Category Archive for: Technology

study brain

Lab-Coated Muggles Use Harry Potter to Study Brain

study brainHarry Potter faces the bully Malfoy swoops about on his broom and eventually runs into a three-headed dog. Brain activity the best excerpt from the youthful magician’s many experiences to give scientists’ topics for they examining it while reading.

Reading that section of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” activates a number of the exact same areas in the mind that individuals use to perceive actual people’s activities and motives. Scientists subsequently map as a healthy brain reads what it does.

The research reported Wednesday has consequences for analyzing reading ailments or healing from a stroke. A team from Carnegie Mellon University was pleasantly surprised the experiment really worked.

Most neuroscientists have monitored the way the brain processes sentence or a single word, looking for hints to dyslexia or language development by focusing on one facet of reading at an amount of time. But reading a narrative needs multiple systems working at once: understanding letters form a word, realizing grammar and the definitions, keeping up with the characters’ relationships, as well as the plot twists.

Quantifying all that action is outstanding, said Georgetown University neuroscientist Guinevere Eden, who helped leader brain-scan studies of dyslexia but was not involved in the work that was new.

“It offers a much richer way of thinking about the reading brain,” Eden said, calling the job “really intelligent and incredibly exciting.”

No turning pages inside a brain-scan MRI machine; you must lie. So at Carnegie Mellon, eight adult volunteers saw for almost 45 minutes as each word of Chapter 9 of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” was flashed for half a second on a display in the scanner.

Why that chapter? It’s a lot of activity and emotion, however there is not too much going on for scientists to monitor, said lead researcher Leila Wehbe, a Ph.D. scholar.

The research team created a computerized model of the brain process involved with distinct reading procedures and examined the scans, second by second. The research was released by the journal PLoS One.

“For the very first time in history, scientists can do things like have you read a narrative and see where in your brain the nerve action is occurring,” said senior writer Tom Mitchell, manager of Carnegie Mellon’s Machine Learning Section. “Not only where are the neurons firing, but what advice is being coded by those distinct neurons.”

Wehbe had the notion to study reading a narrative instead of simply words or phrases.

But incredible attempt was taken by parsing the brain process. For each word characteristics were identified by the researchers? The amount of letters, the part of speech, whether it was connected with emotion or activity or a character or dialogue. Subsequently the character or action used computer programming to assess brain patterns related to those characteristics in every four-word stretch.

The character or action saw some complicated interactions.

For instance, the brain area that processes the characters’ point of view is the one we utilize to perceive motives behind actual people’s activities, Wehbe said. An area that we use to interpret other people’s emotions helps decipher characters’ emotions.

That implies we are using fairly high level brain functions, not only the semantic notions, but our previous experiences, as we get lost in the narrative, she said.

A related study using more rapid brain-scan techniques demonstrates that much of the nerve action is all about the story’s history up to that point, as opposed to deciphering the present word, Mitchell included.

74 percent precision which of two text passages fits a pattern of neurological action can be distinguished with by the team’s computer model, he said, calling it a beginning step as research workers tease apart what the brain does when someone reads.

Counties

9 Counties That Won’t Meet New Ozone Standard

CountiesThe Obama government is suggestion stricter emissions limitations on ozone, a pollutant that results in smog and is linked to respiratory illness and asthma. The proposition calls for new ozone limitations of between 65 parts per billion and 70 parts per billion, together with the last amount to be set.

Due to emissions regulations and existing pollution controls, the Environmental Protection Agency projects that all but nine counties are placed without taking any additional measures to satisfy the standard of 70 parts per billion in 2025. That list excludes California, which is on an alternate timeline because its unique geography has caused smog amounts that surpass those in most of the U.S.

In Texas, five are of the nine counties beyond California, two are in Connecticut, and one each in New York and Maryland:

? Brazoria County (Texas)

People: 329,137

Projected air quality in 2025: 74 parts per billion

? Harris County (Texas)

People: 4,259,951

Projected air quality in 2025: 74 parts per billion

? Dallas County (Texas)

People: 2,415,058

Projected air quality in 2025: 71 parts per billion

? Tarrant County (Texas)

People: 1,884,216

Projected air quality in 2025: 75 parts per billion

? Denton County (Texas)

People: 710,841

Projected air quality in 2025: 72 parts per billion

? Hartford County (Maryland)

People: 249,324

Projected air quality in 2025: 72 parts per billion

? New Haven County (Connecticut)

People: 862,947

Projected air quality in 2025: 71 parts per billion

? Fairfield County (Connecticut)

People: 926,110

Projected air quality in 2025: 73 parts per billion

? Suffolk County (New York)

People: 1,500,247

Projected air quality in 2025: 74 parts per billion

law and order

Lawmakers May Decide Uber’s Place in Nevada Market

law and orderUber Technologies’ legal fight Nevada’s highly controlled cab business over Internet ride-sharing may be headed back to the political arena that a judge has at least briefly prohibited Uber’s unlicensed businesses statewide.

Whether his restraining order put the brakes on an unregulated transport service, or pulled the plug on emerging technology, is among the questions lawmakers could be left to determine if Uber can not convince state regulators to find a means to wed its virtual universe with the actual one on the Las Vegas Strip and the roads of Reno.

Uber says it is the victim of overzealous enforcement of antiquated laws which never imagined smartphones that could “e-hail” transport on demand. It is not clear whether any bills that will change the regulations are in the works. None of the simple outlines of the hundreds of bills state agencies and lawmakers have requested so far mention ride-sharing.

The organization said that it briefly ceased offering rides of the opinion in Nevada as an effect.

“It is unlucky that Nevada is the first state in the country to briefly suspend Uber,” company spokeswoman Eva Behrend said in an e-mailed statement.

Nevada’s attorney general says the multibillion-dollar business finds itself in park because it intentionally broke the law to optimize gains as long as it could and thumbed its nose at regulators.

Uber refused as it maintains it is a technology business, not a motor carrier to seek the permits.

Chief Deputy Attorney General Gina Session indicated the company might have been deciding a fight in court ” to get focus before the legislative session and get some impetus.”

“Uber’s strategy will be to begin operations in open breach of the law in the hope a groundswell of public opinion will override the regulatory concerns,” Gina told Washoe District Court Judge Scott Freeman. Gina said the firm acquiesced in consenting to regulation elsewhere, including Maryland, South Carolina and Nebraska.

“When it needs to, it can work with regulatory supervision,” Gina said. “Why not in Nevada? Are we the Wild, Wild West?”

Freeman said he believes he understands why.

“They can save lots of cash if the judge let them work without regulation since I discover they’re not a common carrier,” the judge said during a nearly seven-hour hearing late Tuesday.

At one point, the judge directly questioned Uber officials to the witness stand regarding why they suddenly left discussions with the state and found in Nevada Oct. 24 without any regulatory authority.

“Talks were underway,” the judge said. “Two days later, all heck breaks loose.”

“Or paradise,” Uber lobbyist John Griffin countered, “depending on your own viewpoint.”

From the consumers’ standpoint, Uber says its Internet application fitting riders with motorists using private automobiles is more efficient, more economical and much more accessible, particularly in underserved areas.

Uber asserts its service isn’t public as it is accessible exclusively to “members of the online community ? in sharp comparison to a taxi driver who only happens to be picking up actually anybody on the road,” Uber attorney Donald Campbell said.

The state differs.

“Only because you do not wait on the curb does not mean you are not accessible to the people,” Session said.

Before the opinion, Campbell proposed Uber may take another strategy going forward while it is in the statehouse or the courthouse.