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Social Foraging
Dynamics of Social Interaction
Curated by Ashish Umre
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BNA 2013 Festival of Neuroscience: Exploring and Celebrating Neuroscience

BNA 2013 Festival of Neuroscience: Exploring and Celebrating Neuroscience | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

The British Neuroscience Association's biennial meeting in 2013 will be a unique event. Eighteen learned societies with a neuroscience interest - both clinical and non-clinical - have contributed one or more symposia to the programme, creating a meeting with 56 scientific sessions and 8 plenary lectures involving more than 240 speakers, over 80 from outside the U.K.

The hottest topics in neuroscience research will be covered, and we expect over 1000 poster presentations representing all aspects of the subject.

As the venue for the BNA2013 meeting is the Barbican Centre - one of London's leading entertainment venues - a major public engagement programme will form part of the Festival of Neuroscience - enabling members of the public to interact with scientists, carers, charities, funders, policy-makers...and some well-known celebrities with experience of mental health issues...to learn more about the brain and the importance of a multi-disciplinary approach to research.

Ashish Umre's insight:

Dates: 7th - 10th April 2013

The Barbican Centre, London, UK.

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Swype Living Language uses crowdsourcing to add new words

Swype Living Language uses crowdsourcing to add new words | Social Foraging | Scoop.it
A new version of Swype is out and this one has a new feature which  Nuance Communications, the people behind Dragon Dictate and Swype, called Living Language. Swype Living Language uses crowdsourcing to find new trending words and adds them to the keyboard’s dictionary.

 

Crowdsourcing, in this context, means that as other users add words to their personal dictionaries the data is sent to Swype’s servers and popular and trending words are automatically pushed out to other users. You need to specifically opt into the service by going to Swype settings and tapping on Language Options. Tap Living language to activate the crowdsourcing. Nuance hope that this new feature will make the keyboard’s predictive results better allowing users to speed up their input.

 

Also new in this version is a feature called Smart Editor. It analyzes the last entered sentence and highlights any potential errors, along with suggestions, to enable you to fix the text quickly. I tapped “Gong home now” into a text message and Swype correctly underlined Gong and suggested Going. Neat!

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UPS Drivers Vs. The UPS Algorithm and the Travelling Salesman Problem

UPS Drivers Vs. The UPS Algorithm and the Travelling Salesman Problem | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

A lot of times, I feel like an explorer,” says Jack Levis, UPS’s director of process management. “Often I’m telling the company: Just because we’ve done it this way for the past 50 years doesn’t mean it’s right.”

 

Levis, who manages a team of mathematicians who build the algorithms that help UPS shave millions of miles off delivery routes, is paid to tell the company things it may not want to hear. One of his major projects in the last decade has been rolling out a system called ORION (On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation), a kind of algorithmic overmind that knows better than any human how drivers ought to plan their routes.

 

ORION was first conceived in 2000, but wasn’t tested till 2008. Over the past four years, the system has rolled out to some 50 UPS buildings; it will take another half-decade or so to roll out the system throughout UPS. “It’s one driver at a time, one building at a time,” says Levis.

 

Developing a system of this magnitude--and making a 105-year-old company comfortable with it--was no easy feat. Fast Company caught up with Levis to glean a few lessons.

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OK, Stupid: IAC to Bring Dating Algorithms to Tutor.com After Acquisition

OK, Stupid: IAC to Bring Dating Algorithms to Tutor.com After Acquisition | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

Oh, algorithms: So good for trading stocks,handicapping elections and finding Mrs. Right—and now, perhaps, finding the right online tutor.

 

IAC, the parent company to Match.com and OKCupid, acquired Tutor.com, according to a press release, noting an opportunity to apply its expertise in marketing and distribution to the online education service.

 

Founded in 1998, Tutor.com touts itself as the world’s largest online tutoring service, claiming a network of 2,500 experts who provide homework help and professional development over a proprietary online platform. According to The New York Times, which reported on the deal last night, 90 percent of the company’s business comes from partnerships with institutions such as the U.S. military, schools and libraries.

