27 abril 2015

Information Via: http://ift.tt/19V5cyI On This Day in...

Information Via: http://ift.tt/19V5cyI On This Day in Psychology: A Showcase of Great Pioneers and Defining Moments.

Go Here –> http://ift.tt/1eWNk1f for free psychology info & resources.

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Monument on the Lexington battle green commemorating the men who...

Monument on the Lexington battle green commemorating the men who died and fought in this first battle of the revolutionary war.

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Space Station over Lunar Terminator

What's that in front of the Moon? It's the International Space Station. Using precise timing, the Earth-orbiting space platform was photographed in front of a partially lit Moon last year. The featured image was taken from Madrid, Spain with an exposure time of only 1/1000 of a second. In contrast, the duration of the transit of the ISS across the entire Moon was about half a second. The sun-glinting station can be seen just to the dark side of the day / night line known as the terminator. Numerous circular craters are visible on the distant Moon, as well as comparatively rough, light colored terrain known as highlands, and relatively smooth, dark colored areas known as maria. On-line tools can tell you when the International Space Station will be visible from your area.

from NASA http://ift.tt/1KmcckE
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The brains behind the ‘Aha!’ moment When you first move to...

The brains behind the ‘Aha!’ moment

When you first move to London it’s very common to quickly gain very detailed, even intimate knowledge of two or three locales, but not know how they are connected geographically.

It’s not until there’s a Tube strike and you have to cycle or take the bus, or for some other reason find yourself driving or walking with central London, that you suddenly realise that places you thought were separated by several sets of escalators and two Tube lines are only 15 minutes walk apart. It was only last week that one of us realised that Goodge Street is a short walk from Euston Station… and for years the other thought that Stratford, apparently due east on the Jubilee Line, was somewhere near Colchester…

A study published recently by Francis Carpenter and his colleagues at UCL shows how this kind of spatial understanding is represented in our brains.

There are several cell types essential for mammals to navigate. For example, there are direction cells, which fire when we are facing a particular direction; place cells, firing only in particular locations in our environment; and grid cells, which fire at regular space intervals as we move about.

Grid cells are the navigational stars of the Carpenter study. Discovered by May-Britt Moser and Edvard I Moser in 2005, grid cells provide us with an internal coordinate system that enables us to find our way. Grid cells live in the entorhinal cortex, a brain region associated with navigation and memory, and their firing rates are thought to help inform us how far we have travelled and the path we have taken.

Carpenter and his team monitored grid cells in rats’ brains. They found something very interesting.

First, they put rats in identical compartments joined by a corridor.

Then, while the rats were navigating around each compartment, the researchers monitored their grid cell firing patterns, using electrodes implanted in the rats’ entorhinal cortex to record the activity of individual neurons.

The researchers compared the rats’ grid cell firing rates between the two compartments. They visualised the rats’ grid cell activity in each compartment by creating grid cell activity maps which reflect the locations at which a grid cell fired as a rat moved about.

Initially, the rats’ entorhinal grid cells formed two similar firing rate maps: each map represented the rats’ neural responses to environmental cues in one compartment. The maps were almost identical because of the likeness of the two spaces. However, after some time, the similarity between the two maps decreased.

The researchers noticed that the grid cell firing maps in both compartments had changed to reflect a single continuous representation that spanned the two environments.

They theorised that when the rats understood the geographical relationship between the two compartments, their individual local maps became part of a larger, global map. When comparing the grid firing patterns recorded to idealised data for local and global mapping, these observations were confirmed – the local maps initially built by grid cells were slowly transformed into global maps of the rats’ larger scale environment.

In other words, the rats came to realise that there was a rodent maze equivalent of the secret staircase at King’s Cross

Carpenter and his colleagues speculate that the new map that was formed is permanent, allowing mammals to have this new information at hand when planning for future journeys.

But how do grid cells actually work?

Grid cells represent our location in space through a triangular coordinate system. Imagine the floor in front of you is tiled with a mosaic of interlocking triangles. As you reach the corner of any of those triangles, a particular grid cell fires.

The coordinate map that grid cells make up is composed of multiple layers, each with a different periodic distance between grid points. So the distance between points on each grid is fixed, but differs across layers. The combined information from different grid cells layers can then identify our unique location.

What could this mean for us humans?

For one, becoming aware of the short walk between two tube stations could merge two distinct neural maps of these different locations into a single global map of the wider area – perhaps enabling commuters to plan journeys more wisely in the future.

Grid cells cleverly link places up in our minds as we move between locations, and in this way may be vital to our navigation on a larger scale. As we are beginning to understand the neural representation of space, our understanding of the fundamental mechanics of the brain and how it computes complex information is growing.

Carpenter and his colleagues are now enthusiastic to study how our global maps are used to plan journeys and take shortcuts. Knowing that Westminster is really on the west and south of Waterloo is only part of it.

Carpenter F et al. Grid Cells Form a Global Representation of Connected Environments. Curr Biol 2015 In press. http://ift.tt/1A8x3BQ

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departing the moon, photographed by apollo 16, 25th april...

departing the moon, photographed by apollo 16, 25th april 1972.

14 frames from the mapping (metric) camera.

image credit: nasa/jsc/asu. animation: ageofdestruction.

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"We started out, but after 20 or 30 steps I had to stop. My breath became short, my heart pounded,..."

