(Image caption: Pictured are the increases (orange-­‐yellow) and decreases (blue) of neural activity in the brains of humans and macaques while performing the same attention task as measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging. Credit: Image courtesy of Gaurav Patel/New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University Medical Center)

Brain Network that Controls, Redirects Attention Identified

Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have found that key parts of the human brain network that give us the power to control and redirect our attention—a core cognitive ability—may be unique to humans. The research, which was published in the July 13 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that the network may have evolved in response to increasingly complex social cues.

“The human brain is powerful, but even it cannot make sense of the entire sum of stimuli that bombard our senses,” said Vincent P. Ferrera, PhD, the study’s senior author. Dr. Ferrera is a principal investigator at Columbia’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute and associate professor in the department of neuroscience (in psychiatry) at CUMC. “Instead, it selects and prioritizes information based on what is needed at any given moment—this is called attention. And while attention is a fundamental characteristic of human cognition, and something that we use all the time, the underlying brain circuits that give us this ability remain largely unclear.”

In order to better understand these circuits, the authors compared the brains of primate and human subjects during a specific attention-seeking task. In so doing, they uncovered key clues about these so-called ‘attention networks’: how they evolved and how they underlie human cognitive abilities—and are already using this information to test what role they may play in psychiatric disorders.

In the human brain, there are two main attention networks: the dorsal attention network (DAN) and ventral attention network (VAN). “The DAN is in charge of directing your attention to something specific, and when it’s active, the VAN is silent,” explained Gaurav Patel, MD/PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and the study’s first author. “This keeps you focused and limits your distraction. But if you see something that is new, unique, or behaviorally relevant, the VAN will switch on. This give-and-take between the DAN and VAN allows us to reorient our attention to what is most important.”

In a series of experiments, first using a primate model at Washington University in St. Louis, and later with human subjects at CUMC, the researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to map brain activity. Before the start of a session, the subject memorized a specific target object. During the session, a stream of images appeared on various parts of a screen. The subject pushed a button when the target object appeared on the screen. fMRI technology allowed the researchers to see when various parts of the brain ‘switched on’ while the subject performed the task. And the results were surprising.

“The fMRI showed striking differences between the two species, which was wholly unexpected,” said Dr. Patel. “We were giving both the human and primate subjects the exact same task—their brain activity should have been more similar. That’s when we realized there was something else going on.”

First, they realized that the VAN—located in the right hemisphere of the human brain—had no equivalent in the primate brain. They also noticed the DAN had expanded in the human subjects, and observed enhanced cross talk between the human subjects’ brain hemispheres.

“Taken together, these findings suggests that at some point in our evolutionary history, we evolved an additional attention network—perhaps in order to better process the world around us,” said Dr. Patel.

The human social world is far more complex than any of our primate relatives. It is possible this network evolved to help us understand increasingly complex social cues, such as the subtle twitch of an eyebrow, or a shift in gaze, say the researchers.

Armed with this new information, Dr. Patel is now examining the attention networks of people with schizophrenia—a disorder characterized in part by poor social function.

“Persons with schizophrenia have difficulty expressing emotions, responding to social cues and often become socially isolated,” said Dr. Patel. “Right now we’re testing whether these individuals have an impairment to how the VAN is organized or communicates with the rest of the brain. Because if they do, we could potentially tailor a treatment strategy to mitigate that impairment, and maybe even restore some level of social communication that the patient lacked.”

This Day in Evangelion: August 1, 2015

The defeat of the fifth Angel, Ramiel.

Operation Yashima begins at the stroke of midnight. Misato tells Shinji that he is being entrusted with all of the electricity in Japan, and wishes him luck. Through a series of connections, all of Japan’s energy is redirected to Mt. Futago. Each connection stage runs smoothly, with the cooling systems all working optimally. Unit-01 raises the firing hammer on the rifle. He begins to aim as the energy is transmitted to the positron rifle. At that moment, a high-energy buildup is detected within the Angel.

Shinji targets Ramiel’s core and fires, just as the Angel fires its energy beam. The two energy beams interfere with each other, sending them off course, missing both of their targets. Ramiel’s shot strikes the mountain behind Unit-01, overturning the control car the command crew is in.

At that moment, Ramiel’s drill pierces the final armored layer and penetrates into the GeoFront itself.

Shinji reloads the fuse for a second shot. As he waits for the gun barrel to cool, another energy buildup is detected within the target.

