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ND physicist models brain’s network structure

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first_imgPerhaps social media websites like Facebook are always on our minds because our brains are structured in a way similar to these ubiquitous social networks. A recently published study by Notre Dame physics professor Zoltan Toroczkai on the fundamental wiring of the neurons that make up the complex structure of the brain suggests this may be the case. Toroczkai, an expert in the study of large-scale networks said he uses his unconventional background  as a physicist to investigate the structure and dynamics of a wide range of networks. “Social systems, such as Facebook, are an example complex networks,” Toroczkai said. “With technological advances we are even more connected, more information is flowing. “So you can think of the social network as another large network that evolves due to the information in it. From a top-level perspective, this is not different from what happens in the primate brain.” The challenge to Toroczkai lies in adapting the statistical methods of the physicist to interpreting and understanding the underlying phenomena in these systems.  “In the brain, the neurons can almost arbitrarily be connected, humans can almost arbitrarily be connected – the connections between real-world networks, such as social networks and neuronal networks, are not like the ones in a crystalline solid,” Toroczkai said. “They are much more complicated. So there is a challenge for a physicist to develop the methods that we use to study regular materials and apply them to different types of networks.” In his recent finding, Toroczkai said he collaborated with a group of researchers, including biologists from France, to analyze a wealth of data obtained from thorough retrograde tracing experiments on Macaque monkey cortexes. They injected a chemical dye into the brain of the monke, and after affew weeks, the tissues are dissected to reveal the path that the tracer took through the dense network of neurons, which allows one to make some sense of the structure, he said. “The primate brain has an extremely large number of elements,” Toroczkai said. “If you think about the neocortex, which is basically a couple-millimeter-thick sheet that is lining your brain, it’s about the size of a napkin in the typical primate brain. It’s very small, and yet it has about 100 billion neurons and they are not isolated. tThey are interconnected in a very complicated network-it is estimated that there are about 100 trillion connections in this area.” This complicated network in the cortex can be divided into 29 functional areas, such as those controlling motion and sensory perception, in order construct a model, Toroczkai said. In doing so, he said he noticed that certain patterns emerged from the data related to density of connections and distance.    “We said that this network should be subject to a physical constraint,” Toroczkai said. “I mean that when the brain develops, the neuron is growing these axons, and there’s a growth process that eventually stops. “The longer you want to grow, the more effort you have to put in. These neurons are grown chemically during development, so I said that there should be some sort of exponential cost-some grow long and some grow short. And the simplest model you could think of, if you’re a modeler, is exponential decay. And that’s exactly what it was. So we used this wiring along with the geometry of the cortex to come up with this simple model.” The result, Toroczkai said, was very surprising-the model turned out to be extremely simple, yet it largely explained much of the structural interconnectivity between the different functional areas of the cortex. “It has only one parameter, which you also get from the data, and you get a network that looks very much like the one in the brain,” he said. “It tells you that the large-scale network between the different areas of the brain can be explained by physical principles, based on entropic cost of wiring.” The next step in further elucidating the workings of the brain would be to look at dynamic processes, such as neuronal signaling and resulting behaviors, Toroczkai said. To that end, he said he will loos forward to future cross-disciplinary collaborations to which he can add his unconventional approaches and insights. “Here we had a collaboration between biologists and physicists,” Toroczkai said. “As a physicist our goal is usually to simplify a problem-to reduce it to the essential components. We are not looking for the differences between things in the world, we’re are looking for things that are common, invariant.” Contact Henry Gens at [email protected]last_img read more

Turkish GP driver ratings: Experience pays for Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez, Sebastian Vettel

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first_imgQualified 2nd, Finished 6thUltimately this just wasn’t Max Verstappen and Red Bull’s weekend. Sixth place was a shame for the both the Dutchman and Red Bull given he had set the pace in the dry and the wet up to Saturday’s pole shootout, when his shot at P1 on a day Mercedes were nowhere slipped away on the intermediate tyres. Still, a front-row start meant he stayed right in the picture although, as it turned out, starting on the other side of the grid in third would have been more beneficial.Was swamped at the lights, but recovered some of the lost ground further around the first lap to run fourth behind Vettel, where he stayed until running three laps longer on his full wets compared to the Ferrari’s fresh intermediates. Six laps later and it was all looking rather promising. Verstappen was right on Perez’s trail for second and within 10s of Stroll’s lead with more than a third of the race to go. But then the front of his Red Bull washed out following the second-placed Racing Point and sent the Red Bull into a lurid spin. Game over for the victory, with an emergency stop for new tyres required. Verstappen had a later spin en-route to that sixth-place finish.Rating out of 10: 7.5

