Modern Biology
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Modern Biology
This collection spans from (8 / 2012) - (present). It is archived on paper in a format much easier to process.  9 pages. Completed by 4/ 3/ 2017. Correction, by 9 / 2017 (date changed 5/ 18/ 2016), New version on paper in 2018.  All pages are updated weekly with related articles grouped, so new stuff may be on any page. --Colbert
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Freeman Dyson - Where Do the Laws of Nature Come From?

What's real? What's fundamental? There are regularities in nature, things that are or work the same—always, everywhere, across the universe just like across your kitchen. Down deep, what are the laws of nature?
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Masao Ito: The Cerebellum: Brain for an Implicit Self

Leading neuroscientist Dr. Masao Ito advances a detailed and fascinating view of what the cerebellum contributes to brain function.  The cerebellum has been seen as primarily involved in coordination of body movement control, facilitating the learning of motor skills such as those involved in walking, riding a bicycle, or playing a piano. The cerebellum is now viewed as an assembly of numerous neuronal machine modules, each of which provides an implicit learning capability to various types of motor control. The cerebellum enables us to unconsciously learn motor skills through practice by forming internal models simulating control system properties of the body parts.
 
Based on these remarkable advances in our understanding of motor control mechanisms of the cerebellum, Ito presents a still larger view of the cerebellum as serving a higher level of brain functions beyond movements, including the implicit part of the thought and cognitive processes that manipulate knowledge. Ito extends his investigation of the cerebellum to discuss neural processes that may be involved implicitly in such complex mental actions as having an intuition, imagination, hallucination, or delusion.
Colbert Sesanker's insight:

What is the cerebellum, really?

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Colbert Sesanker's curator insight, October 2, 2015 10:46 PM

Ito's work on the contribution of the cerebellum to cognition gets us one step closer to understanding what it means to think

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Child prodigy: A novel cognitive profile places elevated general intelligence, exceptional working memory and attention to detail at the root of prodigiousness

The collected data reveals a startling picture. While each of the prodigies demonstrated an at least moderately elevated level of intelligence, the prodigies' full scale IQ scores were not consistently on the extreme end of the spectrum. What was consistently extraordinary, however, was the child prodigies' working memory scores—a category in which every prodigy tested in the 99th percentile. Additional results suggest a previously unknown connection between child prodigies and autism. The prodigies' family histories yielded an unlikely number of autistic relatives. And the child prodigies received elevated AQ scores with respect to attention to detail, a trait associated with autism. The prodigies did not, however, display many of the other traits typically associated with autism.
Colbert Sesanker's insight:

"What was consistently extraordinary, however, was the child prodigies' working memory scores—a category in which every prodigy tested in the 99th percentile. "  Supports Vandervert's proposal?

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Subcortical Structures and Cognition - Implications for Neuropsychological Assessment

Subcortical Structures and Cognition - Implications for Neuropsychological Assessment | Modern Biology | Scoop.it

"The study of neuropsychology traditionally begins with geography: the neocortex as the seat of cognition and behavior, and the subcortical regions coordinating movement. Subcortical Structures and Cognition breaks with this traditional view, arguing for a practice-oriented rethinking of brain organization"

Colbert Sesanker's insight:

The sections on the cerebellum are very good. Again, was there any scientific reason to assume sub-cortical structures are not involved in higher order cognition? 
 

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Cell (Current Biology): Rapid Evolution of the Cerebellum in Humans and Other Great Apes

