Easy on the eyes

first_img Those born with and without hands represent tools the same way in the brain, study finds How the brain handles tools Why do our eyes tend to be drawn more to some shapes, colors, and silhouettes than others?For more than half a century, researchers have known that neurons in the brain’s visual system respond unequally to different images — a feature that is critical for the ability to recognize, understand, and interpret the multitude of visual clues surrounding us. For example, specific populations of visual neurons in an area of the brain known as the inferior temporal cortex fire more when people or other primates — animals with highly attuned visual systems — look at faces, places, objects, or text. But exactly what these neurons are responding to has remained unclear.Now a small study in macaques led by investigators in the Blavatnik Institute at Harvard Medical School has generated some valuable clues based on an artificial intelligence system that can reliably determine what neurons in the brain’s visual cortex prefer to see.A report of the team’s work was published today in Cell.The vast majority of experiments to date that attempted to measure neuronal preferences have used real images. But real images carry an inherent bias: They are limited to stimuli available in the real world and to the images that researchers choose to test. The AI-based program overcomes this hurdle by creating synthetic images tailored to the preference of each neuron.Will Xiao, a graduate student at Harvard University, designed a computer program that uses a form of responsive artificial intelligence to create self-adjusting images based on neural responses obtained from six macaque monkeys. To do so, he and his colleagues measured the firing rates from individual visual neurons in the brains of the animals as they watched images on a computer screen.Over the course of a few hours, the animals were shown images in 100-millisecond blips generated by Xiao’s program. The images started out with a random textural pattern in grayscale. Based on how much the monitored neurons fired, the program gradually introduced shapes and colors, morphing over time into a final image that fully embodied a neuron’s preference. Because each of these images is synthetic, Xiao said, it avoids the bias that researchers have traditionally introduced by only using natural images.“At the end of each experiment,” he said, “this program generates a super-stimulus for these cells.”The results of these experiments were consistent over separate runs, explained senior investigator Margaret Livingstone: Specific neurons tended to evolve images through the program that weren’t identical but were remarkably similar.Some of these images were in line with what Livingstone, the Takeda Professor of Neurobiology at HMS, and her colleagues expected. For example, a neuron that they suspected might respond to faces evolved round pink images with two big black dots akin to eyes. Others were more surprising. A neuron in one of the animals consistently generated images that looked like the body of a monkey, but with a red splotch near its neck. The researchers eventually realized that this monkey was housed near another that always wore a red collar.“We think this neuron responded preferentially not just to monkey bodies but to a specific monkey,” Livingstone said.Not every final image looked like something recognizable, Xiao added. One monkey’s neuron evolved a small black square. Another evolved an amorphous black shape with orange below.Livingstone notes that research from her lab and others has shown that the responses of these neurons are not innate — instead, they are learned through consistent exposure to visual stimuli over time. When during development this ability to recognize and fire preferentially to certain images arises is unknown, Livingstone said. She and her colleagues plan to investigate this question in future studies. Auditory cortex nearly identical in hearing and deaf people Related Study shows architecture of audition likely based on innate factors Learning how the visual system responds to images could be key to better understanding the basic mechanisms that drive cognitive issues ranging from learning disabilities to autism spectrum disorders, which are often marked by impairments in a child’s ability to recognize faces and process facial cues.“This malfunction in the visual processing apparatus of the brain can interfere with a child’s ability to connect, communicate, and interpret basic cues,” said Livingstone. “By studying those cells that respond preferentially to faces, for example, we could uncover clues to how social development takes place and what might sometimes go awry.”The research was funded by National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation.last_img read more

F-M football runs over CBA, 40-16

first_imgF-M kept adding to its total in the second half with drives that resulted in TD runs by Will Duncanson and Jacob Porzucek. CBA finally got on the board late with Jamar Ballard’s 10-yard scoring run and Sam Bonacci converting from two yards out.Welling kept making the big runs all night, amassing 182 yards on 26 carries. Duncanson and Nucerino combined for 100 yards and each carried the ball 10 times.League play starts for the Hornets this Saturday as it travels to 2-0 Utica Proctor for a 1:30 kickoff. CBA travels north on Friday to face another 2-0 side, defending Section III Class A champion Indian River, at 7 p.m.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story Tags: CBAF-Mfootball Not so long ago, the Fayetteville-Manlius football team looked up  – way up  – at Christian Brothers Academy, wondering if its program could ever reach the championship heights the Brothers often scaled.Those dreams of a sectional title remain in the future, but as of now it’s clear the Hornets have gained a decisive edge in this burgeoning local rivalry, as evidenced by the 40-16 victory it authored over CBA in last Friday’s home opener.Both sides had lost their season openers – F-M to Liverpool in the Kickoff Classic at the Dome, CBA to Cicero-North Syracuse – so there was some urgency to get a victory, even if it wasn’t a league game.center_img There was also a stark contrast to the conditions F-M faced indoors a week before. Heavy winds blew from start to finish, all but grounding the passing attacks for each side – which is just what the Hornets wanted.With a big physical advantage on both front lines, F-M all but pushed CBA around, especially in a first half where it played with speed and confidence and roared out to a 27-0 advantage.Evan Welling scored the Hornets’ first two touchdowns, on runs of 15 and three yards. Then Jack Nucerino found the end zone and, right before halftime, quarterback Zak Conley scored on a four-yard dash.last_img read more

