How the brain learns to distinguish between what is important and what is not

first_imgTraffic lights, neon-lit advertisements, a jungle of road signs. When learning to drive, it is often very difficult to distinguish between important and irrelevant information. How the brain learns the importance of certain images over others is being investigated by Prof. Sonja Hofer at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel.In a recently published study in Neuron, the neuroscientist and her team show that learning the relevance of images considerably modifies neuronal networks in the brain. These changes might help our brain to process and classify the overload of stimuli in our environment more effectively.How we perceive our environment greatly depends on what we have previously seen and learnt. For example, expert drivers do not need to think twice about the meaning of different road signs and are experienced in assessing traffic situations. They can filter out relevant information from a flood of other irrelevant stimuli and thus react quickly. In contrast, beginners need much longer to process the new information. Prof. Sonja Hofer’s team at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel and University College London addressed the question of how processing of sensory stimuli is optimized in the brain through learning. Pinterest Share on Twitter Email The brain learns to discriminate between imagesTo do this, Prof. Hofer’s team investigated the visual cortex of mice. This part of the brain is responsible for the processing and perception of visual stimuli. Mice ran through a virtual-reality environment where they encountered various images, one of which was paired with a reward. Within one week, the animals had learnt to discriminate between the images and to respond accordingly. This learning was reflected in the activity of nerve cells in the visual cortex whose responses were recorded and tracked over the course of learning. While the responses in the brain to the relevant visual stimuli were quite unspecific in beginner mice, many more neurons reacted specifically to the shown images after one week of training.Learning optimizes stimulus processing“From day to day, the response of the neurons to the images became increasingly distinguishable and reliable”, says Adil Khan, one of the two first authors.He speculates that such changes in the brain might also allow us to process important information from our environment more efficiently, and perhaps underlies our ability to react promptly to important visual stimuli. The scientists also demonstrated that diverse internal and external signals affect the processing of the visual stimuli.“We observed that the response of the nerve cells to the same visual stimuli became less accurate when the mice where engaged in another task, such as having to discriminate between different smells. The visual stimuli then lose their relevance and are no longer so effectively analyzed by the brain”, says Khan. “Remarkably, the expectation of a stimulus even before it appears, and the anticipation of a reward also altered the activity of specific brain cells. This means that from one moment to the next our brain might process the same stimulus quite differently depending on its importance and relevance.”Internal signals influence visual perceptionTraditionally it was thought that the visual cortex exclusively processes visual information. This study, however, corroborates that during learning also many other signals from various brain regions influence activity in this brain area. “This means that our previously learnt knowledge, our expectations and the context we are in can have a great impact on our visual perception of the environment”, explains Hofer.center_img LinkedIn Share on Facebook Sharelast_img read more

Wagenborg welcomes Easy Max

first_imgThe multipurpose ice-class vessel, commissioned by Wagenborg and affiliated members, has a cargo capacity of over 14,000 tonnes and a hold volume of 625,000 cu ft (17,698 cu m).Egbert Wagenborg, the first of the vessel series, was recently towed from the Royal Niestern Shipyard in Delfzijl, the Netherlands, and will be delivered to Wagenborg and christened this month. It measures 149 m in length and 15.9 m in width.Wagenborg will present a virtual tour on board the new type of vessel at its booth (Hall 4 – Stand 103) at Breakbulk Europe 2017.  www.wagenborg.comwww.niesternsander.comlast_img

