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Feb 20, 2024

Study reveals how brain processes visual cues to guide cooperative behavior in primates

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Eye contact and body language are critical in social interaction, but exactly how the brain uses this information in order to inform behavior in real time is not well understood.

By combining behavioral and wireless eye tracking and neural monitoring, a team of Rice University scientists and collaborators studied how pairs of freely moving macaques interacting in a naturalistic setting use visual cues to guide complex, goal-oriented cooperative behavior. The study published in Nature offers first evidence that the part of the brain that processes visual information ⎯ the visual cortex ⎯ plays an active role in social behavior by providing an executive area ⎯ the prefrontal cortex ⎯ with the signals necessary to generate the decision to cooperate.

We are the first to use telemetric devices to record neural activity from multiple cortical populations in the visual and prefrontal cortex while animals explore their environment and interact with one another. When primates, including humans, interact, we make eye contact and use body language to indicate to conspecifics what we want to do.

Feb 20, 2024

How Our Brains Process Music

Posted by in categories: media & arts, neuroscience

Summary: Researchers unlocked how the brain processes melodies, creating a detailed map of auditory cortex activity. Their study reveals that the brain engages in dual tasks when hearing music: tracking pitch with neurons used for speech and predicting future notes with music-specific neurons.

This breakthrough clarifies the longstanding mystery of melody perception, demonstrating that some neural processes for music and speech are shared, while others are uniquely musical. The discovery enhances our understanding of the brain’s complex response to music and opens avenues for exploring music’s emotional and therapeutic impacts.

Feb 20, 2024

The Psychology of the Cosmos

Posted by in category: alien life

How the governing forces of the universe shape human and organizational life.

Feb 20, 2024

“Genomic Time Machine” Reveals Secrets of Human DNA

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, time travel

The human genome, a complex mosaic of genetic data essential for life, has proven to be a treasure trove of strange features. Among them are segments of DNA that can “jump around” and move within the genome, known as “transposable elements” (TEs).

As they change their position within the genome, TEs can potentially cause mutations and alter the cell’s genetic profile but also are master orchestrators of our genome’s organization and expression. For example, TEs contribute to regulatory elements, transcription factor binding sites, and the creation of chimeric transcripts – genetic sequences created when segments from two different genes or parts of the genome join together to form a new, hybrid RNA molecule.

Matching their functional importance, TEs have been recognized to account for half of the human DNA. However, as they move and age, TEs pick up changes that mask their original form. Over time, TEs “degenerate” and become less recognizable, making it difficult for scientists to identify and track them in our genetic blueprint.

Feb 20, 2024

Spatially reconfigurable antiferromagnetic states in topologically rich free-standing nanomembranes

Posted by in category: futurism

Topological antiferromagnetic states are generated and spatially reconfigured in free-standing crystalline membranes of haematite through strain design.

Feb 20, 2024

Construction and implementation of wide range parameter switchable chaotic system

Posted by in category: futurism

Yan, M., Liu, X., Jie, J. et al. Construction and implementation of wide range parameter switchable chaotic system. Sci Rep 14, 4,059 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-024-54458-2

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Feb 20, 2024

Ambitious survey of human diversity yields millions of undiscovered genetic variants

Posted by in category: genetics

Analysis of the ‘All of Us’ genomic data set begins to tackle inequities in genetics research.

Feb 20, 2024

I built an 8008 Supercomputer. 8 ancient 8008 vintage microprocessors computing in parallel

Posted by in category: supercomputing

I’ve done some videos lately on the 8,008 CPU, widely regarded as the world’s first 8-bit programmable microprocessor. Previously I built a nice little single board computer. In this video I connect eight of these 8,008 microprocessors together, designate one as a controller, design a shared memory abstraction between then, and use them to solve a simple parallel computing program — Conway’s Game of Life. Using my simple straightforward assembly implementation of Conway’s, I was about to show that the seven CPUs (one controller, 6 workers) worked together to solve the problem significantly faster than the single processor alone. The 8,008 debuted commercially in the early 1970s. It’s a physically small chip, only 18 pins, and requires a triplexed address and data bus. The clock rate is 500 KHz and the instruction set is fairly limited. Nevertheless, you can do a lot with this little CPU. For more vintage computer projects, see https://www.smbaker.com/.

Feb 20, 2024

New neuroscience research uncovers the brain’s unique musical processing pathways

Posted by in categories: mapping, media & arts, neuroscience

A new study by researchers at UC San Francisco provides new insight into how the brain processes musical melodies. Through precise mapping of the cerebral cortex, the study uncovered that our brains process music by not only discerning pitch and the direction of pitch changes but also by predicting the sequence of upcoming notes, each task managed by distinct sets of neurons. The findings have been published in Science Advances.

Previous research had established that our brains possess specialized mechanisms for processing speech sounds, particularly in recognizing pitch changes that convey meaning and emotion. The researchers hypothesized that a similar, perhaps specialized, set of neurons might exist for music, dedicated to predicting the sequence of notes in a melody, akin to how certain neurons predict speech sounds.

“Music is both uniquely human and universally human. Studying the neuroscience of music can therefore reveal something fundamental about what it means to be human,” said lead author Narayan Sankaran, a postdoctoral fellow in the Kavli Center for Ethics, Science, and the Public at UC Berkeley, who conducted the study while a researcher in the lab of UCSF’s Edward Chang.

Feb 20, 2024

“Beyond What’s Possible” — Webb Space Telescope Discovers Mysterious Ancient Galaxies

Posted by in category: cosmology

Our understanding of how galaxies form and the nature of dark matter could be completely upended, after new observations of a stellar population bigger than the Milky Way from more than 11 billion years ago that should not exist.

A paper published in Nature details findings using new data from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The results find that a massive galaxy in the early universe – observed 11.5 billion years ago (a cosmic redshift of 3.2) – has an extremely old population of stars formed much earlier – 1.5 billion years earlier in time (a redshift of around 11). The observation upends current modeling, as not enough dark matter has built up in sufficient concentrations to seed their formation.

Swinburne University of Technology’s Distinguished Professor Karl Glazebrook led the study and the international team that used the JWST for spectroscopic observations of this massive quiescent galaxy.

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