In Pictures: Portlaoise primary school bursting with colour for a good cause

first_img Previous articleIn Pictures: New enhancement scheme launched for PortlaoiseNext articleKelly kicks Graiguecullen on to minor ‘B’ glory Siun Lennonún Lennon joined LaoisToday in a full-time capacity after studying Journalism and New Media in the University of Limerick. She hails from Rosenallis and her interests vary from news, sports and politics. Charlie Flanagan on Electric Picnic: ‘I’d ask organisers to consult with community leaders’ By Siun Lennon – 12th October 2018 Home Lifestyle In Pictures: Portlaoise primary school bursting with colour for a good cause LifestyleOut and About Pinterest Five Laois monuments to receive almost €200,000 in government funding Community Council Twitter TAGSAlan MulhallGaelscoil PortlaoiseRainbows Ireland Facebook WhatsAppcenter_img WhatsApp Facebook Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR New Arles road opens but disquiet over who was invited to official opening In Pictures: Portlaoise primary school bursting with colour for a good cause Pinterest A blast of colour went off in Gaelscoil Phortlaoise today as they raised funds for a very worthy cause.The pupils and teachers at the school had their colourful non-uniform day and raised €650 for Rainbows Ireland.Two teachers in the school volunteer with Rainbows Ireland, which works to help children and young people who have experienced a significant loss in their lives.This has helped the Mulhall family in Portlaoise to deal with the tragic sudden death of the late Alan Mulhall.Alan, who worked as an electrician, was killed in a workplace accident while working in Dublin last November.Alan and his wife Vikki have four young children – two sets of twins, three boys and one girl. Their two oldest, Sean and Jamie, are now in second class, and have been receiving the support of Rainbows Ireland in their school, Gaelscoil Phortlaoise.Memorial walk for AlanVikki began organised what originally started out as a walk/run in memory of her late husband on what would be his 35th birthday, which has since turned into a fundraiser for Rainbows Ireland.“I suppose when I saw how much feedback there was on Facebook – the shares, the likes, I thought that I should fundraise for something and give something back,” Vikki told LaoisToday.“Rainbows has been the only group I’ve been involved in for the kids so I said I’d do it for them. The school were very forthcoming in offering it up to us and telling us about it,” she said.Those who wish to attend the walk/run event in can meet in Emo GAA field on Sunday, October 14, with the walk beginning at 12pm.There is also a GoFundMe account set up where people can donate.That has already raised over €2,000 and Vikki thanked everyone who has donated this way so far.She said: “I’d also like to thank everyone who has taken the time to make a donation online. Their support has been overwhelming.” SEE ALSO – Professional advice on ways to look after your mental health Community last_img read more

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