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Monday, February 29, 2016

Intelligence And Memory Shaped By Individual Differences In Brain

Intelligence And Memory Shaped By Individual Differences In Brain
MessageToEagle.com  February 26, 2016 Mind & Brain  0 Comments


MessageToEagle.com – Everyone has a different mixture of personality traits: some are outgoing, some are tough and some are anxious.

Now, researchers have focused on understanding how intelligence is shaped by individual differences in brain structure and function.

A new study suggests that brains also have different traits that affect both anatomical and cognitive factors, such as intelligence and memory.

MRI image of brain (stock image). Postdoctoral researcher Patrick Watson studied the relationship between individual brain differences and cognitive abilities. Credit: © highwaystarz / Fotolia
MRI image of brain (stock image). Postdoctoral researcher Patrick Watson studied the relationship between individual brain differences and cognitive abilities. Credit: © highwaystarz / Fotolia

For years, cognitive neuroscientists have tried to find relationships between specific areas of the brain and mental processes such as general intelligence or memory.

Now, Barbey and his team measured the size and shape of features all over the brain.

“We were able to look at nerve fiber bundles, white-matter tracts, volume, cortical thickness and blood flow,” said Patrick Watson, a postdoctoral researcher at the Beckman Institute and first author of the paper. “We also were able to look at cognitive variables like executive function and working memory all at once.”

Using a statistical technique called independent component analysis, the researchers grouped measures that were related to each other into four unique traits. Together, these four traits explained most of the differences in the anatomy of individuals’ brains.

The traits were mostly driven by differences in brain biology, including brain size and shape, as well as the individual’s age. The factors failed to explain differences in cognitive abilities between people.

The researchers then examined the brain differences that were unexplained by the four traits. These remaining differences accounted for the individual differences in intelligence and memory.

“We were able to identify cognitive-anatomical characteristics that predict general intelligence and account for individual differences in a specific brain network that is critical to intelligence, the fronto-parietal network,” study leader Aron K. Barbey, University of Illinois neuroscience professor said in a press release.

The four traits reported in this study are a unique way to examine how brains differ between people. This knowledge can help researchers study subtle differences linked to cognitive abilities, Watson said.

“Brains are as different as faces, and this study helped us understand what a ‘normal’ brain looks like,” Watson said. “By looking for unexpected brain differences, we were able to home in on parts of the brain related to things like memory and intelligence.”
The results are published in the journal NeuroImage.



Sunday, February 28, 2016

Stargazer Sees Milky Way and 5 Planets Dance in the Night Sky (Photo)


Credit: Matt Smith



Stargazer Sees Milky Way and 5 Planets Dance in the Night Sky (Photo)
By Nina Sen, Space.com Contributor | February 23, 2016 03:43pm ET

        
           
The Milky Way and five planets in one stunning image took some patience, but paid off handsomely for skywatcher Matt Smith. The image was taken from Carthage, Texas on February 10, 2016.


The Milky Way and five planets in one stunning image took some patience, but paid off handsomely for skywatcher Matt Smith.

"I knew that I wanted to get the planetary alignment and try to get the Milky Way as well. I finally had my opportunity and found a location with a great view of the Southeast," Smith wrote in an email to Space.com. He took the amazing image from Carthage, Texas on Feb. 10.

On the far right in the trees you can see the bright dot of Jupiter. Further left you can make out rust colored Mars and above the core of the Milky Way you can see Saturn.
Below the core, Venus shines bright, with Mercury near the first rays of sunrise.

Dust off your spiral arms and fatten up your bulge — it's time to tap into your inner galaxy to test your smarts about the Milky Way. Our home in space is a strange and wondrous place that scientists are still trying to figure out. See what you know!

The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy , meaning multiple "arms" sprout from a central region and then swirl around it, like streams of water spiraling down a drain. It stretches between 100, 000 and 120,000 light-years in diameter. It is estimated that the galaxy has approximately 400 billion stars.

To see more amazing night sky photos submitted by Space.com readers, visit our astrophotography archive.

Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky photo you'd like to share with us and our news partners for a possible story or gallery, send images and comments in to spacephotos@space.com.
Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom. We're also on Facebook and Google+. Original story on Space.com.

