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Nov 10, 2006

State of the Blogosphere

Re-blogged from Smart Mobs

Technnorati has posted the State of the Blogosphere, October, 2006. [via Joi Ito]

As of October 2006, about 100,000 new weblogs were created each day, which means that on average, there was a slight decrease quarter-over-quarter in the number of new blogs created each day.

...The total posting volume of the blogosphere has leveled off somewhat, showing about 1.3 million postings per day, which is a little lower than what we were seeing last quarter but still about double the volume of this time last year. ...

20:16 Posted in Research tools | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: research tools

Nov 08, 2006

fMRI lie detection test raises ethical issues

Via Mind Hacks 

A recent article published in The Washington Post focuses on the socio-ethical implications of the emerging neuroscience of lying. The article reports about a company called No Lie MRI Ltd that claims to use "the first and only direct measure of truth verification and lie detection in human history".

From the article:

No Lie MRI's Web site has proclaimed that the company hopes to revolutionize truth telling in America, offering "objective, scientific, mental evidence, similar to the role in which DNA biological identification is used," to everyone from the FBI, CIA and NSA to the Department of Homeland Security.

No Lie is not alone. Its Massachusetts competitor, Cephos Corp., has licensed competing fMRI lie detection technology from the Medical University of South Carolina.

The boundless desire for a way to dig through deception is why political consultant John Zogby, president of Zogby International, expects the new brain scanning devices to be in widespread use in the 2008 presidential election. He can clearly see a demand to discover what voters really think of candidates - and their commercials.


Brain-scan lie detection is now reliable enough that it is starting to be admissible in court.

23:35 Posted in Research tools | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: research tools

Nov 06, 2006

New test superior to Mini Mental Status Examination

Via Medline

Geriatricians from Saint Louis University have developed a new test for diagnosing dementia - the Saint Louis University Mental Status Examination (SLUMS) - which appears to be more effective than the widely-used Mini Mental Status Examination (MMSE). 

The study has been published in the current issue of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (14:900-910, November 2006)

From the news release

"This early detection of mild neurocognitive disorder by the SLUMS offers the opportunity for the clinicians to begin early treatment as it becomes available," says Syed Tariq, M.D., lead author and associate professor of geriatric medicine at Saint Louis University.

John Morley, M.D., director of the division of geriatric medicine at Saint Louis University, created the SLUMS to screen more educated patients and to detect early cognitive problems.

"There are potential treatments available and they slow down the progression of the disease," says Morley, who is a coinvestigator. "The earlier you treat, the better people seem to do. But families go through denial and sometimes miss diagnosing dementia until its symptoms are no longer mild."

The researchers found the new screening tool developed by SLU detects early cognitive problems missed by the MMSE.

"The Mini Mental Status Examination has limitations, especially with regard to its use in more educated patients and as a screen for mild neurocognitive disorder," Tariq says.

It takes a clinician about seven minutes to administer the SLUMS, which supplements the Mini Mental Status Examination by asking patients to perform tasks such as doing simple math computations, naming animals, recalling facts and drawing the hands on a clock.


23:00 Posted in Research tools | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: research tools

Nov 05, 2006

New Scientist tech: Web pioneers call for new 'web science' discipline

From New Scientist tech

The social interactions that glue the World Wide Web together are now so complex it has outgrown the relatively narrow field of computer science..

read the full story here

22:07 Posted in Research tools | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: research tools

Nov 01, 2006

The First Standardized IQ Tests Available Free on the Internet

Via Mindware Forum

Do the test here

I did the test and got 102, which corresponds to "average intelligence".

A score of 124 or higher is required to qualify for membership in the International High IQ Society. This means that I cannot become a member of this society :-(


23:10 Posted in Research tools | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: research tools

Oct 30, 2006

Spatio-Temporal Video Warping

From A VR Geek Blog

Evolving time fronts is a new approach for spatio-temporal warping of video developed by Alex Rav-Acha, Yael PritchDani Lischinski, Shmuel Peleg

The framework allows to set different playing speeds to different parts of the same movie.

Look at this demolition video



22:25 Posted in Research tools | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: research tools

Oct 27, 2006

How many megapixels equivalent does the eye have?

Via Cognitive Daily

Clarkvision does the calculations.

The answer: 576 megapixels!

22:06 Posted in Research tools | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: research tools

Oct 26, 2006

An experimental study of the emergence of human communication systems

Via Mauro Cherbini's moleskin 

An experimental study of the emergence of human communication systems [pdf]

Author: B. Galantucci

Cognitive Science, (29):737–767, 2005.