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Multi-layered Social Networks

It is quite obvious that in the real world, more than one kind of relationship can exist between two actors and that those ties can be so intertwined that it is impossible to analyse them separately [Fienberg 85], [Minor 83], [Szell 10]. Social networks with more than one type of relation are not a completely new concept [Wasserman 94] but they were analysed mainly at the small scale, e.g. in [McPherson 01], [Padgett 93], and [Entwisle 07]. Just like in the case of regular single-layered social network there is no widely accepted definition or even common name. At the beginning such networks have been called multiplex network [Haythornthwaite 99], [Monge 03].

 

The term is derived from communications theory which defines multiplex as combining multiple signals into one in such way that it is possible to separate them if needed [Hamill 06]. Recently, the area of multi-layered social network has started attracting more and more attention in research conducted within different domains [Kazienko 11a], [Szell 10], [Rodriguez 07], [Rodriguez 09], and the meaning of multiplex network has expanded and covers not only social relationships but any kind of connection, e.g. based on geography, occupation, kinship, hobbies, etc. [Abraham 12]. This essay aims to summarize existing knowledge about one concept which has many different names i.e. the concept of Multi-layered Social Network also known as Layered social network, Multi-relational social network, Multidimensional social network, Multiplex social network

  
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Bandit Algorithms for Website Optimization

Bandit Algorithms for Website Optimization | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

When looking for ways to improve your website, how do you decide which changes to make? And which changes to keep? This concise book shows you how to use Multiarmed Bandit algorithms to measure the real-world value of any modifications you make to your site. Author John Myles White shows you how this powerful class of algorithms can help you boost website traffic, convert visitors to customers, and increase many other measures of success.

This is the first developer-focused book on bandit algorithms, which were previously described only in research papers. You’ll quickly learn the benefits of several simple algorithms—including the epsilon-Greedy, Softmax, and Upper Confidence Bound (UCB) algorithms—by working through code examples written in Python, which you can easily adapt for deployment on your own website.

 

Learn the basics of A/B testing—and recognize when it’s better to use bandit algorithms

 

Develop a unit testing framework for debugging bandit algorithms
Get additional code examples written in Julia, Ruby, and JavaScript with supplemental online materials

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The Art + Brain Files: An Introduction to Neuro-Aesthetics

The Art + Brain Files: An Introduction to Neuro-Aesthetics | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

This is all about, in a word, perception.

 

Neuroaesthetics is an emerging field of study haunted by interdisciplinary practitioners who all have one thing in common: they are using new understandings of cognitive science to approach the fine arts. Technologies that were developed to better study the brain are being repurposed in order to study painting, music, literature, and cinema. Some of the most interesting proponents of a neurological approach to art include writers Semir Zeki, Margaret Livingstone, Oliver Sacks, Jonah Lehrer, VS Ramachandran, Walter Murch, and programs like RadioLab.

 

Neuroaesthetics gives us an opportunity to reframe classical and contemporary art. Classical artists may not have known the exact science of perception, but intuitively understood how the brain perceives the world. Some contemporary artists are taking advantage of recent breakthroughs in neuroscience and applying it directly to their work. Painters like Cézanne and Mondrian had an intuitive sense of how the brain works; contemporary artists like Nathan Cohen and Tatsuo Miyajima have had exposure to cognitive science and apply it directly to their work. In the coming posts, I’ll explore both of these tracks. Imaging devices like MRIs and eye-tracking are allowing us to study the circuitry of the brain in much greater resolution and depth than ever before. Now, we have a means to peer directly into the brain in a way where, previously, we could only guess.

 

However, with new tools come new responsibilities.

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LinkedIn’s profile view setting–a game theory analysis

LinkedIn’s profile view setting–a game theory analysis | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

LinkedIn, the popular professional networking portal, has recently revised the options that it presents its users to be able to see who viewed their profile. The user can now choose from one among three options – to be able to see visitors’ names and titles, to be able to see visitors’ industry/company only, and to not be able to see who visited their profile. The catch is that the settings the user enables for visibility into who viewed his/her profile are also applicable to him/her. For example, if one enables the option of seeing the names and titles of all visitors who visited one’s profile, then one agrees to let one’s name and title be displayed to people whose profile one visits too. Assuming both the options of enabling visibility of one’s visits to another’s profile as the same option, the other option that remains is to disable visibility of one’s visits to others’ profiles, which we will call one’s footprints.

