Bicycle map of the island of Hvar presented

first_imgThanks to the joint project of the Tourist Board of Split-Dalmatia County and the Cycling Association of Split-Dalmatia County, and 5 tourist boards of the island of Hvar, the island of Hvar welcomes the season with 470 kilometers and a total of 13 arranged, marked and mapped bike trails. Thus, the island of Hvar, after the Dalmatian hinterland, was the first on the coast to receive a bicycle map with technical descriptions and details, and this information can be found on the newly launched website www.dalmatia-bike.com , which is currently in beta and will soon be available in four languages.Director of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board Joško Stella called joint projects destination management in action, which showed the importance of cooperation and coordination between county and island tourist boards, cities and municipalities, with the aim of bringing as many quality guests in pre-season and post-season. are just cyclists.I would especially like to emphasize the togetherness in the field, which is rarely seen, which in my opinion is the greatest value of this project, as well as future cooperation. Personally, I think that this is the key to the development of tourist destinations in the context of joint development through the promotion of the region, and not that each municipality or city is developed, positioned and branded separately. No city has such a capacity in content that the guest is active for more than a few days, while as a region it certainly can. Together they are stronger in every way, and it really means nothing to the guests. Guests want quality content and story and absolutely nothing represents the city this or that – they see the content and destination as Dalmatia, Slavonia, Istria, etc.…The president of the County Cycling Association, Denis Špadina, pointed out that he expressed satisfaction with the growth of cycling tourism in the county, since two years ago it did not have a single marked trail. Today, the figures show 70 2250-kilometer-long trails, seven official bicycle races and an annual income of 2m euros, and ambitious plans herald the approach of Istria, the leader in cycling tourism in Croatia.With bicycle maps of the island of Hvar and websites www.dalmatia-bike.com, the long-awaited brochure of the island of Hvar, also a joint project of five island tourist boards, was presented to the public. This brochure presents the island as a destination, and a circulation of 10 copies in five languages ​​is currently being distributed.Everyone is invited to get involved in the project, design their offer, connect with each other and find ways to take advantage of the conditions for enriching the offer provided by this project. We all live from the same product, and that is tourism. Let’s get together and tell tourist stories together.last_img read more

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The first car camp on the Zagreb-Lipovac route has been opened

first_imgToday, in the village of Osekovo near Popovača, only 65 km from Zagreb, the first car camp was opened along the Zagreb-Lipovac highway.The construction of the car camp was supported by the local authorities and the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Croatia and the Croatian National Tourist Board, and it was officially opened in the presence of numerous tourist workers and guests from the county. “This auto camp represents a significant contribution to the development of tourism in the area not only of this, but also of other counties of continental Croatia. We hope that its capacities, with good promotion of both local and central tourism organizations, will be adequately filled”, Said Jasmina Rakić Horvar, President of the Croatian Rural Tourism Association, whose main goal is to create a more favorable environment for rural tourism in rural areas.The opening was accompanied by a rich program of local cultural and artistic societies, which could be enjoyed by the first guests of the camp from the Netherlands. Auto camp is a private investment Rural tourism Bistricki which have been successfully engaged in rural tourism for seven years, and in addition to vacation and nature, are focused on a rich offer of domestic healthy organic food. On 5000 m2 of yard and 20 m000 of additional space, each guest can live with life in the countryside with a tour of a collection of tools over 2 years old and with domestic animals that complement the experience of traditional rural life on the farm stand out from Rural Tourism Bistrički.last_img read more

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Gardens morphing into spirals: Researchers examine what it’s like to trip on Salvia divinorum