Beleaguered solicitors highlight ongoing disclosure fight

first_imgCriminal defence solicitors have highlighted the full extent of prosecution disclosure ‘failures’ in a survey that attracted nearly 300 responses in the first 24 hours.The Criminal Law Solicitors Association, which has long challenged what it claims to be repeated failures by prosecutors to disclose information on time, has begun collecting examples from solicitors to present to the Ministry of Justice, the Criminal Procedure Rule Committee and the Commons justice select committee.The survey, which opened on Monday, has already attracted 400 responses. The figure is rising steadily, according to solicitor Robin Murray, association committee member and former vice-chair.Murray, founding partner at Kent criminal defence firm Robin Murray & Co, part of Tuckers Solicitors, said the findings show that  ‘it is actually the Crown Prosecution Service and the courts that are bringing the system of justice into disrepute’.He said: ‘The survey shows the Crown prosecution fail, on a daily basis, to do what the law requires them to, which is to serve the evidence so the defendant knows the case against them.’When these failings are brought to the attention of the courts time and again, the courts fail to hold the prosecution to account, which means either a waste of public money because cases are adjourned unnecessarily or, far more seriously, the defence are put under pressure to proceed without reasonable notice of recently served evidence.’Last year Kevin McGinty, HM chief inspector of the CPS, told the justice select committee disclosure was an ongoing problem. Barrister Richard Horwell QC, who investigated the collapse of a trial following the 1988 murder of Lynette White, said disclosure problems had blighted the criminal justice system for too long.One solicitor, responding to this week’s survey, said the Criminal Procedure Rules ‘are reduced to being a best practice document and a stick to beat the defence with’.Another was successful in obtaining a wasted costs order for their privately represented client, but said this was ‘not a practical remedy’ for the vast majority of defendants, who are legally aided.One respondent said: ‘The failure of the Crown to comply with their disclosure obligation is the norm. This leads to miscarriages of justice and defendants routinely acknowledge that the magistrates’ court is no place to get justice. This has now crept into the Crown court where the defence have to constantly fight to get disclosure… In nearly every single case I have at the moment, approximately 50, the Crown have failed to comply with their disclosure obligation and I’ve had to list the case for a mention hearing.’Another solicitor observed: ‘There is a culture of the courts giving the CPS the benefit of the doubt by constantly referring to financial pressures, or lack of staff. This is an excuse that carries no weight when you see the lack of funding and the work pressures on defence solicitors.’The CPS declined to comment.last_img read more

Drivers warned to buckle up, or face prosecution

first_imgLocalNews Drivers warned to buckle up, or face prosecution by: Dominica Vibes News – May 14, 2015 105 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring! Share Tweetcenter_img Share Share The Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force has begun enforcing traffic regulations as part of efforts to decrease the number of road traffic fatalities here.Statistics from the Ministry of Health indicates that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among young people aged 15-24 and is the third leading cause of death for those aged 25-44. As a result, on Wednesday 13 May 2015, officers from the Traffic Department prosecuted a number of drivers who were not wearing seatbelts as well as riders who were not wearing protective gears.Head of the Traffic Department, assistant superintendent, Robertson Laurent told Dominica Vibes on Wednesday, this follows the Traffic Department’s advocacy last week during Road Safety Week.Dominica celebrated Road Safety Week last week and police officers participated in radio and television programs and visited schools to inform citizens of road safety regulations.“Last week we had Road Safety Week and we have been encouraging people, sensitizing people to wear seatbelts and in the case of motorcycles, wear protective gear; helmets, etc”.“It is not a new law, this law has been in existence for quite a while and we are just enforcing the law,” Laurent stated. He informed that while it was “quite good” to see a number of people were wearing seatbelts, some were not compliant and as such “we prosecuted a few people”.“It is a road safety measure and we will continue to enforce the law in that regard, we are actually helping people to help themselves,” Laurent noted.If a driver or rider is stopped by a police officer for not wearing a seatbelt or protective gear, he can be fined up to two hundred and fifty dollars ($250).“A ticketable offence is a fixed penalty offence where the regulation makes provision for fixed penalty offences however, the seatbelt regulation is not a fixed penalty offence hence we are summoning people before the court, to answer to a charge,” Laurent explained.He said road traffic fatality is the sixth human killer in the world and the Traffic Department is “trying to bring awareness to the general public that all drivers, except those exempted in the law, should wear seatbelts for themselves and for their families, children”. In emergency situations, the law makes exemptions for police officers and firemen on duty but it does not exempt these officers when on personal business.last_img read more