Four Southland Student-Athletes Named CoSIDA Academic All-America

first_imgAdeyemi-Berglund is the 20th student-athlete in school history to be recognized as an Academic All-American by CoSIDA and the first football representative. His selection marks the fifth straight athletic season that Southeastern has had at least one Academic All-America selection.Adeyemi-Berglund was a second team All-Southland Conference selection as a senior, as the leading pass rusher for a SLU defense that ranked among the FCS leaders in tackles for loss and sacks. Adeyemi-Berglund led the Lions with 16.0 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks and three forced fumbles to go with 61 tackles, four pass breakups and a fumble recovery.Gibbens is a first-time honoree and Fink was a First Team awardee at the conclusion of the 2018. Fink is the first Wildcat football player to receive this honor in consecutive years since defensive Bill Clayton won his third prize in 1989. Wide receiver Sean Grady also received a spot on the second team that same year.Gibbens, a native of Bulverde, Texas and accounting major with a 4.0 grade-point average was one of three first team linebackers along with Bucknell’s Rick Mottram and Nevada’s Lucas Weber.Fink, a native of Coppell, Texas and finance major will be graduating this Friday, was one of only four wide receivers nationwide named Academic All-America along wide first-team picks Brandon Arconado (Washington State) and Andrew Griffin (Princeton), and fellow second-team honoree Bryce Nunnelly (Chattanooga).Fink leaves ACU with 2,323 career receiving yards on 188 receptions and 14 touchdowns. He ranks seventh all-time at ACU in receiving yardage and third behind Jerale Badon (235) and Taylor Gabriel (215) in catches.Walker achieved a 3.69 GPA as a biochemistry/molecular biology major. He led the FCS with 15.0 sacks for losses totaling 108 yards. Walker recorded 55 tackles overall, 19.5 for losses totaling 134 yards and forced two fumbles.The Slidell, Louisiana, native was a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection in 2017 and 2018. Walker was an All-Southland Conference First Team selection and earned all-conference honorable mention as a freshman and has been an academic all-conference selection each of the last two years.To be eligible for CoSIDA Academic All-American consideration, a student-athlete in his or her second year or later at his or her current institution must carry a minimum GPA of 3.3 or higher and be a key contributor in competition. The Academic All-American teams are made of first team Academic All-District selections and were voted on by the CoSIDA membership.FIRST TEAMPos.    Name                                  School                                          Yr.       GPA             MajorQB        Justin Herbert (1) ($)         University of Oregon                        Sr.        4.00            General ScienceRB        Travis Brannan                  U.S. Naval Academy                       Sr.        4.00            Ocean EngineeringRB        Ezra Gray                          Alabama State                                 Sr.        4.00            Computer Information SystemsWR       Brandon Arconado            Washington State University            Gr.       3.65            MIS (UG) / MBA (G)WR       Andrew Griffin                    Princeton University                        Sr.        3.82            Computer ScienceTE        Charlie Kolar                      Iowa State University                       Jr.        3.98            Mechanical EngineeringOL        Jacob Bacon (1)                Drake University                               Sr.        4.00            MBAOL        Eric Cal                              U.S. Naval Academy                        Sr.        3.93            ChemistryOL        Adam Holtorf (1)                Kansas State University                   Gr.       3.92/3.80     Business & Agribusiness (G)OL        Jacob Marnin (1)               Southern Illinois University               Gr.       4.00/4.00     Criminology & Criminal JusticeOL        Justin Szuba                      Monmouth University                       So.       4.00            History EducationK          Rodrigo Blankenship         University of Georgia                        Gr.       3.71/3.65     Broadcast Journalism (UG) / Journalism (G)ST        Blake Best (2)                    University of Kentucky                      Sr.        4.00            Economics & FinanceDL        Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund    Southeastern Louisiana University   Sr.        3.81            Exercise ScienceDL        Kyle Finch                          Montana State University                  Jr.        4.00            Mechanical EngineeringDL        Victor Jergens                   Drake University                                Sr.        3.98            FinanceDL        Jack Raines                       Mercer University                              Gr.       3.99            Finance / SpanishLB        Jack Gibbens                    Abilene Christian