 

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General Artificial Intelligence and the Global Brain: Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

General Artificial Intelligence and the Global Brain: Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

At first glance, the emergence of a Global Brain and the engineering of advanced Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) systems might seem to be two orthogonal approaches to the origination of intelligence beyond the human level. But closer inspection reveals great synergetic potential. An AGI or community thereof, studying content and activity on the Internet, could serve as the “central conscious theater” of a distributed global brain, allowing a global brain with a more unified and explicitly goal-directed form of cognition.

 

This would also benefit the AGI, allowing it to increase its own intelligence via leveraging its interactions with the content, software and humans on the Net. Existing proto-AGI architectures such as OpenCog (http://opencog.org) may have potential for use in this sort of way.

 

Eventually such an AGI could serve as a sort of “global AI nanny”, helping society to monitor its own behavior with global safety in mind (although, the caveats as well as the benefits of this sort of application are clear).” - GlobalBrainInstitute

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Physics of Self-Organization and Evolution: Werner Ebeling, Rainer Feistel

This thoroughly updated version of the German authoritative work on self-organization has been completely rewritten by internationally renowned experts and experienced book authors to also include a review of more recent literature. It retains the original enthusiasm and fascination surrounding thermodynamic systems far from equilibrium, synergetics, and the origin of life, representing an easily readable book and tutorial on this exciting field.
The book is unique in covering in detail the experimental and theoretical fundamentals of self-organizing systems as well as such selected features as random processes, structural networks and multistable systems, while focusing on the physical and theoretical modeling of natural selection and evolution processes. The authors take examples from physics, chemistry, biology and social systems, and include results hitherto unpublished in English.

 

The result is a one-stop resource relevant for students and scientists in physics or related interdisciplinary fields, including mathematical physics, biophysics, information science and nanotechnology.

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Neural Activity during Natural Viewing of Sesame Street Statistically Predicts Test Scores in Early Childhood

Neural Activity during Natural Viewing of Sesame Street Statistically Predicts Test Scores in Early Childhood | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

It is not currently possible to measure the real-world thought process that a child has while observing an actual school lesson. However, if it could be done, children's neural processes would presumably be predictive of what they know. Such neural measures would shed new light on children's real-world thought. Toward that goal, this study examines neural processes that are evoked naturalistically, during educational television viewing. Children and adults all watched the same Sesame Street video during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

 

Whole-brain intersubject correlations between the neural timeseries from each child and a group of adults were used to derive maps of “neural maturity” for children. Neural maturity in the intraparietal sulcus (IPS), a region with a known role in basic numerical cognition, predicted children's formal mathematics abilities. In contrast, neural maturity in Broca's area correlated with children's verbal abilities, consistent with prior language research. Our data show that children's neural responses while watching complex real-world stimuli predict their cognitive abilities in a content-specific manner. This more ecologically natural paradigm, combined with the novel measure of “neural maturity,” provides a new method for studying real-world mathematics development in the brain.

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Bee species named after 'Big Bang Theory' catchphrase

Bee species named after 'Big Bang Theory' catchphrase | Social Foraging | Scoop.it
If you watch "The Big Bang Theory," you probably laugh every time Sheldon Cooper says the B-word: "Bazinga!"

 

Now, in one of those amusing science-imitates-art moments, "bazinga" has been officially dubbed a species of a bee.

 

The writers of the hit comedy probably never imagined that the persnickety physicist Cooper's favorite word would be immortalized in actual science.

 

But thanks to a team of Brazilian biologists, a Brazilian orchid bee is now known by the name Euglossa bazinga.

 

"The idea was to honor actor Jim Parsons and his brilliant interpretation of Sheldon Cooper," Dr. André Nemésio, a biology professor at the Universidade Federal de Uberlândia in Brazil told CNN.

 

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Mikaela Zichlin's curator insight, October 13, 2013 11:53 AM

Curious #TVShow fact about #TBBT A brazilian Bee Species is named after #SheldonCooper's #Bazinga

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Network Self-Organization Explains the Statistics and Dynamics of Synaptic Connection Strengths in Cortex

Network Self-Organization Explains the Statistics and Dynamics of Synaptic Connection Strengths in Cortex | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

The information processing abilities of neural circuits arise from their synaptic connection patterns. Understanding the laws governing these connectivity patterns is essential for understanding brain function. The overall distribution of synaptic strengths of local excitatory connections in cortex and hippocampus is long-tailed, exhibiting a small number of synaptic connections of very large efficacy. At the same time, new synaptic connections are constantly being created and individual synaptic connection strengths show substantial fluctuations across time. It remains unclear through what mechanisms these properties of neural circuits arise and how they contribute to learning and memory. In this study we show that fundamental characteristics of excitatory synaptic connections in cortex and hippocampus can be explained as a consequence of self-organization in a recurrent network combining spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP), structural plasticity and different forms of homeostatic plasticity.

