Dartmouth researcher discovers ‘brain signature’ that predicts human emotions

first_imgShare on Twitter Email LinkedIn Share on Facebook “It’s an impressive demonstration of imaging our feelings, of decoding our emotions from brain activity,” says lead author Luke Chang, an assistant professor in Psychological and Brain Sciences at Dartmouth. “Emotions are central to our daily lives and emotional dysregulation is at the heart of many brain- and body-related disorders, but we don’t have a clear understanding of how emotions are processed in the brain. Thus, understanding the neurobiological mechanisms that generate and reduce negative emotional experiences is paramount.”The quest to understand the “emotional brain” has motivated hundreds of neuroimaging studies in recent years. But for neuroimaging to be useful, sensitive and specific “brain signatures” must be developed that can be applied to individual people to yield information about their emotional experiences, neuropathology or treatment prognosis. Thus far, the neuroscience of emotion has yielded many important results but no such indicators for emotional experiences.In their new study, the researchers’ goals were to develop a brain signature that predicts the intensity of negative emotional responses to evocative images; to test the signature in generalizing across individual participants and images; to examine the signature’s specificity related to pain; and to explore the neural circuitry necessary to predict negative emotional experience.Chang and his colleagues studied 182 participants who were shown negative photos (bodily injuries, acts of aggression, hate groups, car wrecks, human feces) and neutral photos. Thirty additional participants were also subjected to painful heat. Using brain imaging and machine learning techniques, the researchers identified a neural signature of negative emotion — a single neural activation pattern distributed across the entire brain that accurately predicts how negative a person will feel after viewing unpleasant images.“This means that brain imaging has the potential to accurately uncover how someone is feeling without knowing anything about them other than their brain activity,” Chang says. “This has enormous implications for improving our understanding of how emotions are generated and regulated, which have been notoriously difficult to define and measure. In addition, these new types of neural measures may prove to be important in identifying when people are having abnormal emotional responses – for example, too much or too little — which might indicate broader issues with health and mental functioning.”Unlike most previous research, the new study included a large sample size that reflects the general adult population and not just young college students; used machine learning and statistics to develop a predictive model of emotion; and, most importantly, tested participants across multiple psychological states, which allowed researchers to assess the sensitivity and specificity of their brain model.“We were particularly surprised by how well our pattern performed in predicting the magnitude and type of aversive experience,” Chang says. “As skepticism for neuroimaging grows based on over-sold and -interpreted findings and failures to replicate based on small sizes, many neuroscientists might be surprised by how well our signature performed. Another surprising finding is that our emotion brain signature using lots of people performed better at predicting how a person was feeling than their own brain data. There is an intuition that feelings are very idiosyncratic and vary across people. However, because we trained the pattern using so many participants – for example, four to 10 times the standard fMRI experiment — we were able to uncover responses that generalized beyond the training sample to new participants remarkably well.”center_img Pinterest Share A Dartmouth researcher and his colleagues have discovered a way to predict human emotions based on brain activity.The study is unusual because of its accuracy — more than 90 percent — and the large number of participants who reflect the general adult population rather than just college students. The findings could help in diagnosing and treating a range of mental and physical health conditions.The study appears in the journal PLOS Biology.last_img read more

CPS issues ‘revenge porn’ guidance

first_imgThe Crown Prosecution Service has issued guidance to ensure prosecutors are up to date with ‘revenge porn’ legislation as the first person believed to be convicted of the new offence awaits sentence. Jason Asagba, 21, pleaded guilty at Reading Magistrates’ Court on 16 May to posting, texting and emailing intimate photographs of a woman with intent to cause her distress, an offence under the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015. Sentencing was today adjourned until 4 September.Prosecutors have been sent details of case studies to help understand the legislation better.The 2015 act created a new criminal offence of revenge pornography. It is a criminal offence to disclose private sexual photographs and films without the consent of an individual who appears in them and with the intent to cause the individual distress.Previously, such cases were prosecuted under the Communications Act 2003, Malicious Communications Act 1988 or the Harassment Act 1997.Director of public prosecutions Alison Saunders said it was too early to say what impact the new legislation was having on the number of prosecutions. ‘However, anecdotally, we are seeing more of these cases being brought to us by the police and it is clear the new legislation is having an impact,’ she said.Saunders said she was ensuring, within the CPS, that ‘all relevant staff have the most up-to-date guidance, and the benefit of learning from their colleagues, so we have circulated details of case studies we now have to help improve our expertise in using the new legislation’.Attorney general Jeremy Wright welcomed the CPS’s guidance.‘We live in a world where images are able to be shared instantaneously and the criminal justice system needs to keep pace with that reality,’ he said.last_img read more