University               Sr.        4.00            AccountingLB        Rick Mottram                     Bucknell University                             Jr.        4.00            Mechanical EngineeringLB        Lucas Weber                     University of Nevada                         Gr.       4.00            Public Health (UG)/Secondary Education (G)DB        Spencer DeMedal             Duquesne University                         Jr.        3.98            BiologyDB        Kyle Hegedus                    Youngstown State University            Gr.       3.89/4.00    Exercise Science (UG)/Physical Therapy (G)DB        K.J. Smith                           University of North Alabama            Sr.        4.00            Interdisciplinary StudiesDB        Jelani Taylor                     Cornell University                               Sr.        3.95            Hotel AdministrationP          Blake Gillikin (1)                Pennsylvania State University            Sr.        4.00            KinesiologySECOND TEAMPos.     Name                                School                                                   Yr.       GPA             MajorQB       Tom Flacco (*)                Towson University                            Gr.       4.00/3.80   Applied Information Technology (G)RB        Jake Chisholm               University of Dayton                        So.       3.97           Pre-MedRB        Brad Sznajder (2)          Butler University                              Sr.        3.88           FinanceWR      Josh Fink (1)                  Abilene Christian University             Sr.        3.81          FinanceWR      Bryce Nunnelly              Chattanooga                                    Jr.        3.81           Mechanical EngineeringTE         Ean Pfeifer                   University of Louisville                     Gr.       4.00/4.00   MBA (G)OL       Blaise Andries                University of Minnesota                   Sr.        3.86           MathematicsOL       Graham Ashkettle          Eastern Kentucky University            Jr.        4.00           ChemistryOL       Isaiah Kent-Schneider   Drake University                              Gr.     3.98/4.00     Sec. Edu./Env. Science (UG)/STEM Education (G)OL       Calvin Throckmorton     University of Oregon                        Sr.        3.82            Human PhysiologyOL       Dakota Wilson (2)          Idaho State University                      Sr.        3.97            Health ScienceK          Samuel Hayworth          Eastern Kentucky University            Gr.       3.96            Biomedical Science (UG) / Public Health (G)ST        Connor McGinnis           University of Oklahoma                   Gr.       4.00            Finance (UG) / Finance (G)DL        Jonathan Clayton          Coastal Carolina University              Sr.        3.95            Business Management & MarketingDL        Brogan McPartland       Harvard University                            Sr.        3.65            Applied MathematicsDL        Sam Renner                  University of Minnesota                    Gr.       3.54/3.60  Accountancy (G)DL        Andre Walker                Houston Baptist University                Sr.        3.69            Biochemistry / Molecular BiologyLB        Jackson Hankey             North Dakota State University         Jr.        4.00            Agricultural EconomicsLB        Luke Nelson                   University of Northern Colorado      Sr.        3.97            Criminology & Criminal JusticeLB        Dante Olson                   University of Montana                      Sr.        3.91            Business Administration / ManagementDB        Jordan Fuller (1) (#)      Ohio State University                        Sr.        3.60            Business MarketingDB        Tiger Garcia (2)             UC Davis                                          Sr.        3.92            Managerial EconomicsDB        Kekaula Kaniho             Boise State University                      Jr.        3.93            Health SciencesDB        Tim Simon                      University of Dayton                        Sr.        3.83            Mechanical EngineeringP          Trent Schneider              University of South Florida              Jr.        4.00            Communication Courtesy of Abilene Christian, Houston Baptist and Southeastern Louisiana Athletics Media RelationsAUSTIN, Texas – The Southland Conference placed four football student-athletes on the 2019 Academic All-America Division I Football Teams, CoSIDA announced Monday. Southeastern Louisiana defensive lineman Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund and Abilene Christian linebacker Jack Gibbens were selected to the first team while Abilene Christian wide receiver Josh Fink and Houston Baptist defensive lineman Andre Walker appeared on the second team. In addition to being one of the team leaders for a Lion team that made its third playoff appearance in school history, Adeyemi-Berglund carries a 3.81 cumulative grade point average as an exercise science major.last_img read more