Humans’ unique cognitive abilities are usually attributed to a greatly expanded neocortex, which has been described as “the crowning achievement of evolution and the biological substrate of human mental prowess” [ 1 ]. The human cerebellum, however, contains four times more neurons than the neocortex [ 2 ] and is attracting increasing attention for its wide range of cognitive functions. Using a method for detecting evolutionary rate changes along the branches of phylogenetic trees, we show that the cerebellum underwent rapid size increase throughout the evolution of apes, including humans, expanding significantly faster than predicted by the change in neocortex size. As a result, humans and other apes deviated significantly from the general evolutionary trend for neocortex and cerebellum to change in tandem, having significantly larger cerebella relative to neocortex size than other anthropoid primates. These results suggest that cerebellar specialization was a far more important component of human brain evolution than hitherto recognized and that technical intelligence was likely to have been at least as important as social intelligence in human cognitive evolution. Given the role of the cerebellum in sensory-motor control and in learning complex action sequences, cerebellar specialization is likely to have underpinned the evolution of humans’ advanced technological capacities, which in turn may have been a preadaptation for language.
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The Atlantic: Secrets of the Creative Brain

The Atlantic: Secrets of the Creative Brain | Modern Biology | Scoop.it
A leading neuroscientist who has spent decades studying creativity shares her research on where genius comes from, whether it is dependent on high IQ—and why it is so often accompanied by mental illness. 
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Excellent overview on the relationship between mental illness and creativity 

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The Dynamics of DNA Methylation in Schizophrenia and Related Psychiatric Disorders (Nature, Neuropsychopharmacology)

The Dynamics of DNA Methylation in Schizophrenia and Related Psychiatric Disorders (Nature, Neuropsychopharmacology) | Modern Biology | Scoop.it
Major psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar disorder (BP) with psychosis (BP+) express a complex symptomatology characterized by positive symptoms, negative symptoms, and cognitive impairment. Postmortem studies of human SZ and BP+ brains show considerable alterations in the transcriptome of a variety of cortical structures, including multiple mRNAs that are downregulated in both inhibitory GABAergic and excitatory pyramidal neurons compared with non-psychiatric subjects (NPS). Several reports show increased expression of DNA methyltransferases in telencephalic GABAergic neurons. Accumulating evidence suggests a critical role for altered DNA methylation processes in the pathogenesis of SZ and related psychiatric disorders. The establishment and maintenance of CpG site methylation is essential during central nervous system differentiation and this methylation has been implicated in synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory. Atypical hypermethylation of candidate gene promoters expressed in GABAergic neurons is associated with transcriptional downregulation of the corresponding mRNAs, including glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 (GAD67) and reelin (RELN). Recent reports indicate that the methylation status of promoter proximal CpG dinucleotides is in a dynamic balance between DNA methylation and DNA hydroxymethylation. Hydroxymethylation and subsequent DNA demethylation is more complex and involves additional proteins downstream of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, including members of the base excision repair (BER) pathway. Recent advances in our understanding of altered CpG methylation, hydroxymethylation, and active DNA demethylation provide a framework for the identification of new targets, which may be exploited for the pharmacological intervention of the psychosis associated with SZ and possibly BP+.
Colbert Sesanker's insight:

Molecular Markers of Schizophrenia and psychosis. Resonant chain theory offers a compact explanation: Schizophrenia is disharmony. A failure to synchronize with the outer oscillators in the chain. Plain and simple. 

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Madness Redefined: Creativity, Intelligence and the Dark Side of the Mind

The notion of a “tortured genius” or “mad scientist” may be more than a romantic aberration. Research shows that bipolar disorder and schizophrenia correlate with high creativity and intelligence, raising tantalizing questions: What role does environment play in the path to mental illness? Are so-called mental defects being positively selected for in the gene pool? Where’s the line between gift and deficit? As studies mount supporting the storied link between special aptitudes and mental illnesses, science is reexamining the shifting spectrum between brilliance and madness.
Colbert Sesanker's insight:
The exhaustive explanatory power of resonant chain theory yet again offers a compact explanation. Creativity IS decoupling then re-coupling with the outer oscillator.
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Nature: Sperm RNA carries marks of trauma

Nature: Sperm RNA carries marks of trauma | Modern Biology | Scoop.it
Stress alters the expression of small RNAs in male mice and leads to depressive behaviours in later generations.
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"When raised this way, male offspring showed depressive behaviors and tended to underestimate risk, the study found. Their sperm also showed abnormally high expression of five microRNAs. One of these, miR-375, has been linked to stress and regulation of metabolism."