Ramiel fires directly on Unit-01, but its shot appears to be deflected.

Shinji looks up to see that Rei in Unit-00 has jumped in front of Unit-01, deflecting the shot with its shield.

Shinji awaits the target lining up with a frantic impatience while Unit-00′s shield begins to melt away. Once the target is in the center, Shinji fires, and the beam strikes the Angel through its core, destroying it.

Unit-00 collapses and Shinji calls out to Rei, while Ramiel’s drill falls silent.

Shinji has Unit-01 rip open the covering of the entry plug on Unit-00′s back. The plug is force ejected, and Shinji extracts it in Unit-01′s hand. He then gets out of his EVA and opens the hatch on the plug, bursting in to see if Rei is alright.

Rei lifts her head up, and on the verge of tears, Shinji tells her not to say that she has nothing else, and not to say farewell when leaving somewhere. He begins to cry, and Rei apologizes, not knowing what to do in a situation like this. With a mixture of relief and tears, Shinji suggests she should smile. Rei looks at Shinji, and sees in him a reflection of Gendo smiling. Rei relaxes from her tense posture, and smiles at Shinji for the first time.

(Events depicted in episode 6. A full timeline of the events depicted in Evangelion can be found here.)


I have so many WIPs, oops.

As much as I was dying to get back into art, I ended up redirecting my attention to something else first, but it was worth it I suppose! I’m having a lot of fun doing some doodles and gestures now to feel fresh and artsy again, and here’s one I did for Vinny!

Planning on completing that La Mante pic, too; also for Vinny.


Fude Yamashita, young wife of famed judaka Professor Yoshiaki Yamashita, traveled in 1903 with her husband from Tokyo to the United States to teach judo to an unruly Washington D. C. youth. Apparently, they never met the young man and instead were redirected to Teddy Roosevelt’s White House.

Although Fude (25-years-old) was not initially contracted to teach judo, she came to have an impact on American women’s participation in the Japanese martial arts.At the prompting of certain competitive Washington socialites, it was not long before Mrs Yamashita was running daily lessons for some of the country’s richest and most famous women, who had  the material means and leisure time to follow what the papers now termed the ‘fashionable Japanese craze’. – Radical Bodies and Dangerous Ladies: Martial Arts and Women’s Performance, 1900–1918, Diana Looser, Theatre Research International 2010

sirjotero asked:

Just so you're aware, I can no longer read Blindsprings on my Samsung Note II because I keep getting redirected to some phony "security update" virus download. Maybe this is a problem with your web host?

We’ve been having problems with mobile ads, jojo was talking about it last night. We’re trying to get to the bottom of it!!

Headless Buddhas

We pray to headless Buddhas here,

eyes averted from those stumps sawed clean,

focus politely redirected to his folded hands,

comfort in gestures,

the rest filled in by  imagination or memory.

But where are those heads?  Where have they gone?

Ascended to paradise,

set free of the weight of stone torso and limbs?

Thai people, as they will,

blame marauding Burmese,

but the errant heads are easy to locate,

those noble countenances,

those objects of devotion impaled on sticks, rendered art.

scour not the alleyways of Yangon, but check

the coffee tables of certain addresses in Paris,

the bookshelves of Trbeca, decapitated Buddhas

wedged between  slick volumes of Bukowski and Kerouac

–shelf candy.

Check fashionable addresses in San Francisco

where Buddha has found nirvana as art for the wealthy,

and search the storage areas of Sotheby’s and Christie’s,

where the stolen heads of Buddha await release,

not of prayer,

but of auction,

wealthy connoisseurs outbidding each other

in subdued pissing contests

in Tokyo, London, New York.

So far from home,

so far from the devoted,

held captive by western hipsters, a symbol of their cultivation,

in trendy lofts of the well-educated,

    on hallway tables as places to toss one’s cool new hat;

by vulgar businessmen in Kansas City,

    who know a good investment when they see it;

in bedrooms overseeing not prayer but another sort of zazen,

    a place to playfully fling one’s knickers.

One wishes that Egyptian-style curses

might follow these orphaned heads,

These Buddha body parts in diaspora.

But no,

Buddha doesn’t work in curses,

and though title never changes for what’s stolen,

rich people everywhere, rarely fear prosecution

    for crimes done by proxy.

And so we pray to what they’ve left us of Buddha,

we drape those headless shoulders in cloth of saffron,

and anoint them with jasmine oil.