Bookies cheer as first 10 NCAA games covered by underdog

first_imgLAS VEGAS (AP) — Bookmakers had something to cheer about Thursday, even if the underdogs didn’t always prevail in the NCAA Tournament.Favored teams took a beating to open the tournament, with underdogs covering the spread in the first 10 games, beginning with the play-in games earlier in the week. In seven of those games, the team oddsmakers figured would lose ended up winning outright.“The dogs got out of the chute fast,” said Nick Bogdanovich, the oddsmaker for the William Hill betting chain. “It was very, very rare, just one of those things where the streak just kept going.”That was good news for this city’s legal sports books, most of which were packed with hundreds or even thousands of fans who came to town to celebrate — and bet — on March Madness. Since the general public tends to bet favorites more than underdogs in the tournament, the bookies were ahead early.“We don’t talk about the weekend until it’s Monday morning,” said Jimmy Vaccaro of the South Point hotel. “But so far obviously the mainstream guys are not doing too good.”The biggest outright win against the spread was UAB’s 60-59 victory over Iowa State. The Blazers were 13.5-point underdogs going into the game.It wasn’t until Xavier beat Mississippi 76-57 as a two-point pick that a favorite finally covered the spread.Bogdanovich said bettors for the most part didn’t pay attention to the streak of underdogs covering. But he said some bets shifted against Oklahoma after three Big 12 teams lost early.last_img read more