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Nature: Epigenetics: The sins of the father

Nature: Epigenetics: The sins of the father | Modern Biology | Scoop.it

"The roots of inheritance may extend beyond the genome, but the mechanisms remain a puzzle

 

Dias had been exposing male mice to acetophenone — a chemical with a sweet, almond-like smell — and then giving them a mild foot shock. After being exposed to this treatment five times a day for three days, the mice became reliably fearful, freezing in the presence of acetophenone even when they received no shock.

 

Ten days later, Dias allowed the mice to mate with unexposed females. When their young grew up, many of the animals were more sensitive to acetophenone than to other odours, and more likely to be startled by an unexpected noise during exposure to the smell. Their offspring — the 'grandchildren' of the mice trained to fear the smell — were also jumpier in the presence of acetophenone. What's more, all three generations had larger-than-normal 'M71 glomeruli', structures where acetophenone-sensitive neurons in the nose connect with neurons in the olfactory bulb. In the January issue of Nature Neuroscience1, Dias and Ressler suggested that this hereditary transmission of environmental information was the result of epigenetics — chemical changes to the genome that affect how DNA is packaged and expressed without altering its sequence."

Colbert Sesanker's insight:

How does it get to the germ line?

 

"The first question is how the effects of environmental exposure become embedded in an animal's germ cells — in this case, the mouse's sperm. Germ cells have been shown to express olfactory receptors11. So it is possible that Olfr151 receptors in sperm respond to odorant molecules in the bloodstream and then change the methylation of the corresponding gene in sperm DNA.

 

Alternatively, after being exposed to the odour and the pain, a mouse might produce RNA molecules — perhaps in the brain — that make their way into the bloodstream and then selectively target the Olfr151 gene in sperm. Many studies in plants have hinted at this sort of systemic RNA shuttling. RNA molecules expressed in a plant's leaf, for example, can travel through its vascular system to many of its other tissues and affect gene expression12."

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Can a Single Neuron Tell Halle Berry From Grandma Esther? | DiscoverMagazine.com

Can a Single Neuron Tell Halle Berry From Grandma Esther? | DiscoverMagazine.com | Modern Biology | Scoop.it

"Four decades ago, an MIT neuroscientist named Jerry Lettvin had a sudden inspiration about how our brains make sense of the world. What if each of us had a special set of neurons in our head whose only job was to recognize a particular person, place, or thing? It was a strange idea, but given what Lettvin knew about the brain, it was plausible. "

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i don't think the neurons are being pushed around as symbols. It's possible that the single neuron is doing the computations.

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Wow! Moths Jam Bat Sonar

Wow! Moths Jam Bat Sonar | Modern Biology | Scoop.it

"Tiger moths can thwart attacks from bats by effectively jamming the bats' sonar, doing so by emitting sudden bursts of ultrasound, scientists now find.

Past research had revealed that many night-flying moths have evolved the ability to hear bat sonar. A number were even seen responding with clicks of ultrasound.

Other studies revealed that moth ultrasound could startle bats off. Research also showed the outbursts could warn bats that such moths had a nasty taste, just as flashy colors on some animals can serve to ward off potential predators. Still, there was the enticing possibility that some moths used ultrasound to actually foil bat sonar."

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Moths can Jam Bats' Sonar (Science)

Moths can Jam Bats' Sonar (Science) | Modern Biology | Scoop.it

"A hungry bat screeches out ultrasonic waves and listens as they echo off surrounding objects. One of those echoes sounds an awful lot like a tasty moth, so it swoops in for the kill--but grabs only air. Thwarted again by the tiger moth Bertholdia trigona. New research explains the clever defense; the moth emits ultrasonic clicks that throw off bats' sonarlike echolocation, like jamming a radio signal. It's the first time this type of acoustic interference has been demonstrated in the natural world.