The emergence of human communication systems is typically investigated via 2 approaches with complementary strengths and weaknesses: naturalistic studies and computer simulations. This study was conducted with a method that combines these approaches. Pairs of participants playedvideogames requiring communication. Members of a pair were physically separated but exchanged graphic signals through a medium that prevented the use of standard symbols (e.g., letters). Communication systems emerged and developed rapidly during the games, integrating the use of explicit signs with information implicitly available to players and silent behavior-coordinating procedures. The systems that emerged suggest 3 conclusions: (a)signs originate from different mappings;(b)sign systems developp arsimoniously; (c) sign forms are perceptually distinct, easy to produce, and tolerant to variations.

Galantucci Eperimentalsetup Emergence

22:10 Posted in Research tools | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: research tools

Oct 02, 2006

Web Journals Take On Peer Review

LOS ANGELES - Scientists frustrated by the iron grip that academic journals hold over their research can now pursue another path to fame by taking their research straight to the public online.

Instead of having a group of hand-picked scholars review research in secret before publication, a growing number of internet-based journals are publishing studies with little or no scrutiny by the authors' peers. It's then up to rank-and-file researchers to debate the value of the work in cyberspace.

The web journals are threatening to turn the traditional peer-review system on its head. Peer review for decades has been the established way to pick apart research before it's made public.

Next month, the San Francisco-based nonprofit Public Library of Science will launch its first open peer-reviewed journal called PLoS ONE, focusing on science and medicine. Like its sister publications, it will make research articles available for free online by charging authors to publish.


Read the full story  

17:03 Posted in Research tools | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: research tools

Sep 18, 2006

Relevant psychology journals in new media/communication technology

The website of University of Twente (faculty of Behavioral Sciences) has a list of relevant journals in HC/ergonomics; ISI impact factors is also provided for most of them.

The complete list can be accessed here


Sep 10, 2006

Portable MRI

Via the Neurophilosopher's blog 

Alexander Pines and his colleagues at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are working on a new laser-based MRI technique which may lead to the development of a cheap and compact scanning device.

The experimental technique is based on a method called atomic magnetometry, which allows to detect the magnetic signals produced by water molecules without the large magnets or complex cooling systems used in conventional fMRI.

From the LBNL website:

Alexander Pines and colleagues at Berkeley Lab have developed a method to improve NMR/MRI resolution either inside of poorly shimmed magnets or outside of portable one-sided magnet systems, which accommodate arbitrarily sized samples.  This technique will enable for the first time the collection of multidimensional NMR/ MRI information in cases where on-the-spot medical diagnosis is critical, where samples cannot be moved to or placed inside of a superconducting magnet, or where inexpensive, highly inhomogeneous magnets are being used.  Other ex situ systems give relaxation data and sometimes slice-selective images, but not spectra and true 3D images.



Jun 18, 2006

Seizure Detection Algorithm

Via Medgadget


A New Zealand based medical device company is seeking FDA approval for their seizure detection algorithm. According to the company's press release:

The data supporting the seizure detection algorithm has been presented at multiple international medical conferences over the past 18 months. The data presented indicated that the BrainZ seizure detection algorithm had higher sensitivity, higher positive predictive value, higher correlation, and a lower level of false positive detection than two other recognized seizure detection algorithms. The latest presentation was made to the Pediatric Academic Societies' meeting in San Francisco in May 2006.

Company's technology in a nutshell:


The BRM2 Brain Monitor provides bilateral aEEG (amplitude-integrated EEG) displays to allow easy recognition of background EEG patterns, and EEG Waveform displays to show the raw EEG signal from each hemisphere.

Amplitude-integrated EEG (aEEG) provides a compressed display of the level (amplitude) of EEG activity.

It is useful for continuous monitoring of background EEG activity and for discriminating between normal and abnormal EEG traces.

Abnormal aEEG traces can be used to identify patients who require further neurological workup and investigations. Normal traces may be used to reassure families of the likelihood of good long term neurological outcome for their infant.

Studies show marked changes in the level and frequency of EEG activity after ischemic injury. These changes can be predictive of the extent of neurological deficit. The pathophysiologic EEG changes associated with brain injury evolve through latent and delayed phases, over several days. Prolonged monitoring over the first week after birth can be valuable, as normalization of aEEG recording is associated with an improved outcome compared to a persistently abnormal recording. The longer the period of monitoring the more accurately the severity of brain injury can be assessed.