 

In the network, associative synaptic plasticity in the form of STDP induces a rich-get-richer dynamics among synapses, while homeostatic mechanisms induce competition. Under distinctly different initial conditions, the ensuing self-organization produces long-tailed synaptic strength distributions matching experimental findings. We show that this self-organization can take place with a purely additive STDP mechanism and that multiplicative weight dynamics emerge as a consequence of network interactions. The observed patterns of fluctuation of synaptic strengths, including elimination and generation of synaptic connections and long-term persistence of strong connections, are consistent with the dynamics of dendritic spines found in rat hippocampus. Beyond this, the model predicts an approximately power-law scaling of the lifetimes of newly established synaptic connection strengths during development. Our results suggest that the combined action of multiple forms of neuronal plasticity plays an essential role in the formation and maintenance of cortical circuits.

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Hurricane Sandy, Open Data and Social Media

From hackathons to social media, open government is transforming the way that Mayor Bloomberg’s administration and New York City government serve the public. And there has been no greater testament to open government’s potential than the strategy and innovation in action during Hurricane Sandy.

 

Learning from our experience during Hurricane Irene, in the days leading up to Hurricane Sandy’s landfall in New York City, government technologists reached out to the data science community to share recently updated hurricane evacuation zone maps based on up-to-the-minute flooding projections. To ensure wide  public access to this valuable information, the City’s IT Department immediately published the data to the City’s Open Data portal, enabling developers and designers to develop emergency maps and applications. For the second consecutive year, the City also partnered with organizations such as WNYC.org, The New York Times, and Google’s Crisis Response team, which developed a customized New York City-centric Hurricane Sandy map featuring evacuation zones, shelters, food distributions centers, warming centers, recovery centers and more resources.

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Psychologists Uncover Hidden Signals of Trust — Using a Robot

Psychologists Uncover Hidden Signals of Trust — Using a Robot | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

“In spite of the hardness and ruthlessness I thought I saw in his face, I got the impression that here was a man who could be relied upon when he had given his word."

 

Neville Chamberlain’s first impression of Adolf Hitler can charitably be described as an error in judgment. Rarely do our own miscalculations result in tragedy, yet popular sentiment seems to hold that when it comes to truly trusting others, you just never know. Wolves in sheep’s clothing abound, and prudence demands skepticism. Whether we are deciding on a babysitter, a doctor, or a car, we try to not base our judgments on our first impressions. We ask for references, and look up reviews and blue book values.  We know that “I’ve just got a good feeling about this” can be famous last words.

 

But this may not be a full portrayal of our capacity to judge others’ character. New research led by David DeSteno at Northeastern University suggests that when it comes to deciding whom to trust, our first impressions can be quite accurate. In fact, personality traits such as honesty and fairness are linked to specific kinds of nonverbal cues, and humans can pick up on these signals during interactions. According to these researchers we are like robots, programmed to move in particular ways if we are honest. To know who to trust, one simply needs to be able to read the patterns.

Ashish Umre's insight:

Link to the research paper: http://socialemotions.org/page5/files/Trust%20Paper_PsycSci_Final.pdf

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From the Amazon rainforest to human body cells: Quantifying stability

From the Amazon rainforest to human body cells: Quantifying stability | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

As they typically result from severe external perturbations, it is of vital interest how stable the most desirable state is. Surprisingly, this basic question has so far received little attention. Now scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), in a paper published in Nature Physics, propose a new concept for quantifying stability.


"Up to now, science was able to say if a complex system is stable or not, but it wasn't able to properly say how stable it is," says Peter J. Menck, lead author of the paper. The proposed concept is the first to fill this gap. "We conceive a system's alternative states as points in a mountainous landscape with steep rocks and deep valleys," explains Menck. "In the sinks between the peaks, a system comes to rest like a rolling ball would. Now the likelihood that the system returns to a specific sink after suffering a severe blow strongly depends on how big the surrounding valley is." In the high-dimensional systems Menck and his colleagues study, the equivalent of the valley is called the basin of attraction. The basin's volume is the measure the authors suggest to use for the quantification of stability.