first_imgShare on Facebook Pinterest A team of researchers recently investigated the subjective psychological effects of the psychedelic plant known as Salvia divinorum.“Our main findings indicate that smoked [Salvia divinorum] facilitates an intense altered state of consciousness consisting of marked changes in affect, cognition, interoception, and sense of reality,” Peter H. Addy of VA Connecticut Healthcare System and his colleagues wrote in their study, which was published in the April 2015 issue of the Journal of Psychopharmacology. “Individuals often lost normal awareness of themselves and their surroundings, as well as reporting an assortment of delusional phenomena.”Salvia divinorum is a unique drug with a intense onset and short duration that has been used in Mexican healing rituals for hundreds of years. Share Share on Twittercenter_img Email LinkedIn Classic psychedelics like LSD or psilocybe mushrooms act as agonists of serotonin receptors, meaning the drugs activate receptors in the brain in a manner similar to natural serotonin. But salvinorin A, the main psychoactive component in Salvia divinorum, has a completely different mechanism of action. Rather than targeting the serotonin system, salvinorin A acts as an agonist of kappa opioid receptors.In the study, 32 medically and psychiatrically healthy adults who had prior experience with psychedelic drugs smoked 1017 micrograms of salvinorin A in a controlled, relaxed setting.The participants uniformly reported a rapid onset and extremely intense experience. “The transition between states was abrupt, very abrupt and that was a little unpleasant,” one participant told the researchers.The participants experienced a wide variety of hallucinations after smoking Salvia divinorum. Seventeen participants reported synesthesia, the experience of two or more sensory channels being mixed together. Twenty-five participants said they experienced closed eye visual imagery, from simple lights to geometric patterns to complex scenic hallucinations.“What had been a bit of light entering through the bottoms of the eye mask became two voluminous hills or waves, and then they were supplemented by others that extended outwards into a horizon,” one of the participants said.Surprisingly, five participants experienced the same scenic hallucination: carnival scenes. But other participants reported their visual hallucinations as kaleidoscopic, with one person them describing them as “garden images morphing into spirals.”The Salvia divinorum plant (Photo credit: Luis Pérez)Tactile and kinesthetic sensations were also common. Many participants reported feeling as if their body was moving, spinning, or stretching. Four participants reported a specifically odd sensation: being folded along with the universe around them. “The field was solid, but I was falling through the field and then there was a diamond shaped pattern,” one person explained. “I was falling through the pattern, and it was all folding in, and it was falling away from me.”Six participants reported not hearing anything during the psychedelic experience, while five other participants reported hearing auditory hallucinations or less well-defined auditory sensations.The participants also reported a wide variety of emotional shifts. Some participants felt happy or humorous, while others felt guilty, selfish, or frightened. The most commonly reported emotional states were self-acceptance and awe.A disruption of the normal sense of self emerged as another feature of the experience. Eleven participants reported feeling a sense of detachment from themselves, while six reported feeling disconnected from their bodies. “I couldn’t tell if I was part of the carpet, or you’re part of the chair,” one person explained.Fifteen participants said the experience was unique, while six described it as a crazy. According to one participant: “That’s crazy. I’ve never felt anything like that… It was like a crazy dramatic river scene.”The researchers said the Salvia divinorum appears to have a low potential for abuse. “Subjects did not report experiencing euphoria or craving to use, and did not seek out SD subsequent to experimental exposure,” the researchers said.last_img read more

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Discovering the brain’s memory switch

first_imgShare on Twitter LinkedIn Share Email Share on Facebookcenter_img Pinterest Scientists have recorded evidence of the brain turning off its memory inhibitor to make new memories.In 1953, a man named Henry Molaison underwent a surgery which removed most of his hippocampus in an attempt to cure his epileptic seizures.  The surgery was a qualified success though, because in addition to curing him of seizures he also lost the ability to form new long term memories.  It was Molaison’s memory problems that led doctors to conclude that the hippocampus was the part of the brain responsible for long term memory.Since then, the hippocampus has been studied frequently and it is generally accepted that it plays an important role in memory.  What haven’t been studied enough are the physical processes that occur when new memories form.  Scientists at the IBS Center for RNA Research and Department of Biological Sciences at Seoul National University in South Korea have discovered multiple repressive mechanisms in the hippocampus during memory formation and published their findings in this month’s issue of Science. IBS Center for RNA Research used a tool called Ribosome profiling (RPF) as well as RNA-seq to analyze mouse hippocampi. In contrast to the widely held belief that memory formation relies on protein formation in the brain, the research group found that the genes encoding hippocampal ribosomal subunits, the organelle responsible for translating mRNA into protein, are translationally suppressed. Additionally, they found that hippocampal levels of translating ribosomes are much lower than those from other organs (livers, testes and kidneys).They carried out RPF and RNA-seq with the mouse hippocampi after contextual fear conditioning by comparing them to an untested control group after 5,10 and 30 minutes and 4 hours post-conditioning. Through the analysis of the data, the research offers insight into translational and transcriptional regulations in the brain during memory formation at the genomic scale.  The observations showed two types of repressive events were induced after learning: an initial wave of transient translational regulation at around 5 to 10 minutes and the suppression of genes through decreases of mRNA levels after 30 minutes, which continued through 4 hours.Why did this happen?  It seems that in order to make new memories, the brain needs to turn off genetic processes which act to inhibit memories from being formed.  IBS researcher Jun Cho explains, “Some of these genes might be ‘memory suppressor genes’ that need to be down-regulated for memory formation.”  After analyses it was found that Nrsn1, one of the newly identified genes undergoing rapid translational repression, may act as a suppressor of long-term memory formation.  Additionally, activating estrogen receptor ESR1 in the hippocampus also impaired memory formation.When an animal experiences no stimulus in an environment the hippocampus undergoes gene repression which prevents the formation of new memories.  Upon the introduction of a stimulus, the hippocampus’ repressive gene regulation is turned off allowing for new memory creation, and as Jun Cho puts it, “Our study illustrates the potential importance of negative gene regulation in learning and memory”.This work wouldn’t have been possible without the use of RPF, which allows sensitive and quantitative measurement of translation at the genomic scale.  RPF yields quantitative information about the mRNAs undergoing translation and this was the first time it was used for an application involving the brain and memory formation.  In the future, RPF could be used in other applications in order to gain a greater understanding of translation. More than anything else, this research highlights that new approaches need to be taken to understand the yet-unappreciated gene-regulatory events during memory formation.last_img read more

