Email Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Researchers at the University of Rochester have, for the first time, decoded and predicted the brain activity patterns of word meanings within sentences, and successfully predicted what the brain patterns would be for new sentences.The study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure human brain activation. “Using fMRI data, we wanted to know if given a whole sentence, can we filter out what the brain’s representation of a word is—that is to say, can we break the sentence apart into its word components, then take the components and predict what they would look like in a new sentence,” said Andrew Anderson, a research fellow who led the study as a member of the lab of Rajeev Raizada, assistant professor of brain and cognitive sciences at Rochester.“We found that we can predict brain activity patterns—not perfectly [on average 70% correct], but significantly better than chance,” said Anderson, The study is published in the journal Cerebral Cortex. Pinterest LinkedIn Anderson and his colleagues say the study makes key advances toward understanding how information is represented throughout the brain. “First, we introduced a method for predicting the neural patterns of words within sentences—which is a more complex problem than has been addressed by previous studies, which have almost all focused on single words,” Anderson said. “And second, we devised a novel approach to map semantic characteristics of words that we then correlated to neural activity patterns.”Finding a word in a sentenceTo predict the patterns of particular words within sentences, the researchers used a broad set of sentences, with many words shared between them. For example: “The green car crossed the bridge,” “The magazine was in the car,” and “The accident damaged the yellow car.” fMRI data was collected from 14 participants as they silently read 240 unique sentences.“We estimate the representation of a word ‘car,’ in this case, by taking the neural activity pattern associated with all of the sentences which that word occurred in and we decomposed sentence level brain activity patterns to build an estimate of the representation of the word,” explained Anderson.What does the meaning of a word look like? “Coffee has a color, smell, you can drink it—coffee makes you feel good—it has sensory, emotional, and social aspects,” said senior author Raizada. “So we built upon a model created by Jeffrey Binder at the Medical College of Wisconsin, a coauthor on the paper, and surveyed people to tell us about the sensory, emotional, social and other aspects for a set of words. Together, we then took that approach in a new direction, by going beyond individual words to entire sentences.” The new semantic model employs 65 attributes—such as “color,” “pleasant,” “loud,” and “time.” Participants in the survey rated, on a scale of 0-6, the degree to which a given root concept was associated with a particular experience. For example, “To what degree do you think of ‘coffee’ as having a characteristic or defining temperature?” In total, 242 unique words were rated with each of the 65 attributes.“The strength of association of each word and its attributes allowed us to estimate how its meanings would be represented across the brain using fMRI,” said Raizada.The model captures a wider breadth of experience than previous semantic models, said Anderson, “which made it easier to interpret the relationship between the predictive model and brain activity patterns.” The team was then able to recombine activity patterns for individual words, in order to predict brain patterns for entire sentences built up out of new combinations of those words. For example, the computer model could predict the brain pattern for a sentence such as, “The family played at the beach,” even though it had never seen that specific sentence before. Instead, it had only seen other sentences containing those words in different contexts, such as “The beach was empty” and “The young girl played soccer.”The researchers said the study opens a new set of questions toward understanding how meaning is represented in the brain. “Not now, not next year, but this kind of research may eventually help individuals who have problems with producing language, including those who suffer from traumatic brain injuries or stroke,” said Anderson.The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity and the National Science Foundation supported the research. Share
Los Alamos School Board President Ellen Ben-Naim updates the Board on the upcoming school bond election during Tuesday’s School Board Meeting. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com Bonnie J. GordonLos Alamos Daily Postbjgordon@ladailypost.comDuring the summer, the Los Alamos School Board passed a motion to go forward with a School Bond Election on Nov. 5, the day of the election for School Board and the UNM-Los Alamos Advisory Board.According to School Board President Ellen Ben-Naim, cost was an important reason. The district will not have to pay for a Special Election in the spring. Ben-Naim updated the Board on the bond election at the Aug. 13 School Board Meeting.The early date also will give the School District an opportunity to get going on projects at once.“If it passes, it will give us time to jump right in when it’s time to sell the bonds,” Ben-Naim said.Another reason to go with an early date is the diminishing amount the state will match for school remodels, she said. Every year, the amount of possible matching funds will decrease according to a formula put forward by the New Mexico Public Education Department. The amount will decrease to a low point of 94 percent local funding and 6 percent in state matching funds in FY 2024.“The District has a great track record on rebuilding and refurbishing our schools,” Ben-Naim said. “Now it’s White Rock’s turn.”Chamisa and Pinon elementary Schools are the only schools in the District that have not been remodeled or undergoing a remodel.Ben-Naim gave an update on current building projects. Barranca Elementary will be completely renovated by March 2020. The project is well underway, with grades one through six moving into their classrooms on the first day of school.“The renovations going on at Mountain School will mean it will last another 12 to 15 years,” Ben-Naim said.Construction on the new Sullivan Field field house will begin in November of this year, she said.Ben-Naim stressed that if the bond issue passes, taxes will not increase.“The 2017 bond election was $13 million and this one is for $20 million, however property values have increased, and Los Alamos now has a higher residency, so an individual will not see an increase,” she said.The School District does not take a position on the bond issue vote. It does provide information, but isn’t urging voters to support or reject the bond issue.Early voting begins Oct. 8 and voting ends Nov. 5. This is a walk-in election, not a mail in ballot election. In addition to the bond issue, those in Los Alamos will be voting for new school board members. (The two White Rock representatives are not up for election this cycle.) The town votes for UNM-LA Advisory board as a whole, not by districts.When asked if voters in Los Alamos proper would support a bond to remodel the White Rock schools, Ben-Naim said she thinks they will.“By and large, this is a community that supports education county-wide,” she said.