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Send your computer code into space with astronaut Tim Peake

Send your computer code into space with astronaut TimPeake
by Staff Writers
London, UK (SPX) Feb 22, 2016


The UK Space Agency, ESA, and the Raspberry Pi Foundation have announced a second competition for UK school children to write code that will fly with Tim Peake on the International Space Station.

Last year, leading UK space organisations joined forces with British ESA Astronaut Tim Peake and Raspberry Pi Foundation to offer students a chance to code their own computer science experiments to be run in space. Two augmented Raspberry Pi computers, called Astro Pis, have been flown to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of Tim's mission. They are each equipped with different cameras and a range of sensors that the students can use in a wide variety of experiments. By making the Astro Pi available to students, they have a unique opportunity to work with the same hardware that Tim Peake is using on the ISS.

STATION NEWS -- Russians spacewalk to retrieve biological samples by Daniel Uria


Moscow (UPI) Feb 3, 2016

 
disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Two Russians cosmonauts went on a spacewalk Wednesday to retrieve and replace biological samples from outside the International Space Station.

Cosmonauts Yuri Malenchenko and Sergey Volkov set out to retrieve the samples that had been kept outside of the space station for seven years and put new science trays in their place.

The samples are part of the European Space Agency's Expose-R experiment which tests the effects of radiation, microgravity and extreme temperatures on different organic molecules in the vacuum of space.

British astronaut Tim Peake and American Tim Kopra attempted a spacewalk on Jan. 15, but the mission was cut short after water leaked into Kopra's helmet. The cosmonauts use different suits so a similar problem is not expected to occur.

NASA hosted a livestream of the mission, which began with the cosmonauts releasing a flash drive that contained videos and messages regarding the 70th anniversary of Russia's Victory Day.


During the 5 1/2-hour mission the two were also tasked with testing a new glue for use on the station's exterior and installing gap spanners to allow easier movement for crew members on future spacewalks.

STATION NEWS: After nearly a year in space, Scott Kelly craves human contact


By Kerry SHERIDAN
Miami (AFP) Feb 26, 2016
 

After nearly a year in space, US astronaut Scott Kelly craves the simple pleasures of human contact, a shower, and a splash in a swimming pool.

Kelly and his Russian counterpart Mikhail Kornienko are scheduled to plunge back to Earth aboard a Soyuz spacecraft next week -- speeding through the atmosphere at a pace of 17,500 miles (28,000 kilometers) per hour -- before landing in Kazakhstan early on March 2.

Speaking to reporters this week via video link for a final time as he floated, microphone in hand, inside the International Space Station, the veteran astronaut admitted to mixed feelings about returning home.

"Leaving this amazing facility is going to be tough because I will probably never see it again," said Kelly, 52, who has flown to space four times in his career.

"But I certainly look forward to going back to Earth," he added from the sprawling spacecraft which circles about 250 miles (400 kilometers) above the Earth.

"There is a lot of great stuff down there that I miss."

A New Jersey native and former Navy pilot, Kelly is also the father of two and the twin brother of astronaut Mark Kelly.

He did not say specifically who he misses most, but said he looks forward to reuniting with his loved ones.

MISSING MATTER FOUND! FAST RADIO BURSTS CONFIRM COSMOLOGICAL MODEL

 27 Feb , 2016 by Matt Williams

In March 2013, researchers at the CERN laboratory made history when they announced the discovery of the Higgs Boson. Though its existence had been hypothesized for over half a century, confirming its existence was a major boon for scientists. In discovering this one particle, the researchers were also able to confirm the Standard Model of particle physics. Much the same is true of our current cosmological model.

For decades, scientists been going by the theory that the Universe is made of 70% dark energy, 25% dark matter and 5% “luminous matter” – i.e. the matter we can see. But even when all the visible matter is added up, there is a discrepancy where much of it is still considered “missing”. But thanks to the efforts of a team from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), scientists now know that we have it right.