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Starting age of marijuana use may have long-term effects on brain development

first_imgShare on Facebook LinkedIn Email The age at which an adolescent begins using marijuana may affect typical brain development, according to researchers at the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas. In a paper recently published in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, scientists describe how marijuana use, and the age at which use is initiated, may adversely alter brain structures that underlie higher order thinking.Findings show study participants who began using marijuana at the age of 16 or younger demonstrated brain variations that indicate arrested brain development in the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for judgment, reasoning and complex thinking. Individuals who started using marijuana after age 16 showed the opposite effect and demonstrated signs of accelerated brain aging.“Science has shown us that changes in the brain occurring during adolescence are complex. Our findings suggest that the timing of cannabis use can result in very disparate patterns of effects,” explained Francesca Filbey, Ph.D., principal investigator and Bert Moore Chair of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at the Center for BrainHealth. “Not only did age of use impact the brain changes but the amount of cannabis used also influenced the extent of altered brain maturation.” Pinterestcenter_img Share Share on Twitter The research team analyzed MRI scans of 42 heavy marijuana users; twenty participants were categorized as early onset users with a mean age of 13.18 and 22 were labeled as late onset users with a mean age of 16.9. According to self-reports, all participants, ages 21-50, began using marijuana during adolescence and continued throughout adulthood, using cannabis at least one time per week.According to Filbey, in typical adolescent brain development, the brain prunes neurons, which results in reduced cortical thickness and greater gray and white matter contrast. Typical pruning also leads to increased gyrification, which is the addition of wrinkles or folds on the brain’s surface. However, in this study, MRI results reveal that the more marijuana early onset users consumed, the greater their cortical thickness, the less gray and white matter contrast, and the less intricate the gyrification, as compared to late onset users. These three indexes indicate that when participants began using marijuana before age 16, the extent of brain alteration was directly proportionate to the number of weekly marijuana use in years and grams consumed. Contrastingly, those who began using marijuana after age 16 showed brain change that would normally manifest later in life: thinner cortical thickness, stronger gray and white matter contrast.“In the early onset group, we found that how many times an individual uses and the amount of marijuana used strongly relates to the degree to which brain development does not follow the normal pruning pattern. The effects observed were above and beyond effects related to alcohol use and age. These findings are in line with the current literature that suggest that cannabis use during adolescence can have long-term consequences,” said Filbey.Filbey notes that a longitudinal study would be necessary to establish a causal relationship between brain alterations and marijuana use. Her future studies will explore cognitive and behavioral changes associated with structural brain change and consider the different patterns of development within the adolescent period and how these patterns could lead to non-linear effects.last_img read more

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Pathological narcissism linked to sexual assault perpetration in college, study finds