Breakthrough CMOS Front End Module for 5 GHz WiFi Applications with Active Steering Technology

first_imgEthertronics is currently sampling the EC714 Wi-Fi Active Steering FEM solution to lead customers and early access partners, broad availability planned for Q3 2018. Reference designs and a demo of this CMOS FEM solution was shown at Mobile World Conference 2018 in Barcelona. Ethertronics has introduced a CMOS based Front End Module (FEM) with Active Steering for Wi-Fi at 5 GHz. The EC714 is the first 802.11ax CMOS Wi-Fi FEM with integrated Active Antenna technology, providing robust Wi-Fi RF performance and linearity required to support 802.11 ax/ac applications. Combined with Ethertronics’ patented Active Steering Antenna technology, this system provides 2x the performance and coverage benefits in a flexible, cost-optimized solution.The EC714 is the evolution of Ethertronics’ RF front-end and Active Antenna solutions portfolio and the world’s first product that combines high-performance Wi-Fi FEM functionality and Active Antenna support in a single integrated system solution. The unique combined capabilities of the EC714 provide an ideal solution for space-constrained Wi-Fi applications supporting 802.11ax/ac -class performance in challenging radio conditions.Ethertronics’ new EC714 Wi-Fi Active Steering FEM is based on a breakthrough CMOS architecture, enabling the integration of an 802.11ax -class Wi-Fi FEM design with an advanced Active Steering engine into a single ASIC. This unique system architecture enables the EC714 to provide the RF performance and linearity required to support next-generation 802.11 ax/ac applications, including support for 160 MHz channel bandwidth at MCS11 in 5 GHz frequency bands.EC714 5 GHz Wi-Fi FEM Features: Advanced CMOS architecture to meet the stringent performance and linearity requirements of next generation 802.11ax devices +18.5 dBm power output for high-performance 802.11ac applications (MCS9 / 80 MHz channel bandwidth) MCS11 / 160 MHz channel bandwidth support for high-performance 802.11ax applications Integrated Active Steering technology for up to 3dB of radio link margin gain with Ethertronics Active Antenna solutionslast_img read more

MPBL: Iloilo’s Escoto, Bacolod’s Javelona named in All-Stars clash

first_imgCedric Ablaza of Makati Super Crunch,JR Taganas of Bulacan Kuyas, Jeric Teng of Pasig Realtors, Dhon Reverente ofPasay Voyagers, Mark Benitez of Rizal Golden Coolers, Ato Ular of MarikinaShoemasters, Marwin Taywan of Navotas Unipak Sardines, Clark Derige of QCCapitals, Paolo Hubalde of Valenzuela City Cargo Solutions, Paul Sanga ofCaloocan Supremos and Jayboy Solis of Parañaque Patriots were named North All-Starreserves./PN Meanwhile, starting for the North All-Starsteam are John Wilson of San Juan Knights, Michael Juico of Pampanga GiantLanterns, Aris Dionisio of Manila Stars, Alfred Batino of Bataan Risers and JaiReyes of Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards. Escoto and Javelona, who are theleading scorers for their respective teams in the Lakan Cup, have been pickedby the South All Stars team head coach Donald Dulay as part of his reserves. Iloilo United Royal’s Richard Escoto. MPBL Other members of the South All-Starsreserves are Narciso Llagas of Sarangani Marlins, Alvin Pasaol of ZamboangaFamily Sardines, Ronjay Buenafe of Bicol Volcanoes, Allan Mangahas of Biñan City Heroes, Rodel Vaygan of Mindoro Tamaraws, GJ Ilagan ofMuntinlupa Cagers and Gerald Anderson of Imus Banderas.center_img MANILA – Iloilo United Royal’s RichardEscoto and Pao Javelona of the Bacolod Master Sardines have been selected to bepart of the South All-Stars team in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League2020 showdown at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City tonight. Joining Yee in the starting lineup ofSouth All-Stars are Jeff Viernes of Tanduay Batangas Athletics, Allyn Bulanadiof Basilan Steel, Gab Banal of Bacoor Strikers and William McAloney of CebuSharks. Two Negrense players are also part ofthe South All-Stars roster. They are Sagay City-native Mark Yee of the DavaoOccidental Tigers and Cadiz City-native Robbie Celiz playing for the GeneralSantos Warriors.last_img read more

Cavaliers – Jazz Photo Gallery

first_img Matt Loede has been a part of the Cleveland Sports Media for over 21 years, with experience covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, the National Football League and even high school and college events. He has been a part of the Cleveland Indians coverage since the opening of Jacobs/Progressive Field in 1994, and spent two and a half years covering the team for 92.3 The Fan, and covers them daily for Associated Press Radio. You can follow Matt on Twitter HERE. CLEVELAND – The Cavaliers and Jazz played a heck of an early season game at Quicken Loans Arena as Cleveland won their 7th straight in a thriller.Enjoy some sights from the game in our exclusive photo gallery from the Q! Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Related TopicsCavsJazzNBA Matt Loedelast_img read more

