We understand less about the human brain than any other organ of the body. However, this may soon change. GE scientists, working with top researchers and institutions around the world, are working to unlock new insights about the brain previously not possible. New tools and technologies that enable visualizing brain anatomy and function can give researchers new insights and a better understanding of treatments needed for brain illness or injury.
Among of the best visualization tools available today involves virtual reality (VR). VR refers to computer-generated “virtual” environments that simulate your physical presence within a software-created world, delivering immersive and lifelike experiences that seem quite real. Already beginning to revolutionize PC gaming, VR is poised to dramatically transform an array of applications and industries, including entertainment, business, education, communications, training, psychotherapy — and medical research.
“Visualizing the human brain in intricate detail in virtual reality is no easy feat,” notes Katrina Craigwell, Director of Global Content and Programming at GE. “It takes an incredible amount of computational horsepower to create the virtual world and ensure that you’re completely comfortable interacting within in. To power the experience, we’re using AMD’s next-generation GPUs which not only deliver the exception graphical detail we want, but also a number of optimizations via their LiquidVRTM technology that ensures that the virtual world feels every bit as responsive and natural as the real world.”
Combining the latest VR technologies with powerful AMD computing and graphics capabilities, GE scientists have created a virtual portal into the human brain, enabling anybody to enter, view, and explore the brain in ways never before possible. The Neuro VR Experience enables an interactive understanding of how GE scientists are breaking new ground in understanding how the brain works.
In GE’s Neuro VR Experience, viewers are virtually transported into Reuben Wu’s brain and are introduced to the inner workings of his mind – the interplay of billions of synaptic responses to sense and thought stimuli. This software-generated representation of Reuben’s mind simulates a physical presence within the universe of thoughts, desires, hopes and dreams contained within his brain.
Reuben is no stranger to the surreal. As an industrial designer, photographer, DJ, keyboardist and songwriter for the electro-synthpop band, Ladytron, the Liverpudlian artist captures and creates mind-bending auditory and visual experiences. His work not only stimulates the senses and elicits emotions, but also fuels new understanding of the grandeur of our natural environment and the imagining of what is possible. He has a beautiful mind, one that all will soon be able to explore through the latest in VR experiences.
As participants marvel at the intricate tapestry of intelligence, behavioral, sense and motion control centers that compose the masterpiece of the mind, they will also learn about the pivotal GE innovations that are propelling research into, and understanding of, the human brain. Enhanced visualization techniques, such as higher resolution and mobile magnetic resolution imaging (MRI) scanners, and integrated mechanisms to better analyze the volumes of data collected from brain research, are expediting the pursuit for cures to neurological diseases and disorders.
Offering a tantalizing virtual glimpse into the medical imaging and visualization advancements that will soon be reality, GE’s Neuro VR Experience immerses participants in a unique and visually stunning interactive journey through the wonder that is the human brain – the source of all qualities that define our humanity.
Sasa Marinkovic is Head of VR Marketing for AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.