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Social Network Based Search for Experts

Our system illustrates how information retrieved from social networks can be used for suggesting experts for specific tasks. The system is designed to facilitate the task of finding the appropriate person(s) for a job, as a conference committee member, an advisor, etc. This short description will demonstrate how the system works in the context of the HCIR2012 published tasks.

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Structure and Dynamics of Information Pathways in Online Media

Diffusion of information, spread of rumors and infectious diseases are all instances of stochastic processes that occur over the edges of an underlying network. Many times networks over which contagions spread are unobserved, and such networks are often dynamic and change over time. In this paper, we investigate the problem of inferring dynamic networks based on information diffusion data. We assume there is an unobserved dynamic network that changes over time, while we observe the results of a dynamic process spreading over the edges of the network. The task then is to infer the edges and the dynamics of the underlying network.


We develop an on-line algorithm that relies on stochastic convex optimization to efficiently solve the dynamic network inference problem. We apply our algorithm to information diffusion among 3.3 million mainstream media and blog sites and experiment with more than 179 million different pieces of information spreading over the network in a one year period. We study the evolution of information pathways in the online media space and find interesting insights. Information pathways for general recurrent topics are more stable across time than for on-going news events. Clusters of news media sites and blogs often emerge and vanish in matter of days for on-going news events. Major social movements and events involving civil population, such as the Libyan's civil war or Syria's uprise, lead to an increased amount of information pathways among blogs as well as in the overall increase in the network centrality of blogs and social media sites.

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Physical Limits to Leaf Size in Tall Trees

Leaf sizes in angiosperm trees vary by more than 3 orders of magnitude, from a few mm to over 1 m. This large morphological freedom is, however, only expressed in small trees, and the observed leaf size range declines with tree height, forming well-defined upper and lower boundaries. The vascular system of tall trees that distributes the products of photosynthesis connects distal parts of the plant and forms one of the largest known continuous microfluidic distribution networks. In biological systems, intrinsic properties of vascular systems are known to constrain the morphological freedom of the organism. We show that the limits to leaf size can be understood by physical constraints imposed by intrinsic properties of the carbohydrate transport network. The lower boundary is set by a minimum energy flux, and the upper boundary is set by a diminishing gain in transport efficiency.

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Everything is connected

Everything is connected | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

WHEN dozens of countries refused to sign a new global treaty on internet governance in late 2012, a wide range of activists rejoiced. They saw the treaty, crafted under the auspices of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), as giving governments pernicious powers to meddle with and censor the internet. For months groups with names like Access Now and Fight for the Future had campaigned against the treaty. Their lobbying was sometimes hyperbolic. But it was also part of the reason the treaty was rejected by many countries, including America, and thus in effect rendered void.

 

The success at the ITU conference in Dubai capped a big year for online activists. In January they helped defeat Hollywood-sponsored anti-piracy legislation, best known by the acronym SOPA, in America’s Congress. A month later, in Europe, they took on ACTA, an obscure international treaty which, in seeking to enforce intellectual-property rights, paid little heed to free speech and privacy. In Brazil they got closer than many would have believed possible to securing a ground-breaking internet bill of rights, the “Marco Civil da Internet”. In Pakistan they helped to delay, perhaps permanently, plans for a national firewall, and in the Philippines they campaigned against a cybercrime law the Supreme Court later put on hold.

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Magisto App Uses Artificial Intelligence to Automatically Edit Videos

Magisto App Uses Artificial Intelligence to Automatically Edit Videos | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

If you struggle with editing videos, then an app called Magisto might be just what you’re looking for.

 

Available for iOS and Android as well as on the web, the app takes your videos and edits them automatically, creating high-quality movies you can then turn around and share with friends or family, or upload to the web to share with the masses.

 

There are plenty of apps that help the average user create professional looking photos, but nothing has done that for video, said Oren Boiman, CEO of Magisto. He said, “We dove deep into the art of editing and production and given people the ability to truly tell their stories. We’ve fully automated and simplified an extremely sophisticated process to a few clicks, and believe this will solve for what’s missing in social video today.”

