Dante is not just any poet. With his epic poem “Commedia”, in English “Divine Comedy” he created an Italian cultural Monument, a journey through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise full of symbols, archetypes, historical and allegorical references.
Imagine that you are a starving fruit fly, desperately searching for food in a new area. Suddenly, you encounter a mysterious new odor and discover a nearby source of life-sustaining food. After a single experience such as this, flies can instantly form an association between that new odor and food, and will follow the odor if it encounters it again (Figure 1-1). Yamagata et al. took advantage of this instinctual behavior to study how the fly brain stores a long-term memory after one event.
They trained groups of flies to associate a particular odor (A) with a sugar reward by presenting them with both stimuli at the same time. They confirmed that the flies formed a memory by giving them a choice between odor A and a different odor (B), and found that flies preferably flocked to an area scented with odor A.
They also identified a large group of dopamine neurons (known as PAM neurons) that were activated by the sugar reward. If the researchers activated the PAM neurons instead of providing sugar when the flies encountered odor A, the flies still associated that odor with a reward (Figure 1-2).
Now the question: how does PAM neuron activity paired with an odor form a long-term memory? The researchers found that the PAM neurons could actually be grouped into two types. When they activated one type, which they dubbed stm-PAM, the flies only formed a short-term memory. The researchers tested their memory immediately after training and found most of the flies hanging around odor A. But 24 hours later, the memory was gone.
Surprisingly, when the researchers activated the other type of PAM neurons during training (called ltm-PAM), the flies only formed a long-term memory! The flies weren’t particularly interested in odor A immediately after training, but 24 hours later the flies flocked toward it. This incredible result showed that long-term memory doesn’t necessarily require a short-term counterpart. So, instead of the reward pathway forming a short-term memory that later transforms into a long-term memory, this sugar reward formed two complementary memories.
Levi Bryant offered some ideas about materialism earlier this week over at Larval Subjects. I read and commented on his post while screeching through the BART transbay tube on my commute home from work.
Evolutionary game theory typically focuses on actions but ignores motives. Here, we introduce a model that takes into account the motive behind the action. A crucial question is why do we trust people more who cooperate without calculating the costs? We propose a game theory model to explain this phenomenon. One player has the option to “look” at the costs of cooperation, and the other player chooses whether to continue the interaction. If it is occasionally very costly for player 1 to cooperate, but defection is harmful for player 2, then cooperation without looking is a subgame perfect equilibrium. This behavior also emerges in population-based processes of learning or evolution. Our theory illuminates a number of key phenomena of human interactions: authentic altruism, why people cooperate intuitively, one-shot cooperation, why friends do not keep track of favors, why we admire principled people, Kant’s second formulation of the Categorical Imperative, taboos, and love.
How a brilliant-green sea slug manages to live for months at a time “feeding” on sunlight, like a plant, is clarified in a recent study published in The Biological Bulletin. The authors present the first direct evidence that the emerald green sea slug’s chromosomes have some genes that come from the algae it eats. These genes help sustain photosynthetic processes inside the slug that provide it with all the food it needs. Importantly, this is one of the only known examples of functional gene transfer from one multicellular species to another, which is the goal of gene therapy to correct genetically based diseases in humans.
“Is a sea slug a good [biological model] for a human therapy? Probably not. But figuring out the mechanism of this naturally occurring gene transfer could be extremely instructive for future medical applications,” says study co-author Sidney K. Pierce, an emeritus professor at University of South Florida and at University of Maryland, College Park.
The team used an advanced imaging technique to confirm that a gene from the alga V. litorea is present on the E. chlorotica slug’s chromosome. This gene makes an enzyme that is critical to the function of photosynthetic “machines” called chloroplasts, which are typically found in plants and algae.
It has been known since the 1970s that E. chloritica “steals” chloroplasts from V. litorea (called “kleptoplasty”) and embeds them into its own digestive cells. Once inside the slug cells, the chloroplasts continue to photosynthesize for up to nine months—much longer than they would perform in the alga. The photosynthesis process produces carbohydrates and lipids, which nourish the slug.
How the slug manages to maintain these photosynthesizing organelles for so long has been the topic of intensive study and a good deal of controversy. “This paper confirms that one of several algal genes needed to repair damage to chloroplasts, and keep them functioning, is present on the slug chromosome,” Pierce says. “The gene is incorporated into the slug chromosome and transmitted to the next generation of slugs.” While the next generation must take up chloroplasts anew from algae, the genes to maintain the chloroplasts are already present in the slug genome, Pierce says.
The story is told by Roman writer, Hyginus, that, one day, while Hermes was traveling through Arcadia, he witnessed two serpents engaged in a fierce battle. When Hermes placed his caduceus between them, they wrapped themselves around it and were at peace with one another. Thus, Hermes’ caduceus, to this day, has been associated with healing and a state of peace.
While reading Hermes Guide of Souls: The Mythologem of the Masculine Source of Life by Karl Kerènyi I came across the following passage describing the nature of Odysseus’s journeying and the special patronage of Hermes over Odysseus: “We previously...
Official launch ofThe Jung-Neumann LettersAn International Conference in Celebration of a Creative Relationship Kibbutz Shefayim, April 24-26, 2015, Conference Website Trailer Follow updates on FaceBook The following article appeared in...
Watkins’ bookstore in Cecil Court, just off Charing Cross Road in London, was founded in 1891 by John Watkins, and is still London’s premier hermetic bookstore. One of its many notorious visitors was Carl Gustav Jung, the famous Swiss psychiatrist who would, together with Freud, define the field. Watkins was later to become Jung’s publisher, bringing out the private 1925 edition of Jung’s “VII Sermones ad Mortuos”. For a well-known psychiatrist to chose a hermetic bookstore as the publisher of a book might seem odd, and it is. The text is purportedly by “Basilides of Alexandria” and is a Gnostic text – a religious document, largely Christian in nature. Why Watkins was chosen as the publisher however becomes clear when we know that Jung had received this document via automatic writing – something most psychiatrists would push towards the lunatic fringe… but not Jung.
We analyze the replicator-mutator equations for the Rock-Paper-Scissors game. Various graph-theoretic patterns of mutation are considered, ranging from a single unidirectional mutation pathway between two of the species, to global bidirectional mutation among all the species. Our main result is that the coexistence state, in which all three species exist in equilibrium, can be destabilized by arbitrarily small mutation rates. After it loses stability, the coexistence state gives birth to a stable limit cycle solution created in a supercritical Hopf bifurcation. This attracting periodic solution exists for all the mutation patterns considered, and persists arbitrarily close to the limit of zero mutation rate and a zero-sum game.
Nonlinear Dynamics of the Rock-Paper-Scissors Game with Mutations Danielle F. P. Toupo, Steven H. Strogatz
One question that social scientists and economists have long puzzled over is how corruption arises in different cultures and why it is more prevalent in some countries than others. But it has always been difficult to find correlations between corruption and other measures of economic or social activity.
Michal Paulus and Ladislav Kristoufek at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic have for the first time found a correlation between the perception of corruption in different countries and their economic development.
The data they use comes from Transparency International, a non-profit campaigning organisation based in Berlin, Germany, and which defines corruption as the misuse of public power for private benefit. Each year, this organisation publishes a global list of countries ranked according to their perceived levels of corruption. The list is compiled using at least three sources of information but does not directly measure corruption, because of the difficulties in gathering such data.
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.