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James Matthews, 90, from Silvertown, is relieved that he was refunded his R3 000 which was fraudulently withdrawn from his South African Social Security Agency account. An elated James Matthews, 90, from Silvertown, is relieved that the R3 000 which was fraudulently withdrawn from his South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) account was refunded to him.Mr Matthews is of the view that he was refunded only because of the Athlone News article about his ordeal (“Card fraud woes haunt pensioner,” Athlone News, November 20, 2019)The author, poet and activist had been saving up some money on his card, as he wanted to buy himself something special for Christmas. In November, his neighbour, Kevin Fransman, who looks out for the well-being of Mr Matthews, told the Athlone News about how they struggled to withdraw the pensioner’s money, but that the card was declined at all the ATMs they tried.By Monday November 4, when his card was still being declined, Mr Matthews and Mr Fransman went to the Athlone Sassa office to get some answers. Mr Matthews then cancelled his Sassa card and opened a bank account.Shivani Wahab, the regional Sassa spokesperson, confirmed at the time, that an investigation was under way, and that Mr Matthews’ pension will be paid into his bank account in December. She added that Sassa had zero tolerance for fraud and was working with banks and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that fraud within the system was defeated. Said Mr Matthews: “I just want to thank the Athlone News for the hard work they do. I am sure my matter was resolved because of your intervention.”
Austria: The 936m Birgl tunnel was holed through on April 28, as part of a project to double-track the 208 km Tauern line from Salzburg to Rosenbach.China: On May 9 work began in Lhasa on a 919m bridge required for the Qinghai – Tibet railway scheme.Europe: This month Logistica Mediterranea Cargo, a joint venture of Renfe and Trenitalia, is to introduce a weekly service between Reggio Emilia and Burriana near Valencia, with 15 gauge-convertible vans carrying 50 tonne loads each. A twice-weekly intermodal service linking Piacenza and Barcelona-Morrot is expected to start shortly.Germany:DB and the Land of Brandenburg have reached an agreement for a 3 km extension of Berlin S-Bahn Line S25 from Lichterfelde Süd into central Teltow by 2004, costing €33m.By 2005 €60m is to be spent to upgrade the 130 km/h Regensburg – Schwandorf – Weiden – Marktredwitz line for use by 160 km/h tilting trains.Prignitzer Eisenbahn GmbH has signed a 10 year agreement to operate services in Brandenburg. The Land will provide an €8·3m annual subsidy, and PEG is acquiring eight Stadler Regio-Shuttle vehicles for Meyenburg – Pritzwalk – Neustadt, Putlitz – Pritzwalk and Neustadt – Neuruppin services. Japan: JR East plans to lay optic fibre cables alongside two Shinkansen routes by 2008 to carry ATC data, removing the need to use Japanese Telecom Holdings Co infrastructure.Netherlands: On April 1 Belgian open access operator Dillen & Le Jeune Cargo signed an agreement with ProRail for access to the Dutch network. DLC will run freight trains between Antwerpen, Roosendaal, Eindhoven and Venlo.As part of the Randstadspoor project the transport ministry has approved the €27m quadrupling of tracks to the west of Utrecht and construction of two new stations to serve housing developments at Leidsche Rijn, for opening in 2010.Russia: An EM2-O24 prototype EMU officially entered service on April 25. One of three new EMU designs being developed jointly by New Transport Technologies and the Ministry of Railways, it is air-conditioned and has three classes of seating.Spain: A ceremony on May 6 marked the start of work on a 765m single-track spur that will enable Renfe to operate a circular suburban service in Sevilla from February 2004 (RG 3.03 p119). Costing €5·1m, the spur is part of €57·3m of infrastructure works, while €5·1m is to be spent on three new stations and up to €50m on two new EMUs and refurbishment of 12 trainsets.ERTMS Level 1 signalling is being tested on Renfe’s Albacete – X
VOITH: Voith Turbo and Siemens have agreed to develop condition monitoring technology for Voith’s Scharfenberg couplers, with the aim of reducing inspection and maintenance costs while increasing availability.Voith will lead development, with Siemens integrating the application into its Railigent suite and MindSphere internet of things operating system.The companies plan to present a preliminary product at InnoTrans 2018.
