, 2017

Why Do Some Still Images Trigger Seizures?


“One particular type of brain wave...called a gamma oscillation, is particularly strongly driven by certain kinds of visual patterns,” Dora Hermes, lead author of a correspondence published today in Current Biology, told Gizmodo. A black and white bar pattern can induce these gamma oscillations in the brain’s visual cortex, the image processing part of the brain—and in an epileptic brain, the researchers hypothesize that the oscillations are linked with seizures.
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The London Times, May 9, 2017

Revealed: how parallel lines can give you a splitting headache


Scientists have said that ordered stripes might lead to migraines and epileptic seizures after they found that looking at pictures of them created a potentially damaging response in the brain. If the images have the effects they believe, they could provide a vital clue to helping some of the UK’s estimated 9 million migraine sufferers manage their condition.
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The Daily Telegraph, May 9, 2017

Stripes in modern life may trigger migraines and seizures, warn scientists


Stripes are ubiquitous in modern life, from City shirts and barcodes, to Venetian blinds and zebra crossings but a new study suggests they might be making us ill. Scientists in the Netherlands and the US have discovered that for some people, simply looking at vertical lines, either on a static image, or in real life, can trigger a neural loop of activity in the brain.
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NEUROSCIENCE NEWS May 8, 2017

Why Some Images Trigger Seizures


In people with photosensitive epilepsy, flashing lights are well known for their potential to trigger seizures. The results can be quite stunning. For instance, a particular episode of Pokémon sent 685 people in Japan to the hospital. But seizures can be triggered by certain still images, too. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology on May 8 who have conducted an extensive review of the scientific literature think they know what it is about some static pictures that can trigger seizures.
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Stanford News, June 23, 2015

Building a Brain


Computers will one day match our own mental agility; learning, navigating and performing complex interactions all on scant power. But getting to that point will require neuroscientists and engineers to reverse engineer our least understood organ—the brain.
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Stanford Medicine News, May 26, 2015

For big data to help patients, sharing health information is key, experts say


“It shouldn’t just be that you just give up your career to do a good thing,” said Brian Wandell, PhD, professor of psychology. “We need to find ways of giving credit to young researchers who’ve compiled huge data sets — for example, letting those researchers retain user rights for their primary data.”
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The Scientist, November 20, 2014

Brain Structure Rediscovered


First described in the late 19th century, then lost from the literature for more than 100 years, the vertical occipital fasciculus appears to be important in visual processing.
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Stanford Report, November 20, 2014

A brain-imaging discovery by Stanford scientists resolves a century-old argument


Results from a brain-imaging study led scientists into a medical mystery going back to 1881, involving a disputed brain pathway discovered by one scientist and ignored by others. The team rediscovered the pathway's original publication in texts in the basement of Lane Medical Library and traced the structure's contentious scientific history.

KNOW.ORG, November 17, 2014

Scientists Discover Secret Corridor Of Brain, Lost For 100 Years


The first schematics of this lost part of the brain in monkey and human. Researchers today have found that this area, called the vertical occipital fasciculus, stems from the brain's visual processing system.

Stanford Report, September 17, 2014

Stanford scientists track the rise and fall of brain volume throughout life


Stanford scientists have shown how the brain changes throughout life, and created a standard curve that can be used to assess whether patients are maturing and aging normally. This resource could help diagnose or monitor people with mental health conditions, learning delays or other diseases.

Stanford Report, September 10, 2014

Stanford scientists map white matter connections within the human brain


Roughly 100 trillion connections between neurons make it possible for the brain to function. Psychology Professor Brian Wandell's group has devised a technique for mapping these connections with greater accuracy than ever before.

Stanford Report, November 4, 2013

Quantity, not just quality, in new Stanford brain scan method


Researchers used magnetic resonance imaging to quantify brain tissue volume, a critical measurement of the progression of multiple sclerosis and other diseases.

Reuters News, Tuesday, 25 Dec, 2012

Brain scans predict child’s reading ability


Researchers at Stanford University have developed a method to predict a child's ability to learn to read. By studying MRI scans to track brain development, the researchers say they can identify struggling students earlier and offer the help they need to improve. Ben Gruber reports.

Stanford Report, October 10, 2012

Brain scans can predict children's reading ability, Stanford researchers say


New research can identify the neural structures associated with poor reading skills in young children, and could lead to an early warning system for struggling students.

Nature News, October 8, 2012

Brain connectivity predicts reading skills


Children could benefit from personalized lessons based on brain scans. The growth pattern of long-range connections in the brain predicts how a child’s reading skills will develop...

Education Week, October 8, 2012

Brain Scientists Seek Developmental Sweet Spot for Learning to Read


Could a brain scan one day be added to the normal developmental measures children receive at the pediatrician's office before starting school?

Stanford Report, September 14, 2011

Stanford researchers show that there's more than one way to read - with implications for reading disorders


Motion, not just the black-and-white contrast of the printed word, can help us recognize words, and thus to read.

Stanford Report, March 18, 2010

From volcanoes to cancer cures, stimulus funds support a wide range of research at Stanford


The SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has received the lion's share of recovery act awards, with $90.2 million in funding, followed by the School of Medicine, with $63.1 million, and the School of Humanities and Sciences, with $20.1 million.

KQED - Quest Audio Report, March 1, 2010

Teaching the Brain To See


Thanks to stem cells and other cutting-edge technologies, doctors hope they may one day be able to restore sight to people who were born without it, or lost it, later in life. But a rare case here in the Bay Area suggests that curing blindness may be more than meets the eye.

Stanford Report, January 13, 2010

Stanford scientists link brain development to chances of recovering vision after blindness


Mike May lost his vision when he was 3, just as his brain was learning how to interpret images. Had his blindness happened when he was older and his brain was more formed, he might have had a better chance of seeing again after eye surgery.

KQED - Quest Report, September 18, 2007

Watching the Brain at Work: MRIs and Beyond


The human brain was once a black box, but scientists are finding ways to peer inside and explore some of our most complicated thought processes. Using MRI scanners in innovative ways, Stanford scientists are learning how children's brains process words when they read.