Researchers have noticed that clicking moths were eaten less often than their quieter cousins, but how the rapid, high-pitched zzt-zzt-zzt wards off bats has been a mystery. Three possible explanations have emerged. One is that the clicks startle the bats. If that were the case, though, you'd expect bats to learn to ignore the sound, Conner says. Another hypothesis is that the clicks serve as a warning, letting bats know the moth is distasteful. That's thought to be the case with some toxic moths, such as the related dogbane tiger moth, Cycnia tenera; and other nontoxic moths might mimic the technique. Finally, the moths may somehow jam the bats' echolocation, because the clicks occur in the same frequency range as the ultrasound used by the bats." 

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Cognitive functions of the cerebellum explain how Ericsson's deliberate practice produces giftedness

 

"To get at the details of the subtle effects of deliberate practice, Hesheng Liu1 and I recently proposed a thoroughgoing neurophysiological explanation of the child prodigy (Vandervert & Liu, in press). Our explanation is based upon the collaboration of working memory and cognitive functions of the cerebellum (Ito, 1997, 2005; Vandervert, 2003a, b; Vandervert et al., 2007). In our approach all repetitive working memory processes taking place in the cerebral cortex (e.g., in deliberate practice) are adaptively modeled in the cerebellum (see Ito, 1997, 2005; Chein et al., 2003; Vandervert et al., 2007). When the resulting cerebellar control models are fed back to working memory areas of the cortex, the thought processes of working memory become faster, higher in attentional control, and more appropriately and optimally timed (Akshoomoff et al., 1997; Ito, 1997, 2005; Ivry, 1997).

 

The above newer role of the ‘cognitive cerebellum’ (see Schmahmann, 1997; Ramnani, 2006) offers needed detailed support for Ericsson et al.’s proposal. In addition to the cerebellum constructing adaptive models of mental activity occurring in working memory, it has been convincingly argued that the cerebellum does this in the form of multi-pairs of models that constitute complex modular architectures for mental processes that when fed to working memory functions in the cerebral cortex act to facilitate the development of new, higher levels of performance (Haruno et al., 1999; Wolpert et al., 2003)."

 

 

Colbert Sesanker's insight:

The conception of the "Urge to Master" is still completely open.

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Vandervert, L. (2011). The evolution of language: The cerebro-cerebellar blending of visual-spatial working memory with vocalizations. The Journal of Mind and Behavior, 32, 317-331.

Vandervert, L. (2011). The evolution of language: The cerebro-cerebellar blending of visual-spatial working memory with vocalizations. The Journal of Mind and Behavior, 32, 317-331. | Modern Biology | Scoop.it
Leiner, Leiner, and Dow proposed that the co-evolution of cerebral cortex and the cerebellum over the last million years gave rise to the unique cognitive capacities and language of humans. Following the findings of recent imaging studies by Imamizu and his colleagues, it is proposed that over the last million or so years language evolved from the blending of (1) decomposed/re-composed contexts or “moments” of visual-spatial experience with (2) those of sound patterns decomposed/re-composed from parallel context-appropriate vocalizations (calls or previously acquired “words”). It is further proposed that the adaptive value of this blending was the progressively rapid access to the control of detailed cause-and-effect relationships in working memory as it entered new and challenging environments. Employing the complex syntactical sequence of nut-cracking among capuchin monkeys, it is proposed how cerebro-cerebellar blending of low-volume vocalization and visual-spatial working memory could have produced the beginnings of the phonological loop as proposed by Baddeley, Gathercole, and Papagno. It is concluded that the blending of cerebellar internal models in the cerebral cortex can explain the evolution of human advancements in the manipulation of cause-and-effect ideas in working memory, and, therefore, the emergence of the distinctive “cognitive niche” of humans proposed by Tooby and DeVore and supportively elaborated by Pinker.
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Economist: Who wants to be a genius?

"This is a much more contentious point. Twenty years ago, Dr Ericsson tried to prove it by training some ordinary laboratory volunteers up to prodigy-level performance in a number-memory task. Average people tend to have a “digit-span” of seven—in other words they can recall a string of seven random digits after hearing it read out once. But after a year's practice, two of his particularly dedicated subjects were able to increase their digit-spans to lengths of 80 and 100."