first_imgEmail Pinterest LinkedIn Almost 20 percent of college men have committed some kind of sexual assault, and 4 percent have committed rape, according to a study published by University of Georgia researchers who were examining the link between different kinds of narcissism and the perpetration of sexual assaults.The study found a strong connection between pathological narcissism and sexual assault perpetration through a survey of 234 male university students, mostly in their first and second years of college. Its findings related to perpetration rates were mostly consistent with previous studies, said the study’s lead author Emily Mouilso, a clinical assistant professor in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences’ psychology department.People who demonstrate characteristics of pathological narcissism have difficulties when it comes to relating to others, Mouilso explained. Share on Facebookcenter_img Share Non-pathological narcissism, on the other hand, can be somewhat beneficial because it manifests in high self-esteem and makes it easier for people to shake off failures, study co-author Karen Calhoun said, explaining that it’s what some researchers call the “healthy” form of narcissism.“As we predicted, the aspects of narcissism that we thought would be related were (related)–the lack of empathy, the entitlement aspects of narcissism,” Mouilso said.What surprised them was the link between vulnerable narcissism and rape perpetration.Vulnerable narcissists express high levels of self-esteem but are actually very insecure, Mouilso said.The study found that men with vulnerable narcissistic traits were more likely to use alcohol or other date-rape drugs to incapacitate their victims, a finding that is especially concerning on a college campus, Mouilso said.“I think people don’t realize how prevalent drinking is” in colleges, said Calhoun, a professor emerita in the psychology department. “It’s not so much how much they drink total for women that makes them vulnerable; it’s how much they drink at a time, the binge drinking, the getting drunk and just not being alert and aware of their surroundings or the risks involved. That really puts women at risk.”Mouilso and Calhoun explained their results in the context of the theory that there are two general pathways that frequently lead to perpetration.“If the end product is perpetration, there’s more than one kind of profile that would make you more likely to perpetrate a sexual assault,” Mouilso said. “One of those streams is promiscuity–so people who have higher levels of sexual interest and more frequent sexual partners, they’re more OK with impersonal sex. That’s one stream of risk factors.“The second path is the hostile masculinity path. That has more to do with how you look at women, so having a hostile and angry orientation toward women in general and thinking that relationships are adversarial … it’s more about, what can I get out of this person that I want? I don’t really care all that much about what they want.”She explained that people can be high or low on factors in both of those tracks, but if a person has both of them together, it makes that person much more likely to perpetrate a sexual assault, according to current theory.Narcissists feel a sense of entitlement to anything they want, something that makes it easier for them to rationalize their aggressive and sometimes illegal behaviors, Mouilso said.Many previous studies have used incarcerated sex offenders as their sample pool, which makes it more difficult to generalize results to other populations. Mouilso and Calhoun’s sample of college men is fairly representative of large Southeastern university male populations.Often the view of college men tends to be an old-fashioned, “boys will be boys” attitude when it comes to acts of sexual aggression, Mouilso said.“I just don’t think that that’s accurate,” Mouilso said, “so this research helps to shed light on some of the commonalities in the personality profile between men who end up in prison and men who are walking around because they haven’t been caught.”The idea that most sexual assault perpetrators are strangers who grab women in dark alleyways isn’t accurate, Mouilso said.“It’s less likely to be a stranger who jumps out of the bush,” she said. “It’s more likely to be someone you know like the guy sitting next to you in your intro psych class.”The societal belief in “stranger danger” puts people at risk because they are looking for the deranged person on the corner rather than at the individuals in their lives who have much greater access and opportunity to perpetrate, the researchers said.Studies of non-incarcerated perpetrators are useful in developing prevention programs that could give women a more accurate idea of what to look out for.Although the percentage of college men who committed sexual assaults is unsettling, the findings suggest that it’s a “small percentage of men who are doing most of” the assaults, something that gives the researchers hope, Calhoun said.“If we could identify them and intervene in some way, that would give you some better hope of preventing it,” she said.The study, “Personality and Perpetration: Narcissism Among College Sexual Assault Perpetrators,” published in the journal Violence Against Women Share on Twitterlast_img read more

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Oxytocin nasal spray improves self-control in overweight men