This began on April 18th, 2015, when the CSIRO’s Parkes Observatory in Australia detected a fast radio burst (FRB) coming from space. An international alert was immediately issued, and within a few hours, telescopes all around the world were looking for the signal. The CSIRO team began tracking it as well with the Australian Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) located at the Paul Wild Observatory (north of Parkes).

image shows the field of view of the Parkes radio telescope on the left. On the right are successive zoom-ins in on the area where the signal came from (cyan circular region).. Credit: D. Kaplan (UWM), E. F. Keane (SKAO).
Image showing the field of view of the Parkes radio telescope (left) and zoom-ins on the area where the signal came from (left). Credit: D. Kaplan (UWM), E. F. Keane (SKAO).

With the help of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan’s (NAOJ) Subaru telescope in Hawaii, they were able to pinpoint where the signal was coming from. As the CSIRO team described in a paper submitted to Nature, they identified the source, which was an elliptical galaxy located 6 billion light years from Earth.

This was an historic accomplishment, since pinpointing the source of FRBs have never before been possible. Not only do the signals last mere milliseconds, but they are also subject to dispersion – i.e. a delay caused by how much material they pass through. And while FRBs have been detected in the past, the teams tracking them have only been able to obtain measurements of the dispersion, but never the signal’s redshift.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Are We Alone in the Universe?” Is the Wrong Question



THE CITIZEN’S GUIDE TO THE FUTURE.
FEB. 16 2016 7:05 AM
FROM SLATENEW AMERICA, AND ASU

“Are We Alone in the Universe?” Is the Wrong Question

The answer is almost certainly “no.”


universe.
Sure, any one of these stars could have a planet with lifeforms, but that’s not very likely.
agsandrew/Thinkstock
W
e’ve been asking ourselves “Are we alone?” for millennia. Greek philosopher Anaximander (circa 610–circa 546 B.C.) is credited with starting the discussion about “cosmic plurality”—the idea of multiple or even an infinite number of planets exists with extraterrestrial life.
This philosophical-turned-scientific question is still fashionable—but it’s time to stop asking it. The answer has always been staring us in the face. No. We are not alone. Of course, as a scientist, I cannot say this with 100-percent certainty, but experiencesuggests that this is the reality.

Everything you need to know: zodiacal light or false dusk

Everything you need to know: zodiacal light or false dusk

The zodiacal light is an eerie light extending up from the horizon. No matter where you are on Earth, springtime or autumn is the best time to see it.
The zodiacal light – or false dusk – is an eerie light extending up from the western horizon in late winter or early spring. You might also see it in the east before dawn begins to light the sky, in late summer or early autumn, in which case it’s called the false dawn.
Maybe you’ve seen the zodiacal light in the sky and not realized it. Maybe you glimpsed it while driving on a highway or country road at this time of year. This strange light is a seasonal phenomenon. Springtime and autumn are best for seeing the zodiacal light. Suppose you’re driving toward the west in springtime the hour after dusk. You catch sight of what you think is the lingering evening twilight, or the light of a nearby town, just over the horizon. Instead, what you’re seeing is the zodiacal light. It looks like a hazy pyramid of light extending up from the western horizon, after evening twilight ends.

Photo credit: Robert Snache
Springtime? Autumn? Is there a difference between Earth’s two hemispheres? Yes and no. For both hemispheres, springtime is the best time to see the zodiacal light in the evening. Autumn is the best time to see it before dawn. Look for the zodiacal light in the east around the time of the autumn equinox. Look for it in the west after sunset around the time of the spring equinox.

esoteric



SUBTITLES IN ENGLISH, ESPAÑOL, PORTUGUÊS

Click upon the circle after the small square for captions

MUFON

How to Digitally Record/Video a UFO sighting:


Como registar digitalmente ou gravar um vídeo de um avistamento de um UFO:




Stabilize the camera on a tripod. If there is no tripod, then set it on top of a stable, flat surface. If that is not possible lean against a wall to stabilize your body and prevent the camera from filming in a shaky, unsteady manner.

Estabilize a camera com um tripé. Se não tiver um tripé, então coloque-a em cima de uma superfície estável. Se não for possível, então encoste-se a uma parede para estabilizar o corpo e evitar que a camera registe de maneira tremida e instável.