"Dr Ericsson does not believe that the exceptional abilities of such people are due to their innate talent. Rather, he explains their performance by pointing out that they have developed powerful memories for storing information about particular topics. Psychologists recognise (and brain-science confirms) a distinction between short-term “working” memory and long-term memory. Dr Ericsson believes that prodigies get such impressive mileage out of their working memories by placing important pieces of information into their long-term memories in a way that makes them accessible to working-memory processes. According to Dr Ericsson, this “long-term working memory” is the essential ingredient for expert performance in any field, from chess to typing to golf, and can be developed at will."

 "Mr Gamm appeared to be using his long-term memory to store the working results that he needed to complete his calculations—for example, all the dividends and remainders of a division sum. His use of this extra memory space meant that he could circumvent that perennial pitfall of mental arithmetic, losing one's place. In other respects, Mr Gamm's brain does not appear notably unusual. Nor does he perform with exceptional aptitude on tests of skills that lie outside his area of expertise, such as verbal recall. Moreover, Mr Gamm, who is now 26, was not born with this computing ability. He developed his skills, through four hours of practising memorisation daily, only after he had passed the ripe old age of 20."

 

Colbert Sesanker's insight:

More evidence for the role of Long Term Working Memory (LTM) .

 

In particular:

 

"This is a much more contentious point. Twenty years ago, Dr Ericsson tried to prove it by training some ordinary laboratory volunteers up to prodigy-level performance in a number-memory task. Average people tend to have a “digit-span” of seven—in other words they can recall a string of seven random digits after hearing it read out once. But after a year's practice, two of his particularly dedicated subjects were able to increase their digit-spans to lengths of 80 and 100."

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Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul: Stuart Brown, Christopher Vaughan:

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul

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"From a leading expert, a groundbreaking book on the science of play, and its essential role in fueling our happiness and intelligence throughout our lives 

We've all seen the happiness on the face of a child while playing in the school yard. Or the blissful abandon of a golden retriever racing across a lawn. This is the joy of play. By definition, play is purposeless, all-consuming, and fun. But as Dr. Stuart Brown illustrates, play is anything but trivial. It is a biological drive as integral to our health as sleep or nutrition. We are designed by nature to flourish through play. 

Dr. Brown has spent his career studying animal behavior and conducting more than six-thousand "play histories" of humans from all walks of life-from serial murderers to Nobel Prize winners. Backed by the latest research, Play(20,000 copies in print) explains why play is essential to our social skills, adaptability, intelligence, creativity, ability to problem solve and more. Particularly in tough times, we need to play more than ever, as it's the very means by which we prepare for the unexpected, search out new solutions, and remain optimistic. A fascinating blend of cutting-edge neuroscience, biology, psychology, social science, and inspiring human stories of the transformative power of play, this book proves why play just might be the most important work we can ever do."

Colbert Sesanker's insight:

The sections describing the physiology of play have a lot of overlap with Vandervert's theories. Special attention given to the cerebellum's role of coordinating and integrating activity across the entire brain. 

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Colbert Sesanker's curator insight, March 19, 2015 10:05 PM

The sections describing the physiology of play have a lot of overlap with Vandervert's theories. Special attention given to the cerebellum's role of coordinating and integrating activity across the entire brain. 

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PLOS ONE: Spectral Signatures of Reorganised Brain Networks in Disorders of Consciousness

PLOS ONE: Spectral Signatures of Reorganised Brain Networks in Disorders of Consciousness | Modern Biology | Scoop.it
What are the neural signatures of consciousness? This is an elusive yet fascinating challenge to current cognitive neuroscience, but it takes on an immediate clinical and societal significance in patients diagnosed as vegetative and minimally conscious. In these patients, it leads us to ask whether we can test for the presence of these signatures in the absence of any external signs of awareness. Recent conceptual advances suggest that consciousness requires a dynamic balance between integrated and differentiated networks of information exchange between brain regions. Here we apply this insight to study such networks in patients and compare them to healthy adults. Using the science of graph theory, we show that the rich and diversely connected networks that support awareness are characteristically impaired in patients, lacking the ability to efficiently integrate information across disparate regions via well-connected hubs. We find that the quality of patients' networks also correlates well with their degree of behavioural responsiveness, and some vegetative patients who show signs of hidden awareness have remarkably well-preserved networks similar to healthy adults.
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Potential metabolite markers of schizophrenia (Nature, Molecular Psychiatry)