Isis Clarke – Jamaica’s first female track and field star

first_imgIsis Clarke-Reid is not a name that rings many bells and despite being one of the first women to represent Jamaica in track and field, she has never been recognised by her country for her role in the emergence of Jamaican athletics. Clarke-Reid, who competed as a 19 year old at the 1938 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games, will celebrate her 100th birthday tomorrow, November 18, and her immediate and remaining family members want this perceived slight to be corrected while she is still alive and can appreciate it. Described in Gleaner articles as a “champion” sprinter, Clarke-Reid, who now resides in Port St Lucie in Florida, suffers from dementia and is bound to a wheelchair. However, her memories of the emotions experienced, while representing her country has certainly not faded, as she reminisced on how privileged she felt all those decades ago. “It was great, great, great. I felt like a champion,” Clarke-Reid said. At just 19-years-old, the lanky and versatile sprinter, who competed in the 100 metres and 200 metres as well as the 80m low hurdles, formed part of a quartet, which included her friend Gertrude Messam, Rhona Saunders and Beryl Delgado, that won a bronze medal for Jamaica in the 4x100m relay at the 1938 CAC Games, which was held in Panama City. Jamaica would place fifth on the medals table that year with 22 medals. The war years would intervene and the Games were not held again until 1946 in Barranquilla, Colombia. Now 27 years old, Clarke-Reid’s quality and longevity were quite evident in Barranquilla, as she was the only member of the 1938 relay team that went on to compete at the 1946 edition of the Games. This time around she was joined by future Olympian, the legendary Cynthia Thompson, Hyacinth Walters and Cynthia Llewelyn. SILVER MEDAL FINISH The team raced to a silver medal finish behind Panama, in what would turn out to be one of Clarke-Reid’s last competition for Jamaica at a major championships after her move to the United States the following year in 1947. She first settled in New York and would later marry Richard Green with who she shared a son, Richard Jr. After her divorce from Green, Clarke-Reid later married a Jamaican, Fred Reid and the union bore another son, Carlton, who died in 1993; his father died a year later. Clarke-Reid’s first son, Richard, also predeceased her. Clarke-Reid, who attended the Half-Way Tree Primary School, was born in Kingston and lived in the Molynes Road area with her parents and four brothers. After leaving primary school, she attended the long-defunct Waltham College. Without a coach, Clarke-Reid and her brothers, including David, who would later become involved in coaching cricket at the national under-19 level, would work out at what they called Half-Way Tree Park. While still a teenager, Clarke-Reid was affectionately referred to as “Champion girl sprinter” according to Gleaner newspaper articles from 1938 and 1939 and in a caption on March 19, 1939 in which she was seen shaking the hand of the Governor Sir Arthur Fredrick Richards before departing to compete in what was then called the Pan American Olympics in Panama, Clarke-Reid was described as “a regular record breaker” in a clear indication of her abilities. Her influence also stretched off the track, where she championed for greater involvement of female athletes in athletics. GOOD FOR HEALTH “I am appealing to all those girls desirous of running in these sports to start now on serious lines of training. As an athlete, I can say that athletics are good for health. It is said by many that Jamaica possesses quite a lot of girl athletes even in the schools. I agree. But may I ask, why they are shy of taking part publicly in these games?” Clarke-Reid was quoted as saying in a March 1938 article in The Gleaner. A large part of the limited involvement of girls in track and field eight decades ago was cultural, as it was not seen back then as a female sport. Clarke-Reid, in an interview for an article published in 1992 in a newspaper in Port St Lucie, noted that her own mother only allowed her to train if her brothers accompanied her, noting that she was determined to make the best of it. Thompson aside, Clarke would have competed alongside other Jamaican legends such as Arthur Wint, Herb McKenley and George Rhoden. Former long-standing Jamaica Olympic Association president Mike Fennell hailed Clarke-Reid for her contribution to the development of Jamaican athletics. “I offer my congratulations to Isis Clarke on a wonderful innings and do recognise her contribution to laying the foundation for our (Jamaica’s) current status in the world of athletics,” said Fennell.last_img read more