Virat Kohli reveals the lessons he learned from Kobe Bryant’s death

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first_imgImage Courtesy: NBC/BCCIAdvertisement 5lkltNBA Finals | Brooklyn VsmiWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E4j9s( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 8vsWould you ever consider trying this?😱3uaCan your students do this? 🌚5s6Roller skating! Powered by Firework 6th January 2020 marked a dark day for the world of sports as NBA superstar and Basketball icon Kobe Bryant passed away after a tragic helicopter accident, along with his daughter Gianna. While the world mourns the unfortunate demise of the legend, India’s cricketing icon Virat Kohli pours his heart out on the mishap, and talks about the lessons he gained from it.Advertisement Image Courtesy: NBC/BCCIWhile Team India is preparing for the 3 match ODI series against New Zealand, captain Virat Kohli spoke in a recent interview today in Hamilton, lamenting the sad incident, and also unveiled his young memories of being a regular follower of basketball, and idolising Kobe in different aspects.“Firstly, it was a shock to everyone. I grew up watching those NBA games in the morning and watching what he did on court. But when someone that you have looked up to in some ways, passes away like that, it does put things in perspective,” Kohli told interviewers.Advertisement After the unfortunate event, Kohli paid tribute to the Lakers hall of fame on his official Instagram, where he also stated about being a Kobe fan and a regular NBA watcher in his childhood.Since taking the helm of Team India back in 2013, Kohli has been under stress from tough opposition or even a hectic schedule, like he recently complained about the short gap between the Australia ODI series and the recently concluded T20 series against New Zealand.However, the 31 year old continues that Kobe’s incident has made him realise to have a good time instead of getting caught up in the routine stress: “At the end of the day, life can be so fickle. It’s so unpredictable. I think a lot of the times we get too caught up in the pressures of what we have to do tomorrow…we really forget living life and enjoying life and just appreciating and being grateful for the life we have.”Kobe, who is a five time NBA championship winner and two time Olympic gold medalist, was on board in a helicopter along with his daughter Gigi and 7 other occupants, which crashed crashed in Orange Country, California. The Men in Blue skipper also said that the incident has changed the way he looked at life, now relishing and welcoming each moment of it.“You start looking at things from a different point of view suddenly and you want to enjoy every moment you’re going through. You realise that what you’re doing at the end of the day is not the most important thing. The most important thing is life itself” he added.Also read-Indian cricket mourns the passing of NBA legend Kobe BryantWatch: Shaquille O’Neal breaks down in tears recollecting his favourite Kobe Bryant moments Advertisementlast_img read more

Nelson Selects take flight for BC Soccer Provincial B Cup

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first_imgA handful of Nelson Youth Soccer teams have taken to the road to represent the Heritage City Association at the BC Soccer Provincial B Cup in Surrey and Vernon.Four boy’s squads open play Thursday at the Les Sinnott Memorial Tournament in the Central Okanagan while three girl’s teams traveled to the Lower Mainland to participate in the BC Soccer Provincial B Cup.All teams open play Thursday in round robin action. Each team continues play Friday and Saturday before the playoff round Sunday.The Nelson Selects U18 Girls have the best shot at a medal after finishing second last year.The squad is bolstered by many graduates from the U16 Selects that captured the gold medal in 2016.Nelson opens action Thursday against the Surdel Selects.Other games in Surrey have the Nelson U16 squad meeting Coquitlam Ford and U13 Select playing Terrace.In Vernon, Nelson U13s meet Terrace, U14 play host Vernon United, U16 Boy’s face Bays United and U18s take on West Coast Auto.last_img read more