Potential metabolite markers of schizophrenia (Nature, Molecular Psychiatry) | Modern Biology | Scoop.it
Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder that affects 0.5–1% of the population worldwide. Current diagnostic methods are based on psychiatric interviews, which are subjective in nature. The lack of disease biomarkers to support objective laboratory tests has been a long-standing bottleneck in the clinical diagnosis and evaluation of schizophrenia. Here we report a global metabolic profiling study involving 112 schizophrenic patients and 110 healthy subjects, who were divided into a training set and a test set, designed to identify metabolite markers. A panel of serum markers consisting of glycerate, eicosenoic acid, β-hydroxybutyrate, pyruvate and cystine was identified as an effective diagnostic tool, achieving an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.945 in the training samples (62 patients and 62 controls) and 0.895 in the test samples (50 patients and 48 controls). Furthermore, a composite panel by the addition of urine β-hydroxybutyrate to the serum panel achieved a more satisfactory accuracy, which reached an AUC of 1 in both the training set and the test set. Multiple fatty acids and ketone bodies were found significantly (P<0.01) elevated in both the serum and urine of patients, suggesting an upregulated fatty acid catabolism, presumably resulting from an insufficiency of glucose supply in the brains of schizophrenia patients.
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recent work (2013) on metabolic markers for schizophrenia (temporal disharmony) 

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Nature: Transfer Entropy and Transient Limits of Computation

Transfer entropy is a recently introduced information-theoretic measure quantifying directed statistical coherence between spatiotemporal processes, and is widely used in diverse fields ranging from finance to neuroscience. However, its relationships to fundamental limits of computation, such as Landauer's limit, remain unknown. Here we show that in order to increase transfer entropy (predictability) by one bit, heat flow must match or exceed Landauer's limit. Importantly, we generalise Landauer's limit to bi-directional information dynamics for non-equilibrium processes, revealing that the limit applies to prediction, in addition to retrodiction (information erasure). Furthermore, the results are related to negentropy, and to Bremermann's limit and the Bekenstein bound, producing, perhaps surprisingly, lower bounds on the computational deceleration and information loss incurred during an increase in predictability about the process. The identified relationships set new computational limits in terms of fundamental physical quantities, and establish transfer entropy as a central measure connecting information theory, thermodynamics and theory of computation.

 

Transfer Entropy and Transient Limits of Computation
Mikhail Prokopenko and Joseph T. Lizier
Scientific Reports 4, 5394, doi:10.1038/srep05394
http://www.nature.com/srep/2014/140623/srep05394/full/srep05394.html


Via Complexity Digest
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combine with integrated information

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PLOS ONE: From the Phenomenology to the Mechanisms of Consciousness: Integrated Information Theory 3.0

PLOS ONE: From the Phenomenology to the Mechanisms of Consciousness: Integrated Information Theory 3.0 | Modern Biology | Scoop.it