first_imgLinkedIn Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email Sharecenter_img Pinterest “Knowing the mechanisms of action of intranasal oxytocin is important to investigating oxytocin as a novel treatment strategy for obesity,” Plessow said. “This information may allow us to move forward to large clinical trials, identify who can benefit from the drug, and help optimize the treatment.”To demonstrate the study subjects’ ability to suppress impulsive behavior, the investigators administered a psychology research test called the stop-signal task. In this test, the subject sat in front of a computer and became trained to respond to a square symbol on the computer screen by pressing a designated left button on the keyboard and to a triangle by pressing a right button. After the subject became familiar with that task, he was told to not press a button when he saw a symbol but heard a beep (the stop signal). Because the beep occurred after the symbols appeared with a varying delay that was adjusted to each subject, the new task required the subject to control the behavioral impulse to respond, Plessow explained.Participants took the test on two occasions 15 minutes after they self-administered a dose of nasal spray in each nostril. In a randomly assigned order, one day they received oxytocin and another they received a placebo, or dummy drug. Neither participants nor the tester knew which treatment they received. The men ranged in age from 23 to 43 years and were overweight or obese (BMI ranging from 27.7-33.9 kg/m2).The study, which received pilot grants from the National Institutes of Health-funded Boston Nutrition Obesity Research Center and Nutrition Obesity Research Center at Harvard, had exciting results, according to Plessow. After receiving oxytocin, participants less frequently pressed the button when they were not supposed to. This demonstrated that they were acting less impulsively and exerting more control over their behavior after receiving oxytocin, she said.Plessow said more study is necessary to determine how oxytocin alters self-control and how important this mechanism is in regulating food intake since not all overeating relates to poor self-control. They also will need to test the drug in women.“Our preliminary results in men are promising,” she said. “Oxytocin nasal spray showed no strong side effects and is not as invasive as obesity surgery.” A single dose of oxytocin nasal spray, known to reduce food intake, decreases impulsive behavior in overweight and obese men, according to a preliminary study to be presented Saturday at the Endocrine Society’s 98th annual meeting in Boston.Oxytocin nasal spray (made by Novartis) is a synthetic version of the hormone oxytocin, which is important for controlling food intake and weight. It is approved in Europe but not in the United States other than in clinical trials. Oxytocin is available in the United States as an intravenous or injectable drug (Pitocin) to induce labor.Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital reported last year that oxytocin nasal spray reduced intake of calories and fat at a test meal without affecting appetite, but they were not sure how the drug has that affect. Results of their new pilot study in 10 overweight and obese men suggest that one way oxytocin lowers food intake might be by improving self-control, said co-investigator Franziska Plessow, PhD, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School and a research fellow in the Neuroendocrine Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.last_img read more

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High status job means you are less likely to respond to treatment for depression

first_imgPinterest Share on Facebook An international study has found that having a high status job means that you are less likely to respond to standard treatment with medications for depression. These results, which may have implications for clinicians and their patients, employers and public policy, are presented at the ECNP Congress in Vienna.Up to a third of patients who receive drug treat for depression do not respond to treatment. Knowing which groups don’t respond could help clinicians understand which treatments are appropriate to which person. In the case of workers, it may also enable employers to take steps to ease stressful conditions. Although there is a wealth of research showing that low social and economic status is associated with a greater risk of depression, there has been little work focusing on how occupational levels respond to treatment.A group of international researchers from Belgium, Italy, Israel and Austria enlisted 654 working adults attending clinics for depression, and classified their work according to occupational level. 336 (51.4%) held high occupational level jobs, 161 (24.6%) middle-level, and 157 (24%) low level. Around two-thirds of the patients were female (65.6%), which reflects the normal gender difference in reported depression. Most patients were treated with SRIs (Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), although other pharmaceutical agents were also used, as well as psychotherapy. Those in the higher levels were found to have received fewer SRIs and more psychotherapy. Share on Twitter Emailcenter_img LinkedIn On analysing results after treatment, they found that 55.9% in the highest occupational group were resistant to treatment. In contrast, only 40.2% of the middle-level workers remained treatment resistant, and 44.3 of the low-level workers. This difference was also reflected in the degree of remission, with only around one in 6 in remission in the higher status group, as against around one in 4 for the other groups.Commenting, Professor Siegfried Kasper (Vienna, Austria) said “Though these findings should be considered preliminarily, they indicate that high occupational levels may be a risk factor for poor response to treatment. A number of variables may explain these findings. For example, there may be specific working environment demands and stressors; people may find it difficult to accept or cope with illness, or to continue with medication; or there may be other factors, related for example to cognitive, personality and behavioural differences”.Co-worker Professor Joseph Zohar (ECNP Past-President, Tel-Hashomer, Israel)  said; “This shows that the need for precise prescribing is not only related to the symptoms and genetics but also to occupational level; one might need to prescribe different medication for the same disorder and need to take into account the occupational level in order to reach optimum effect”.Professor Eduard Vieta (ECNP Executive Committee member and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona), commented:“The results of this study might sound counterintuitive, but people with highly demanding jobs are subject to a lot of stress, and when they breakdown with depression it may be particularly difficult to cope with their previous life. An alternative explanation, which cannot be ruled out given the naturalistic design of the study, is that high-status job patients may be more prone to request psychosocial treatments without the support of pharmacotherapy. The ideal treatment of depression is, in general, the combination of both pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy.”A paper based on this work is published in European Neuropsychopharmacology. Sharelast_img read more