Seizure activity has often been monitored by clinical assessment alone, however a large proportion of seizure activity is either difficult to assess by examination or has no clinical manifestation. Bedside monitoring with aEEG traces can be used to identify seizure-like events in real time, with review of the raw EEG trace recommended for event validation. EEG monitoring can be used to guide the affect of anticonvulsant therapy.

aEEg can also be used to help identify those patients who are most likely to benefit from new hypothermia therapies. These therapies may improve outcomes in infants exposed to hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathies.


18:30 Posted in Research tools | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: research tools

Jan 09, 2006


Connotea is a free online reference management service for scientists. It allows storing reference list online, making them accessible from every pc, and sharing them with colleagues. Researchers with similar scientific interests can be discovered by connecting to the collections of those with similar interests

More about Connotea...


Interdisciplines is a website for research in the social sciences, merging contributions from different fields in the humanities. One interesting feature of this site is that it allows to organize virtual conferences. The current conference is on Causality

Past conferences include very interesting topics, as mirror neurons, art and cognition, language and evolution.

Jan 04, 2006


Hubmed is an alternative interface to the PubMed medical literature database, with some powerful features, which include:

- Daily updates of search results via web feeds.

- Quick access to searches with a Firefox search plugin or a HubMed bookmarklet (drag to your browser's bookmarks toolbar).

- Export citations in RIS, BibTeX, RDF and MODS formats, or directly to RefWorks.

- Unzip HubMed's import filter into Endnote's Filters folder for direct import into Endnote, or install the RIS Export plugin for direct import into ProCite, RefMan and older versions of Endnote.

- Use the Citation Finder to convert reference lists from PDFs into search results.

- Create lists of closely related papers using Rank Relations, then visualise and browse clusters of related papers using TouchGraph (requires Java).

- Graph occurrences of keywords in published papers over time

I have tested the service and it is really useful. The user interface is essential and very easy to use; I think it is a great way for keeping up with medical literature

Dec 23, 2005

Science shows streaming video presentation on this year's main breakthrough

Science mag offers a streaming video presentation on this year's main breakthrough - it's amazing, don't miss it!

Dec 07, 2005

Nature focuses on computation and systems neuroscience

Via Action Potential

The December issue of Nature Neuroscience includes a special focus on computational and systems neuroscience highlighting research presented at the Cosyne meeting held this past March in Salt Lake City.


Here is the list of contributions included in the special focus:

A natural approach to studying vision pp1643 - 1646
Gidon Felsen & Yang Dan
Published online: 23 November 2005 | doi:10.1038/nn1608
Abstract | Full text | PDF (108K)

In praise of artifice pp1647 - 1650
Nicole C Rust & J Anthony Movshon
Published online: 23 November 2005 | doi:10.1038/nn1606
Abstract | Full text | PDF (159K)

Analyzing receptive fields, classification images and functional images: challenges with opportunities for synergy pp1651 - 1656
Jonathan D Victor
Published online: 23 November 2005 | doi:10.1038/nn1607
Abstract | Full text | PDF (514K)

Dec 06, 2005

Simulating the size of the entire human brain

Via Neurodudes

From Eugene Izhikevich’s website

On October 27, 2005 I finished simulation of a model that has the size of the human brain. The model has 100,000,000,000 neurons (hundred billion or 10^11) and almost 1,000,000,000,000,000 (one quadrillion or 10^15) synapses. It represents 300×300 mm^2 of mammalian thalamo-cortical surface, specific, non-specific, and reticular thalamic nuclei, and spiking neurons with firing properties corresponding to those recorded in the mammalian brain. The model exhibited alpha and gamma rhythms, moving clusters of neurons in up- and down-states, and other interesting phenomena (watch a 25M .avi or .mov movie). One second of simulation took 50 days on a beowulf cluster of 27 processors (3GHz each). Why did I do that?...

Nov 30, 2005

BrainML project

BrainML is a developing initiative to provide a standard XML metaformat for exchanging neuroscience data. It focuses on layered definitions built over a common core in order to support community-driven extension.

One such extension is provided by the new NIH-supported neuroinformatics initiative of the Society for Neuroscience, which supports the development of expert-derived terminology sets for several areas of neuroscience. Under a cooperative agreement, these term lists will be made available Open Source.

This site provides a complete description of BrainML, and it also serves as a public repository of BrainML models.

Oct 26, 2005

Deliver PubMed search results with an RSS feed

Pubmed, the service provided by the National Library of medicine that gives access to MEDLINE database and other life science journals now offers RSS feed to allow users to deliver database search results directly to their computer and retrieve new items from PubMed as soon as they are published.

To add PubMed searches to your collection of RSS feeds, just follow these steps:

(1) Run your search in PubMed.
(2) Select RSS Feed from the Send to menu.
(3) Click Create Feed and copy the XML icon into your RSS Reader.