Over at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, also known as DARPA, there are some pretty amazing (and often top-secret) things going on. But one notable component of a DARPA project was revealed by a Defense Department official at a recent forum, and it is the stuff of science fiction movies. According to DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar, a paralyzed woman was successfully able use her thoughts to control an F-35 and a single-engine Cessna in a flight simulator.
It's just the latest advance for one woman, 55-year-old Jan Scheuermann, who has been the subject of two years of groundbreaking neurosignaling research. First, Scheuermann began by controlling a robotic arm and accomplishing tasks such as feeding herself a bar of chocolate and giving high fives and thumbs ups. Then, researchers learned that -- surprisingly -- Scheuermann was able to control both right-hand and left-hand prosthetic arms with just the left motor cortex, which is typically responsible for controlling the right-hand side. After that, Scheuermann decided she was up for a new challenge, according to Prabhakar.
"Jan decided that she wanted to try flying a Joint Strike Fighter simulator," Prabhakar said, prompting laughter from the crowd at the New America Foundation's Future of War forum. "So Jan got to fly in the simulator."
Unlike pilots who use the simulator technology for training, Scheuermann wasn't thinking about controlling the plane with a joystick. She thought about flying the plane itself -- and it worked. "In fact," Prabhakar noted, "for someone who's never flown -- she's not a pilot in real life -- she's in there flying a simulator directly from neurosignaling."
Scheuermann has been paralyzed since 2003 because of a neurodegenerative condition. In 2012, she agreed to be fitted with two probes on the surface of her brain in the motor cortex area responsible for right hand and arm movements. In the last two years, she has tolerated those probes better than expected; as a result, she's been the subject of increasingly sophisticated experiments in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and DARPA's Revolutionizing Prosthetics program, to determine just how much she can do simply by thinking about it.
Marshall beach, San Francisco I originally planned to shoot the bridge at the end of the beach but totally forgot to check the tide level. I ended up staying here and captured the tide motions instead.
A recent research collaboration between Moscow State University and here at the University of Iowa has discovered that crows exhibit strong behavioral signs of analogical reasoning—the ability to solve puzzles like “bird is to air as fish is to what?” Analogical reasoning is considered to be the pinnacle of cognition and it only develops in humans between the ages of three and four.
Devising a task to study analogical thinking in animals is the next step. Here, the gist of analogycan be captured by arranging a matching task in which the relevant logical arguments are presented in the form of visual stimuli. Using letters of the alphabet for explanatory purposes, choosing test pair BB would be correct if the sample pair were AA, whereas choosing test pair EF would be correct if the sample pair were CD. Stated logically, A:A as B:B (same = same) and C:D as E:F (different = different). Critically, no items in the correct test pair physically match any of the items in the sample pair; so, only the analogical relation of sameness can be used to solve the task. Early research suggested that only humans and apes can learn this analogy task; however, a more recent project indicated that baboons too can learn to select the pair of items that depicts the analogous same or different relationship as the sample pair.
Now, we have found that crows too can exhibit analogical thinking. Ed Wasserman, one of the authors of this article, and his colleagues in Moscow, Anna Smirnova, Zoya Zorina, and Tanya Obozova, first trained hooded crows on several tasks in which they had to match items that were the same as one another. The crows were presented with a tray containing three cups. The middle cup was covered by a card picturing a color, a shape, or a number of items. The other two side cups were also covered by cards—one the same as and one different from the middle card. The cup under the matching card contained food, but the cup under the nonmatching card was empty. Crows quickly learned to choose the matching card and to do so more quickly from one task to the next.
Then, the critical test was given. Each card now pictured a pair of items. The middle card would display pairs AA or CD, and the two side cards would display pair BB and pair EF. The relation between one pair of items must be appreciated and then applied to a new pair of items to generate the correct answer: the BB card in the case of AA or the EF card in the case of CD. For instance, if the middle card displayed a circle and a cross, then the correct choice would be the side card containing a square and a triangle rather than the side card containing two squares.
Not only could the crows correctly perform this task, but they did so spontaneously, from the very first presentations, without ever being trained to do so.
That's a lot of ground to cover. And it could be like watching paint dry. But not when it flies by in 60 seconds, with a groovy soundtrack by I-Konic. First come the arthropods. Next some friendly fish, all followed by land plants, flying insects, amphibians, and reptiles.
Un telescopio espacial europeo determinó por primera vez cuándo comenzaron a formarse las estrellas en el Universo. Según nuevos datos proporcionados por el satélite Planck se originaron más tarde de lo que se pensaba.
Un estudio de la Universidad Aalto, en Finlandia, reveló recientemente que las emociones pueden reflejarse en el cuerpo humano, es decir que pueden materializarse. Los investigadores comprobaron cómo las emociones más frecuentes liberan sensaciones intensas. Por ejemplo, la ansiedad puede ser experimentada como un dolor en el pecho, mientras que el enamoramiento puede desencadenar cálidas y placenteras sensaciones en todo el cuerpo.
Susan Blackmore studies memes: ideas that replicate themselves from brain to brain like a virus. She makes a bold new argument: Humanity has spawned a new kind of meme, the teme, which spreads itself via technology -- and invents ways to keep itself alive...
- Steve Paulson: So, everything in culture that we copy is a meme?
- Blackmore: Yes. Now, you may go, "Oh, well, that means everything!" But actually, not everything in your mind, not everything you do is mimetic. You have in your own mind lots of ideas that you make up yourself and are never copied, you didn't get them from anybody else, and they never get passed on...
First coined by Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene, a meme is any idea, behavior, or skill that can be transferred from one person to another by imitation: stories, fashions, inventions, recipes, songs, ways of plowing a field or throwing a baseball or making a sculpture.
The meme is also one of the most important--and controversial--concepts to emerge since The Origin of the Species appeared nearly 150 years ago.
Adiós a la factura de la luz: Tesla llegará a los hogares en seis meses Elon Musk ha vuelto a hacerlo: ahora promete una batería capaz de almacenar energía renovable que eliminará la dependencia de compañías eléctricas
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