Provide visual reference points for comparison. This includes the horizon, treetops, lampposts, houses, and geographical landmarks (i.e., Horsetooth Reservoir, Mt. Adams, etc.) Provide this in the video whenever is appropriate and doesn’t detract from what your focus is, the UFO.

Forneça pontos visuais de referência para comparação. Isso inclui o horizonte, cimo das árvores, postes de iluminação, pontos de referência geográficos (como o Reservatório de Horsetooth, Mone Adams, etc) Forneça esses pontos no vídeo sempre que for apropriado e não se distraia do que é o seu foco, o UFO/a Nave.

Narrate your videotape. Provide details of the date, time, location, and direction (N,S,E,W) you are looking in. Provide your observations on the weather, including approximate temperature, windspeed, any visible cloud cover or noticeable weather anomalies or events. Narrate on the shape, size, color, movements, approximate altitude of the UFO, etc and what it appears to be doing. Also include any unusual physical, psychological or emotional sensations you might have. Narrate any visual reference points on camera so they correlate with what the viewer will see, and thereby will be better able to understand.

Faça a narração do vídeo. Forneça pormenores sobre a data, hora, local e direcção (Norte, Sul, Este, Oeste) que está a observar. Faça observações sobre as condições atmosféricas, incluindo a temperatura aproximada, velocidade do vento, quantidade de nuvens, anomalias ou acontecimentos meteorológicos evidentes. Descreva a forma, o tamanho, a cor, os movimentos, a altitude aproximada onde se encontra o UFO/nave, etc e o que aparenta estar a fazer. Inclua também quaisquer aspectos pouco habituais de sensações físicas, psicológicas ou emocionais que possa ter. Faça a narração de todos os pontos de referência visual que o espectador irá ver e que, deste modo, será capaz de compreender melhor.

Be persistent and consistent. Return to the scene to videotape and record at this same location. If you have been successful once, the UFO sightings may be occurring in this region regularly, perhaps for specific reasons unknown, and you may be successful again. You may also wish to return to the same location at a different time of day (daylight hours) for better orientation and reference. Film just a minute or two under “normal” circumstances for comparison. Write down what you remember immediately after. As soon as you are done recording the experience/event, immediately write down your impressions, memories, thoughts, emotions, etc. so it is on the record in writing. If there were other witnesses, have them independently record their own impressions, thoughts, etc. Include in this exercise any drawings, sketches, or diagrams. Make sure you date and sign your documentation.

Seja persistente e não contraditório. Volte ao local da cena e registe o mesmo local. Se foi bem sucedido uma vez, pode ser que nessa região ocorram avistamentos de UFOs/naves com regularidade, talvez por razões específicas desconhecidas, e talvez possa ser novamente bem sucedido. Pode também desejar voltar ao mesmo lugar a horas diferentes do dia (durante as horas de luz)para ter uma orientação e referência melhor. Filme apenas um ,inuto ou dois em circunstâncias “normais” para ter um termo de comparação. Escreva tudo o que viu imediatamente após o acontecimento. Logo após ter feito o registo da experiência/acontecimento, escreva imediatamente as impressões, memórias, pensamentos, emoções, etc para que fiquem registadas por escrito. Se houver outras testemunhas, peça-lhes para registar independentemente as suas próprias impressões, pensamentos, etc. Inclua quaisquer desenhos, esbolos, diagramas. Certifique-se que data e assina o seu documento/testemunho.

Always be prepared. Have a digital camera or better yet a video camera with you, charged and ready to go, at all times. Make sure you know how to use your camera (and your cell phone video/photo camera) quickly and properly. These events can occur suddenly, unexpectedly, and often quite randomly, so you will need to be prepared.

Esteja sempre preparado, Tenha sempre uma camera digital, melhor ainda, uma camera vídeo consigo, carregada e pronta a usar sempre que necessário. Certifique-se que sabe como lidar com a sua camera (ou com o seu celular/camera fotográfica) rápida e adequadamente. Esses acontecimentos podem acontecer súbita e inesperadamente e, por vezes, acidentalmente, por isso, necessita estar preparado.

Look up. Be prepared. Report. Share.

Olhe para cima, Esteja preparado, Relate, Partilhe.

MUFON.COM

ESOTERIC



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