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Fruit fly neurons hold the key to the molecular causes of mental diseases

first_imgLinkedIn Share on Facebook Share Email One of the genes identified encodes an RNA processing protein called B52 – a loss of B52 increases the growth of axon branches, long slender parts of a neuron that conduct electrical impulses. B52 is also important to the synthesis of acetylcholine, a very small molecule which acts as a messenger between neurons.The construction of the brains in human and flies are very similar and 70% of all genes expressed in fruit fly brains can also be found in human brains. Nowadays fruit flies are used to study the molecular causes of complicated human behaviour problems such as anxiety, aggression, alcohol and drug addiction.The human counterpart of the fly B52 is called SRSF5. Imbalances in SRSF5 and acetylcholine production have been found in the brains of patients with bipolar disease, indicating that a link between B52 and acetylcholine may also exist in human brains and that the disruption of the link may cause severe mental problems.This study shows for the first time that investigations of the fruit fly brain may lead to a better understanding of the origins of complicated mental problems in humans.By increasing the understanding of such causes it is hoped that drug therapies may be developed to mitigate or halt the progression of mental diseases such as bipolar disease.The study was led by Dr Torsten Bossing, Senior Research Fellow in Neurobiology at the School of Biomedical and Healthcare Sciences, Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry.He said: “Our findings are exciting and have the potential to form the basis of drug therapies to address mental diseases in humans.”center_img Pinterest New research involving the removal and analysis of single neurons from fruit fly (Drosophila) embryos has revealed insights into the causes of mental diseases such as bipolar disease.The findings are published today, 11th October 2016, in Scientific Reports by a team of scientists from Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry and the School of Biological Sciences at Bangor University.The research team removed single identified neurons from living fruit fly embryos in order to gain insight into the control mechanism for gene expression in developing networks of neurons. A neuron is a cell that processes and transmits information through electrical and chemical signals in the brain. Share on Twitterlast_img read more

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Brain ‘reads’ sentences the same in English and Portuguese

first_imgPinterest An international research team led by Carnegie Mellon University has found that when the brain “reads” or decodes a sentence in English or Portuguese, its neural activation patterns are the same.Published in NeuroImage, the study is the first to show that different languages have similar neural signatures for describing events and scenes. By using a machine-learning algorithm, the research team was able to understand the relationship between sentence meaning and brain activation patterns in English and then recognize sentence meaning based on activation patterns in Portuguese. The findings can be used to improve machine translation, brain decoding across languages and, potentially, second language instruction.“This tells us that, for the most part, the language we happen to learn to speak does not change the organization of the brain,” said Marcel Just, the D.O. Hebb University Professor of Psychology and pioneer in using brain imaging and machine-learning techniques to identify how the brain deciphers thoughts and concepts. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Emailcenter_img Share LinkedIn “Semantic information is represented in the same place in the brain and the same pattern of intensities for everyone. Knowing this means that brain to brain or brain to computer interfaces can probably be the same for speakers of all languages,” Just said.For the study, 15 native Portuguese speakers — eight were bilingual in Portuguese and English — read 60 sentences in Portuguese while in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner. A CMU-developed computational model was able to predict which sentences the participants were reading in Portuguese, based only on activation patterns.The computational model uses a set of 42 concept-level semantic features and six markers of the concepts’ roles in the sentence, such as agent or action, to identify brain activation patterns in English.With 67 percent accuracy, the model predicted which sentences were read in Portuguese. The resulting brain images showed that the activation patterns for the 60 sentences were in the same brain locations and at similar intensity levels for both English and Portuguese sentences.Additionally, the results revealed the activation patterns could be grouped into four semantic categories, depending on the sentence’s focus: people, places, actions and feelings. The groupings were very similar across languages, reinforcing the organization of information in the brain is the same regardless of the language in which it is expressed.“The cross-language prediction model captured the conceptual gist of the described event or state in the sentences, rather than depending on particular language idiosyncrasies. It demonstrated a meta-language prediction capability from neural signals across people, languages and bilingual status,” said Ying Yang, a postdoctoral associate in psychology at CMU and first author of the study.Discovering that the brain decodes sentences the same in different languages is one of the many brain research breakthroughs to happen at Carnegie Mellon. CMU has created some of the first cognitive tutors, helped to develop the Jeopardy-winning Watson, founded a groundbreaking doctoral program in neural computation, and is the birthplace of artificial intelligence and cognitive psychology. Building on its strengths in biology, computer science, psychology, statistics and engineering, CMU launched BrainHub, an initiative that focuses on how the structure and activity of the brain give rise to complex behaviors.last_img read more

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