Message from Dr. Donald Stuss, President and Scientific Director of OBI

Of all the mysteries in neuroscience, memory is among the most heavily researched.  There is an important distinction between semantic( basic general knowledge; e.g., Paris is the capital of France) and episodic, or personal, memories (tied to time, place, people; e.g., last Saturday night, my wife and I had a fantastic dinner of mushroom risotto at a restaurant near the market).  Because episodic memory is personal, it is the connection to our past, and who we are now.  But it is also a core to our vision of the future. And the more salient and emotional the memory, the more it becomes embedded in who we are. Continue reading “Message from Dr. Donald Stuss, President and Scientific Director of OBI”

Updates from our Research Programs

OBI’s Integrated Discovery programs focused on cerebral palsy, depression, epilepsy, neurodegenerative disorders, and neurodevelopmental disorders now bring together over 200 core researchers and clinicians, 35 institutions, 40 companies, and 18 patient advocacy groups from across Ontario. Continue reading “Updates from our Research Programs”

Training for New Kinds of Neuro-Talent

Ontario is recognized as a world leader in brain research but the province’s healthcare system and economy have room to benefit from stronger efforts in science innovation.  An asset that is of critical value but is often overlooked is access to the right kinds of people—in this case, people that have the skillset to move scientific ideas into the marketplace. Continue reading “Training for New Kinds of Neuro-Talent”

Joining Global Discussions on Data Sharing

In OBI’s goal to improve brain health, research data are one of the basic building blocks.  Data are assets that hold value because they can be shared, analysed, and reused in different ways to support new discoveries and reduce the loss of resources. One opportunity to reuse data and uncover new insights is the linking of routinely collected population and healthcare data, or ‘broad’ data, with ‘deep’ research data (e.g., imaging, genetics, etc.).  To harness data’s full potential, OBI has developed several initiatives including an informatics platform, an international workshop, and internships to address linking and sharing data in new ways. Continue reading “Joining Global Discussions on Data Sharing”

Filling Gaps in Ontario’s Neurotechnology Sector with Phantoms

Imagine you are treating someone with a suspected traumatic brain injury—what if you could have a non-invasive look inside their brain to assess the damage and decide on treatment? Ontario-based Tessonics Inc. developed a device that could do just that, but the next challenge was how to properly calibrate the device to ensure reliable and consistent measurements. This question drew Adrian Wydra and Dr. Roman Maev of Tessonics Inc. into a partnership that would enable two companies to drive innovation in Ontario’s neuroscience landscape. Continue reading “Filling Gaps in Ontario’s Neurotechnology Sector with Phantoms”

Brain: The Ontario Story

This is the first thing you see as you enter ‘Brain: The Inside Story’ exhibition at the Ontario Science Centre. It is a metaphor— a reminder that your brain is constantly at work, sending signals through wiry fibres called axons that connect the 86 billion neurons and gives rise to everything you think, feel, and do. It is truly remarkable that the brain does so much, and this exhibition dives deep into how the brain senses, emotes, thinks, ages, and how emerging or existing technologies will change our brains in the 21st century. Continue reading “Brain: The Ontario Story”