“We started out, but after 20 or 30 steps I had to stop. My breath became short, my heart pounded, and my legs gave way under me. An overpowering thirst seized me and I begged Yaeko-san to find me some water. But there was no water to be found. After a little my strength somewhat returned and we were able to go on. I was still naked, and although I did not feel the least bit of shame, I was disturbed to realize that modesty had deserted me … Our progress towards the hospital was interminably slow, until finally, my legs, stiff from drying blood, refused to carry me farther. The strength, even the will, to go on deserted me, so I told my wife, who was almost as badly hurt as I, to go on alone. This she objected to, but there was no choice. She had to go ahead and try to find someone to come back for me.”

- On August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb detonated directly over central Hiroshima, immediately killing around a quarter of the city’s population and exposing the remainder to dangerous levels of radiation. When the bomb hit, a hospital worker named Michihiko Hachiya was lying down in his home, around 1.5 kilometers (1 mi) from the center of the explosion. Both Michihiko and his wife were lucky to survive. The area of the city they inhabited saw a fatality rate of 27 percent. Just 0.8 kilometers (0.5 mi) closer to the center of the explosion the fatality rate was 86 percent. 
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The Most Amazing Computer

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(From Jhpiego)

(From Jhpiego)

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Unmasking the Secrets of Mercury

To learn more about the minerals and surface processes on Mercury, instruments aboard NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft have been collecting surface measurements since MESSENGER entered Mercury orbit on March 17, 2011.

from NASA http://ift.tt/1zeU37k
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GO Here –> excellencereporter.com for multiple...

GO Here –> excellencereporter.com for multiple reflections on the “Meaning Of Life”

Here’s my contribution –> http://bit.ly/MOLproject

How would you answer the question: What is the meaning of life?

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By the mid-1700s, the Asante Kingdom had unified the culturally...

By the mid-1700s, the Asante Kingdom had unified the culturally homogeneous region in what is today Ghana, and asserted its control over trade in gold, textiles, and slaves. Asante’s remarkable wealth and political vitality were symbolized by the extraordinarily rich art traditions propagated and sustained at the court by the king, or Asantahene. This is an Akrafokonmu, (“soul washer’s disk”) worn around the neck by court officials for symbolic protection.  Asante Kingdom, circa 1700s-1800s. 

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April 27th 1822: Ulysses S. Grant bornOn this day in 1822,...

Depiction of Lee's surrender to Grant (left)

Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885)

1885 engraving commemorating Grant's life

Inauguration of Grant, 1868

April 27th 1822: Ulysses S. Grant born

On this day in 1822, future eighteenth President Ulysses S. Grant was born in Point Pleasant, Ohio. Born Hiram Ulysses Grant, he joined West Point military academy aged seventeen; a clerical error listed him as Ulysses S. (Simpson - his mother’s maiden name) Grant, and fearing rejection from the illustrious academy accepted the new name. He had an undistinguished career at the school, and was not enthusiastic about a life in the military. Grant served in the Mexican-American War under future president General Zachary Taylor, though he had a moral opposition to the war he saw as being fought to gain new territory for the expansion of slavery. Struggling with alcoholism, Grant left the military for several years, but fared poorly in private sector ventures. Upon Southern secession and the subsequent Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, Grant was inspired to defend the Union and returned to the army. He won numerous victories and quickly became one of the most respected generals on the Union side, rising to the leadership of the Union forces. It was to Grant that Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, on April 9th, 1965. Grant was a popular figure in the Union, and during the presidency of the unpopular President Andrew Johnson, many Republicans saw Grant as their only viable option for a successor. Indeed, Grant was elected president in 1868, though his tenure was mired in scandal. Allegations of corruption plagued the Grant administration, and his use of federal troops to suppress the Ku Klux Klan and efforts to annex Santo Domingo in the early 1870s proved unpopular. In the 1872 election, Grant faced a challenge from dissidents in his own party - the Liberal Republicans - who allied with the Democrats and nominated editor Horace Greeley for president. Grant won another term, but the next election proved another defeat for his policy, as the disputed results ended in a Republican victory, but at the expense of the end of Reconstruction. Post-presidency, Grant published successful memoirs, and died in 1885 aged sixty-three.

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Volunteers search for needles and other drug paraphernalia...

Volunteers search for needles and other drug paraphernalia along Church Street in Austin, Ind., in April. The region has recorded 142 new HIV cases since December, according to the state, in an outbreak tied to injected-opioid use.

CDC Warns More HIV, Hepatitis C Outbreaks Likely Among Drug Users

By Anders Kelto

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that the U.S. epidemic of opioid abuse could lead to more severe outbreaks of HIV and hepatitis C nationally, much like the outbreak now seen in Indiana. A health advisory the agency released Friday outlines steps that state health departments and medical providers should take to minimize the risk of that happening.

A public health emergency has been in effect in southern Indiana’s Scott County since late March. According to the Indiana State Department of Health, 142 people have been diagnosed with HIV since December. Prior to the outbreak, the rural county hadn’t recorded more than five cases of HIV in a given year, and in many years it recorded none.

Indiana’s current HIV outbreak has been linked to the intravenous injection of oxymorphone, an oral painkiller sold under the brand name Opana. Abuse of the prescription opioid has been a common problem in southern Indiana for years and has affected many communities across the U.S.

A CDC report, released at a press conference Friday, shows that 85 percent of patients newly diagnosed with HIV in Scott County also have hepatitis C, which can be hugely expensive to treat.

The report also indicates that 75 percent of the infected patients are men, and about 25 percent of infected women are commercial sex workers.

(More on SHOTS: Health News on NPR

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