Flick Mine, STAT: Scientists Create 'Off' Switch For Brain

April 29, 2014


Note: Picture is just some guy who glued a switch to the back of his head.

In great news for anybody who regularly stays up at night naming the mountains and valleys in the textured ceiling above their bed because they can't turn their f***ing brain off, scientists have developed a way to use light pulses to stop activity in certain parts of the brain. Personally, I want the whole thing turned off. I am talking LIGHTS OUT. Just smack me in the head with a hammer.

Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, which funded the study, said this improved "off" switch will help researchers to better understand the brain circuits involved in behavior, thinking and emotion.

"It creates a powerful tool that allows neuroscientists to apply a brake in any specific circuit with millisecond precision, beyond the power of any existing technology," Mr Insel explained.

This technique could help scientists develop treatments for patients with some brain diseases as it could allow problematic parts of the brain to be switched off with light and tackled with minimal intrusion.

You know how dogs and cats can fall asleep so fast? I wish I could do that. Like, close your eyes and you're asleep. I would be napping all the time. I would have taken a thirty second nap between that last sentence and this one. Sorry, I was just asleep -- now, where were we? "Same place as always -- five seconds away from you talking about your penis." It really is magical, isn't it? I'm surprised nobody has written a fairy tale about it yet.

Thanks to Thaylor H, who still turns her brain off the old fashioned way: with alcohol. Plus it's fun to do!

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