Latvian U-16 basketball players finish the Baltic Cup with victories in…

first_imgLatvian U16 girls basketball team Photo: LBSThe Latvian U-16 women’s basketball team won all three Baltic Cup games this weekend.On Sunday, the Latvians closed the tournament in Kaunas with a victory 84:58 (21:15, 22:19, 24:12, 17:12) beat their peers from Estonia.As in the games with both Lithuanian teams, the Latvians were superior in the fight against baskets (50-41) and in the accuracy of three-point shots (9/19 – 4/24), as well as often intercepted the ball (18-11) and skillfully used the mistakes of opponents (29 -16).On Sunday, Katrīna Ozola had 19 points and nine rebounds, Luize Sila had 16 points and nine balls under the baskets, Andija Sedliņa had 13 points, but Līva Liniņa had 12 points and ten rebounds.As in the conversation with the Latvian Basketball Union (LBS), Aigars Nerips, the head coach of the Latvian U-16 national team, emphasized that all players, including the leaders, still have a lot of work to do to improve and stabilize their skills.“Several basketball players have good prospects, provided they continue to work. The Lithuanians had divided their players into two approximately equal teams. Both victories did not come easily, but every time we found opportunities to neutralize the opponents’ trumps and take advantage of their weaknesses. By joining forces, Lithuanians will be stronger, but we would not be weaker. In addition, for various reasons, several basketball players stayed at home, who could have helped, ”LBS quotes Neripa.At the beginning of the last match, after a collision, unpleasant injuries came to life and two main basketball players – Raina Tomašicka and Tīna Grausa – could not continue the game.“Others had more playing time, and our dominance was not particularly affected. The organizers of the tournament, this time without consulting the coaches, awarded the prize for the best player of our team to Louise Sila, but the most valuable player of the whole tournament was Raina Tomašickas, who was more diverse this time than before. It is nice to end the summer work cycle with three victories. We have used the difficult time usefully, promoting the progress of the players, ”said Nerips.On Friday, the Latvians won the Lithuanian “white” team with 76:64, but on Saturday with 78:58 they defeated the “green” team of the southern neighbors.Meanwhile, the U-16 men’s team finished the tournament with a success of 77:61 (13:18, 15:10, 25:21, 24:12) played against the Estonians.Latvians prevail in three-pointers (10/32 – 3/23), in the fight for rebounds (50-40), but more mistakes (21-16).Dāvis Ozers scored 19 points, Mārtiņš Zuments 13 points, but Christopher Karlson and Ernest Ločmel had ten points each.The head coach of the Latvian U-16 national team Agris Galvanovskis concludes that there is a feeling of unfinished work, because no real opportunities were used to win the third match.The Lithuanian “green” team did not have bright talents, but everyone worked with great fighting spirit, collecting 23 balls at our basket. We did not lack centimeters, but they were not enough. Overall, we played better than in the winter tournaments, but the results should not be overestimated. Lithuanians, combining all the best forces in one team, would be more powerful, this time the Estonians were not helped by a 210 cm long leader who trains in the “Real” system of Madrid, “LBS quotes Galvanovskis.Galvanovskis emphasizes that Latvia does not lack talent against the background of its opponents, but the rival teams were more fierce and sportier.Many people still want to get the result by playing in “white gloves”, but in modern basketball it does not go through. When conclusions are drawn, the result also appears. As today, when we broke the Estonian resistance in the second half, ”says Galvanovskis.Dans Galdiņš received the award for the best player of the Latvian team.On Friday, Latvia overtook the Lithuanian “white” team with 78:75, but on Saturday with 75:81 it lost to the Lithuanian “green” team.Composition of the Latvian U-16 women’s team for participation in the Baltic Cup in Kaunas:Enija Vīksne, Marta Zariņa, Katrīna Ozola (all – “Riga” / TTP), Madara Liepniece, Elizabete Feierberga, Raina Tomašicka (all – “Riga” / “Center”), Līva Kristiāna Gode, Andija Sedliņa, Tīna Grausa, Luīze Sila (all – RBJSS / “Rīdzene”), Līva Liniņa (“Rīga” / ”Jugla”), Valērija Baranovska (“Daugavpils”).Composition of the Latvian U-16 men’s team for participation in the Baltic Cup in Kaunas:Kristofers Karlsons, Dans Galdiņš, Markuss Mamajs (all – “Rīga” / DSN), Kristofers Krivišs (“Rīga” / ”A.Kraukļa VEF BS”), Markuss Lastiņš (“Ogres BS”), Ernests Ločmelis (“Rīga”) / Basketball class ”), Mārtiņš Zuments (IMSS,“ Rīga ”/” Basketball class ”), Dāvis Dāvids Ozers (“ Valmiera ”-“ Ventspils University College ”), Rūdolfs Rudmiezis (“ Cēsis ”-“ Valmiera ”), Armands Gailišs ( “Ezerzeme”), Frederiks Meinarts (BS “Ķeizars”, “VEF school”, “Rīga” / DSN), Pēteris Pinnis (IMSS – “Salaspils”, “Rīga” / “Centrs”).last_img read more

Help wanted: KanOkla is looking for Service Order Coordinator

first_imgKan-Okla is looking for a leader in the rural telecommunications industry and are seeking a Service Order Coordinator. This position requires someone that is self-motivated and works well within a team providing exceptional customer service both internally and externally.Successful candidates should possess the following:* High school education required.* Basic computer, keyboarding, and spreadsheet skills.* Telecommunication knowledge including staking sheets, pairs, overlays, switching codes.* Good interpersonal, conflict resolution, and verbal skills.*  Ability to perform the physical tasks of the essential functions.  Sitting at a desk for an extended period of time on the phone and computer.KanOkla maintains a drug free environment.You may submit a resume via email to hr@kanokla.com or mail your resume to:KanOkla, Attn: HR Specialist, 100 KanOkla Ave, Caldwell, KS.  The closing date for accepting applications is January 16th, 2018.last_img read more