This paper presents Integrated Information Theory (IIT) of consciousness 3.0, which incorporates several advances over previous formulations. IIT starts from phenomenological axioms: information says that each experience is specific – it is what it is by how it differs from alternative experiences; integration says that it is unified – irreducible to non-interdependent components; exclusion says that it has unique borders and a particular spatio-temporal grain. These axioms are formalized into postulates that prescribe how physical mechanisms, such as neurons or logic gates, must be configured to generate experience (phenomenology). The postulates are used to define intrinsic information as “differences that make a difference” within a system, and integrated information as information specified by a whole that cannot be reduced to that specified by its parts. By applying the postulates both at the level of individual mechanisms and at the level of systems of mechanisms, IIT arrives at an identity: an experience is a maximally irreducible conceptual structure (MICS, a constellation of concepts in qualia space), and the set of elements that generates it constitutes a complex. According to IIT, a MICS specifies the quality of an experience and integrated information ΦMax its quantity. From the theory follow several results, including: a system of mechanisms may condense into a major complex and non-overlapping minor complexes; the concepts that specify the quality of an experience are always about the complex itself and relate only indirectly to the external environment; anatomical connectivity influences complexes and associated MICS; a complex can generate a MICS even if its elements are inactive; simple systems can be minimally conscious; complicated systems can be unconscious; there can be true “zombies” – unconscious feed-forward systems that are functionally equivalent to conscious complexes.

 


Via Ashish Umre
Colbert Sesanker's insight:

this is cool but christof koch is trying too hard

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In a Mother’s Milk, Nutrients, and a Message, Too (NY Times)

In a Mother’s Milk, Nutrients, and a Message, Too (NY Times) | Modern Biology | Scoop.it

"A new study of infant monkeys demonstrates that a hormone present in a mother’s milk can have profound effects on how her offspring develops.

 

Along with nutrients like protein and calcium, milk contains immune factors that protect infants from disease. It hosts a menagerie of microbes, too, some of which may colonize the guts of babies and help them digest food. Milk even contains a special sugar that can fertilize that microbial garden.

 

Now, it turns out, milk also contains messages."

 

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Nature Nueroscience: Parental olfactory experience influences behavior and neural structure in subsequent generations

Using olfactory molecular specificity, we examined the inheritance of parental traumatic exposure, a phenomenon that has been frequently observed, but not understood. We subjected F0 mice to odor fear conditioning before conception and found that subsequently conceived F1 and F2 generations had an increased behavioral sensitivity to the F0-conditioned odor, but not to other odors. When an odor (acetophenone) that activates a known odorant receptor (Olfr151) was used to condition F0 mice, the behavioral sensitivity of the F1 and F2 generations to acetophenone was complemented by an enhanced neuroanatomical representation of the Olfr151 pathway. Bisulfite sequencing of sperm DNA from conditioned F0 males and F1 naive offspring revealed CpG hypomethylation in the Olfr151 gene. In addition, in vitro fertilization, F2 inheritance and cross-fostering revealed that these transgenerational effects are inherited via parental gametes. Our findings provide a framework for addressing how environmental information may be inherited transgenerationally at behavioral, neuroanatomical and epigenetic levels.
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This paper details a mechanism for paternal epigenetic inheritance. 

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Epigenetic transmission of Holocaust trauma: can nightmares be inherited? - PubMed - NCBI

The Holocaust left its visible and invisible marks not only on the survivors, but also on their children. Instead of numbers tattooed on their forearms, however, they may have been marked epigenetically with a chemical coating upon their chromosomes, which would represent a kind of biological memory of what the parents experienced. as a result, some suffer from a general vulnerability to stress while others are more resilient. Previous research assumed that such transmission was caused by environmental factors, such as the parents' childrearing behavior. New research, however, indicates that these transgenerational effects may have been also (epi) genetically transmitted to their children. Integrating both hereditary and environmental factors, epigenetics adds a new and more comprehensive psychobiological dimension to the explanation of transgenerational transmission of trauma. Specifically, epigenetics may explain why latent transmission becomes manifest under stress. a general theoretical overview of epigenetics and its relevance to research on trauma transmission is presented.
Colbert Sesanker's insight:

"Specifically, epigenetics may explain why latent

transmission becomes manifest under stress. A general

theoretical overview of epigenetics and its relevance to

research on trauma transmission is presented."

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Tiger Moth Jams Bat Sonar (Science)

"Using ultrasonic recording and high-speed infrared videography of bat-moth interactions, we show that the palatable tiger moth Bertholdia trigona defends against attacking big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) using ultrasonic clicks that jam bat sonar."

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