NORWAY: Infrastructure manager Bane NOR has selected a consortium of Implenia Norge and Acciona Construcción to rebuild a key section of the busy Østfold Line through the town of Moss, at a cost of NKr6·3bn.Under a contract signed on June 28, the MossIAANS joint venture will build a 10·3 km section of double-track line from Sandbukta to Såstad, replacing the existing sinuous single track alignment. The new route will include two tunnels of 2 700 m and 2 300 m and a new Moss station with 800 m long platforms. Construction is expected to start in October for completion by December 2024.The project is the fourth stage in the upgrading of the 136 km Østfold Line, which carries inter-city services southeast from Oslo and international trains to and from Göteborg.The 36 km section between Ski and Moss was double-tracked and realigned for 200 km/h operation in the 1990s, but the upgrading finished at Sandbukta, 1·5 km north of Moss, as no agreement could be reached over remodelling the line through the town. Further south, a 7 km section of double track was opened in June 2000 from Såstad through Rygge, at a cost of NKr500m. As well as reducing journey times between Moss and Fredrikstad by 7 min, this project eliminated 21 level crossings.Work is currently nearing completion on the 22 km Follo Line, which will provide an additional pair of 250 km/h tracks between Oslo and Ski from December 2021. Construction of the new alignment through Moss will close the gap between Sandbukta and Såstad, completing a fast double track route stretching for more than 70 km from the capital.‘The extensive and complex work of creating railway for the future and providing a far better train service for passengers and freight in eastern Norway continues with undiminished strength’, said Bane NOR Development Director Einar Kilde. ‘This is the latest in several important contracts we have signed this year, reinforcing the government’s strong commitment to railway investment.’
Two Kenya police officers charged with murder after Garissa shooting Kenya to recruit 10,000 police officers to curb rising insecurity 63 senior police officers in Kenya axed over graft Kenya Police.PHOTO/Reuters Kenya Police.PHOTO/ReutersTwo Kenyan police officers were charged on Thursday with murder after they allegedly shot dead two people in the eastern county of Garissa last month, according to a charge sheet seen by Reuters.The two officers pleaded not guilty when charged with murder on Thursday.“Adan Salat and Abdrahman Samow on the 25th of July 2020 at Soko Ng’ombe area of Garissa Township in Garissa…jointly murdered Aden Madhobe and Mudhidin Mudhow,” the charge sheet read.The two officers were remanded in custody until Sept. 3 pending a hearing for their bail application. Kenya’s chief prosecutor Noordin Haji ordered that the pair be transferred to the capital Nairobi for their safety.International campaigners have raised concerns about police behavior in Kenya, including during a lockdown instituted earlier this year to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.Related
MANILA – TNT KaTropa would have been up 2-0 heading into Game 3 of the 2019Honda PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals tonight against San Miguel Beermen if notfor their missed free throws in a close 127-125 Game 2 loss on Wednesday. “Lesson learned. What’s next? Wala ka namang magagawa diyan kung anumanang nangyari. Basta we had our chances, sayanglang. But next game na lang.”/PN “Yungtwo free throws nila Brian andTroy…if only they made those shots, kahitisa lang nga. But everything happens for a reason,” added the Iloilo Citynative KaTropa head coach. “Maganda nasana ‘yung nilalaro ni Troy, but only those free throws…” The KaTropa were on top 114-112 latein the first overtime of Game 2 when Brian Heruela and Jeth Troy Rosario missedtwo free throws each. It could have sealed their victory but the match wasstretched to a second extension, which was won by the Beermen. “Definitely, kahit ‘yung mga littlethings kailangan hindi mo pabayaan,”Ravena said. “Ganyan talaga.” Jeth Troy Rosario had a career-game of 34 points for TNT KaTropa in Game 2 but missed free throws in the crucial stage led to his team’s defeat. SPIN.PH PHOTO Rosario scored a career-game of 34points, including eight triples. KaTropa head coach Ferdinand “Bong”Ravena admitted that the close defeat was a bitter pill to swallow. They vowedto work on their free throws ahead of crucial game tonight to break the 1-1series deadlock.