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first_imgRichard Baltas2744415%44%$265,813 REDDAM’S DRIVER WAS A ‘BLABBERMOUTH!’Despite rumors to the contrary, Blabimir was not named after sometimes-laconic trainer Vladimir Cerin. However, the three-year-old son of Tapizar was named after a fellow whose first name is Vladimir.Tom Knust, agent for Mario Gutierrez, the go-to rider for owner Paul Reddam, who has been known to challenge The Jockey Club when submitting names of horses, tells the tale.“Paul was going to fly with his wife (Zillah) on a surprise birthday trip to San Francisco for dinner,” Knust said, “so he hired a limousine to take them to the airport, and the chauffeur’s name was Vladimir. Paul took him aside and told him, ‘Don’t say ANTHING to my wife about it.It’s a surprise. Just take us to the airport and I’ll surprise her when we get there.’“But as soon as they get into the limo, the driver turns around and says, ‘In 20 minutes, we’ll be at the airport!’“Paul, completely frustrated, blurts out, ‘Blabimir!’“That’s how the horse got his name.”FINISH LINES: Congrats to Fredys Saldarriaga of nearby Duarte on winning $1,000 in Santa Anita’s Mystery Mutuel Contest. Saldarriaga has been a patron at Santa Anita since 1984 and loves playing the races. Patrons can join Santa Anita’s THOROUGHBREDS Club for the next Mystery Mutuel Contest. The Main THOROUGHBREDS Center is located on the first floor of the Grandstand . . . With four wins from only nine starters, a 44 percent clip, including Skye Diamonds in Saturday’s eighth race, Bill Spawr is off to a rousing start through the Winter Meet’s first eight days, but the long-time Southern California fixture is taking it in stride. “It goes in streaks,” Spawr said. “It can go the other way, too, but it’s been good so far.” . . . With more rain imminent and the main track closed for training Sunday morning, there were 94 recorded workouts on Santa Anita’s dirt training track, 32 by horses from the Doug O’Neill barn . . . Santa Anita offers holiday racing and Dollar Day on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 16. Beers, sodas and hot dogs will be a buck apiece all day long. The feature race is the Grade III, $100,000 Megahertz Stakes for older fillies and mares at one mile on turf . . . Trainer Steve Knapp reports that 2015 Las Flores Stakes winner Harlington’s Rose recently was sold to WinStar Farm as a broodmare . . . There is a single Pick Six Jackpot ticket carryover of $108,893.75 into Sunday’s races. JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won SAN FELIPE LOOMS FOR SHAM WINNER GORMLEYBALTAS HOPES HIS CLAIMING SUCCESS CONTINUESWHAT’S IN A NAME? NO SURPRISE WITH BLABIMIR MYSTERY VOUCHER WORTH $1,000 TO DUARTE MAN Victor Espinoza1733418%59%$189,785 (Current Through Saturday, Jan. 7) Jerry Hollendorfer2436513%58%$353,329 Flavien Prat3884521%45%$559,018 GORMLEY ‘LOOKS GOOD’ AFTER SHAM VICTORYGormley was as fresh and bright as the dry, sunny Sunday morning after his excitinghead victory over favored American Anthem in Saturday’s Grade III Sham Stakes, the West’s first graded steppingstone to the $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 8.“He looked really good this morning,” trainer John Shirreffs said of the son of Malibu Moon owned by Jerry and Ann Moss. “I’m extremely proud of the way he ran and battled it out. It was a great duel down the stretch with both horses.            “Two great jockeys going at it, two promising young horses going at it. That’s what racing is all about.”Ridden by Victor Espinoza, the regular rider of 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome and Triple Crown king American Pharoah, Horse of the Year in 2015, Gormley dueled with even-money favorite American Anthem virtually from the start of the one-mile race, prevailing in a stiff drive outside of American Anthem, ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith.American Anthem was in receipt of five pounds from Gormley, who carried 124.Shirreffs mentioned the Grade II, $400,000 San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16 miles as a likely spot for Gormley’s next race.Bob Baffert reported that American Anthem came out of his game effort in good order.“I was happy with his race,” he said. Martin Pedroza2655319%50%$183,750 Doug O’Neill3753514%35%$214,148 Peter Miller1954326%63%$292,755 Norberto Arroyo, Jr.3452015%21%$238,290 Kent Desormeaux3153516%42%$499,573center_img Corey Nakatani1432021%36%$164,450 Rafael Bejarano3243813%47%$356,173 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Tyler Baze4175417%39%$327,047 TrainerMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won BALTAS HOPES CLAIM TO FAME CONTINUES IN LA CANADA            Richard Baltas hopes his skill and luck at the claiming game continues next Saturday when he runs Enduring Erin in the Grade II, $200,000 La Canada Stakes for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.The trainer struck gold yesterday when Watch This Cat, claimed for $32,000 last June, roiled to an 8 ½-length victory in the $100,000 Las Cienegas Stakes under Corey Nakatani. It was the third straight win for the five-year-old daughter of Eskendereya.“We claimed Enduring Erin for $40,000 (last July) and she’s won two out of three since,” Baltas said. “It looks like a small field so we thought we’d give it a try.”The La Canada would mark the first stakes start for Enduring Erin, who would be making her 33rd career start. Owned in part by Baltas and Paymaster Racing, the seven-year-old mare sired by Kela in Kentucky has seven wins, three seconds and seven thirds, with earnings of $244,433.Vale Dori looms a prohibitive favorite in the La Canada, having won the Grade II Bayakoa at Del Mar by three lengths on Dec. 3 and an overnight race by 10 ¼ prior to that. Mike Smith rides the five-year-old Argentine-bred mare for Bob Baffert.Val Dori worked four furlongs on a “good” training track Sunday in 49.80.Autumn Flower, sixth in the Bayakoa, also is probable for the La Canada, trainer Dan Hendricks said. Drayden Van Dyke rides the daughter of Flower Alley. Mario Gutierrez2032415%45%$149,691 Luis Contreras2132514%48%$147,594 Drayden Van Dyke3445012%26%$188,900 William Spawr940244%67%$134,541 John Sadler1244333%92%$202,304 Philip D’Amato1433421%71%$355,980last_img read more

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