Help put a smile on a child’s face this Christmas

first_imgLee Johnson’s side welcome the current league leaders Norwich City to Ashton Gate in a televised Sky Bet Championship clash (5.30pm KO) and the club’s official charity is asking fans to donate a present ahead of kick-off.The Trust will be running a stall in the Community Area – located inside VIP 3 of the South Stand – where supporters can donate new, unwrapped toys and gifts, which will be distributed to youngsters spending Christmas in the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.For security reasons, it’s important the presents are unwrapped when donated, but everything will be wrapped before being distributed on Thursday, December 20th.Fans unable to make Saturday’s fixture can still donate via the Trust’s official JustGiving page, or, gifts can be dropped into VIP 3 ahead of the deadline.All proceeds will be gifted to the local hospital and every donation, no matter how big or small, will help bring a smile to the faces of those unable to enjoy the festive season at home with their loved ones.To keep updated with this campaign, follow @BCCommTrust on Twitter.CITY v NORWICH TICKETSlast_img read more

Buko House in Leyte depends on people’s honesty for profit

first_imgTACLOBAN CITY – After Supertyphoon “Yolanda’ devastated Eastern Visayas, 72-year-old Ricardo Cortes Jr. or “Mang Jun” from Baybay City, Leyte, put up a small “buko” (young coconut) stand just outside his home and called it the Honesty Buko House for a reason. HONESTY BUKO HOUSE — Honesty is the best policy in buying young coconut from Mang Jun’s store in Barangay Hilapnitan, Baybay City Leyte. (PHOTO VIA MARIE MARTICIO/ MANILA BULLETIN)Mang Jun is not there to tend the buko store 24 hours. Thirsty travelers who want a drink of freshly harvested young coconut juice need only to scoop it from the containers or chop the coconut himself, and drop the payment on a PVC pipe. Believing in the honesty and goodness of heart of people despite the rampaging coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Honesty Buko House, located in Barangay Hilapnitan, is a self-service store serving its clients 24 hours. “May tiwala ako sa Diyos at sa mga kababayan ko dito sa Leyte. Nasa tao lang ‘yang kung magbabayad ba sila o hindi. Nasa konsensiya na din po nila. Nandiyan naman ang Panginoon nanonood (I believe in the honesty of the people of Leyte. So it’s up to them whether they pay or not. It’s up to their conscience. Anyway, God is watching over),” he said when asked why he decided to open an honesty store. “Mayroong iba na hindi marunong magbiyak na buko kaya kami na lang ang nagbubukas. ‘Yung iba gusto nila sila lang magbiyak ng buko at kapag walang tao sa amin sa bahay ihuhulog lang nila ang bayad sa PVC pipe. Sakto naman din ang bayad nila at open ang aming tindahan 24 hours walang sarado-sarado at nandoon na din sa tadtaran ang ‘Sundang’ [machete] (Some do not know how to open the coconut that’s why we do it for them. But others want to open it themselves. When no one is in the house, customers just drop their payment in the PVC pipe. They pay the exact amount. Our tore is open 24 hours),” he said. Mang Jun added that his only business is helping him send his youngest of eight children to school. He also sells papaya, banana, jackfruit, vinegar, shrimp, and other produce from his neighbors so he help them. Although his income has decreased from ₱400-₱500 daily to sometimes ₱100 due to the lockdown, Mang Jun is grateful that his business has started picking up as quarantine measures are eased in Leyte. A big coconut sells for ₱25, while a smaller one sells for ₱15. Joggers and bikers such as Vice Governor Carlo Loreto were inspired by Mang Jun’s Honesty Buko House. “Mighty nice to rediscover bits of inspiration and hope along the road. The Honesty Buko House of Mang Jun defies conventional business models. It depends on the honesty of people for its profit. No CCTV cameras or security guards or cashiers to make sure payment is made. Just a receptacle on which customers will drop their payments for the coconuts thus partaken,” Loreto shared. In the past weeks, the Vice Governor has been inviting biking enthusiasts in Baybay and its nearby towns to patronize the Honesty Buko House and help Mang Jun in his advocacies. A similar honesty store first became famous in Ivana, Batanes. Another honesty store was put up at the Manila Police District headquarters but eventually folded up. SIGN UP TO DAILY NEWSLETTERCLICK HERE TO SIGN-UPlast_img read more