 

At CES 2013, Magisto announced a new group feature for sharing videos, video albums, and themes. The company also announced an updated algorithm for automatically editing videos, and completely overhauled its website design to make editing easier.

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LEGO mindstorms EV3 programmable robots controlled by smartphone

LEGO mindstorms EV3 programmable robots controlled by smartphone | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

Unveiled at the 2013 CES in las vegas, LEGO has introduced its third generation of 'mindstorm' programmable robotics platform, 
marking the first time that users can program directly onto the 'EV3 intelligent brick'. previously, users could only program the 
robots from a computer, running the application through the robot. powered by an by an ARM processor with a linux operating system, 
the 'brick' integrates 16 MB of embedded flash memory,  64MB of RAM, and an SD expansion slot. using USB 2.0, wi-fi and bluetooth 
and four additional ports, the EV3 system becomes compatible with iOS and android, letting users control their creations through 
smartphones or tablets.

 

LEGO expects that a mindstorms EV3 robot can be up and running within 20 minutes of opening the box, and can even start programmed without turning on their computer. the kit includes 594 technic pieces that can be used to make five different robots, with 12 additional configurations being introduced at the official 2013 summer launch. 

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Assessing the Bias in Communication Networks Sampled from Twitter

We collect and analyse messages exchanged in Twitter using two of the platform's publicly available APIs (the search and stream specifications). We assess the differences between the two samples, and compare the networks of communication reconstructed from them. The empirical context is given by political protests taking place in May 2012: we track online communication around these protests for the period of one month, and reconstruct the network of mentions and re-tweets according to the two samples. We find that the search API over-represents the more central users and does not offer an accurate picture of peripheral activity; we also find that the bias is greater for the network of mentions. We discuss the implications of this bias for the study of diffusion dynamics and collective action in the digital era, and advocate the need for more uniform sampling procedures in the study of online communication.

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Sesame Street Provides Lessons about Natural Brain Development in Children

Children are not the only ones who can learn a lesson or two from the Count. It turns out that neuroscientists are gaining key insights into brain development by turning to Sesame Street. While the vast majority of researchers who use neuroimaging techniques to study brain activity in humans use simple tasks and stripped down, short-lasting stimuli, such as pictures of isolated objects or individual tones, Jessica Cantlon and Rosi Li at the University of Rochester figured they could learn more about natural brain development by studying the neural activity of children as they watch real-world educational videos.

 

The results of this innovative study are published this week in PLOS Biology. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), Cantlon and Li found that the degree to which children showed adult-like brain responses while watching clips from Sesame Street predicted their performance on math and verbal IQ tests. The naturalistic neuroimaging method paves the way for future studies of brain development in the context of complex, real-world situations.

 

In the new study, 27 children between the ages of four and 11 and 20 adults participated in a series of fMRI experiments. These subjects first watched a 20-minute Sesame Street video consisting of clips covering a range of topics, including letters and numbers. Afterward, the children took standardized tests for mathematics and verbal IQ. The researchers then produced “neural maturity” maps by comparing the neural responses of children to those of adults.

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Smartphones might soon develop emotional intelligence

Smartphones might soon develop emotional intelligence | Social Foraging | Scoop.it
New research by a team of engineers at the University of Rochester may soon make that possible.

 

The research has already been used to develop a prototype of an app. The app displays either a happy or sad face after it records and analyzes the user's voice. It was built by one of Heinzelman's graduate students, Na Yang, during a summer internship at Microsoft Research. "The research is still in its early days," Heinzelman added, "but it is easy to envision a more complex app that could use this technology for everything from adjusting the colors displayed on your mobile to playing music fitting to how you're feeling after recording your voice."

 

Previous research has shown that emotion classification systems are highly speaker dependent; they work much better if the system is trained by the same voice it will analyze. "This is not ideal for a situation where you want to be able to just run an experiment on a group of people talking and interacting, like the parents and teenagers we work with," Sturge-Apple explained.


Their new results also confirm this finding. If the speech-based emotion classification is used on a voice different from the one that trained the system, the accuracy dropped from 81 percent to about 30 percent. The researchers are now looking at ways of minimizing this effect, for example, by training the system with a voice in the same age group and of the same gender. As Heinzelman said, "there are still challenges to be resolved if we want to use this system in an environment resembling a real-life situation, but we do know that the algorithm we developed is more effective than previous attempts."

 


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