We offer prayer and flowers,  tender gestures of respect.

while, faraway, those heads are anointed only by

the indifferent dusting of third world maids

and pushed aside on expensive coffee tables

to make way for drinks.

– Michael Boiano, Bangkok 2015

more adult things to do today:

find the closest bank/most common bank around my place/open a line of credit

find a close pharmacy, redirect my meds there

find a close vet, open an account for nymeria, maybe get her chip fixed

redirect my mail to new address

study and practise the metro (sigh. at least most metros are A+ compared to Houston’s)

go shopping for basic groceries and all of the ramen i will be living off for the next few months

move into place fully

A reminder to those who come across a service dog. Please be educated on manners and the info by ADA. Harassing someone for an ID and making the service dog nervous, thus it redirecting the owner away from you, is not cool. And following them for a full half hour is VERY not cool.

It causes problems, for everyone.

This happened to me today by someone who had approached me before. This is humiliating and disrespectful. Afterword I apparently had an anxiety attack, which caused an extreme pulmonary distress. Thank god Arti was there.

Here is what I wrote to the manager of the mall, we still have not received a reply:

Hello, my name name is Kathlyn -last name- , I am contacting you regarding an issue I had with not one but two officers of your mall.

I have Cystic Fibrosis, and I have a service dog that I have brought to your mall several times. I have been approached by a male officer before requiring me to have an ID for the dog, when I do not need to and is against ADA law. I have included a portion of that law as a attachment that addresses this issue.

That was a few weeks or so ago, I kindly informed him of said laws and went on my way. Today around 11-11:30 am, I was approached by the very same man. Asked again, told him again. I even told him he inquired before and he acknowledged that and made a angry face. But this time he would not let up, he was distracting my service dog.

He violated each one ADA law. We told him if she was causing a problem we would leave, which she was not. Not only after ending the conversation, he began to obviously follow us that my dog was beginning to get nervous and kept looking behind her, showing us he was following. It made me very nervous so I notified another officer, and he started to approach but stopped when I pointed to him. Unfortunately I was told and quote, “ well yeah he’s supposed to follow you because you have an animal.”

That is not right.

We told her so and she asked for the dogs ID. And we had the whole conversation again. She refused to look at the ADA law we tried to present to her.

Shortly after, while this I was trying to control an anxiety attack; that I don’t ever have, I had severe pulmonary distress. My dog alerted my mother and we were able to handle it. Problem was my service dog was distracted by the officer who was following us. That is unacceptable.

So please inform your security of ADA rules. if this happens again I will call for further assistance by outside sources.

You can contact me through this email or my mothers phone, 210-379-7268.

Thank you for your time.

So, I have a new link on my blog called film, which redirects to a letterboxd account I made. It has my ratings of films n stuff… hoping some people can find some recs from it. 

I’m not really sure how the site works, but if you have an account I think you can follow me.

I’m not really sure how to rate things, but anything above 3 ½ stars is pretty good in my books.

lady-alsielle Redirected from here

“Well, it’s about time you started pulling your weight around here!”

Ashiya put her broom up in the closet again and shut the door. Hm… the floors and stairs were swept, the dishes were done… perhaps she could take some time to research. She did have some books with her from the library.

Ah, yes, and Urushihara.

“So?” she asked, sitting down at the table and fishing her books out of her bag. “What exactly is it that you are doing? It is at least respectable work, I hope.”

“I think ‘respectable’ would be a matter of opinion,” he said with a shrug, didn’t matter anyways, “I can’t say the pay compares to what Maou gets, though, it’s a pretty low paying job.” 

Almost didn’t seem worth it with the pay rate, but he could work at home. And he was good with computers, so it was the best he could do.

“It’s a tech support job for this website. I read complaints and messages about bugs and issues that come up, and do what I can to fix them. Don’t have to leave the house, and the paycheck gets mailed to me.”

Yesterday, while in our most favorite ocean-side city, on our best day adventure yet, a lovely man & his wife blind-sided us and approached from behind. They were photographers. And before I could let them fill the space between us with the want to document our family, I said as I so often do, “No thank you. We don’t allow photos of our kids.” And then the man surprised me. Already, I liked his gentle way. The welcome in his glance, which said he knew things about the world for that I did not and that I could only wonder about left me wanting to hear his spiel. He redirected the conversation despite the wall I was quick to erect & asked for just me. Not my kids. Not my beautiful wife. Just me. Because I fit the bill for a project he was working on to honor his late sister. Whom I now understand to have been one of the few brave gay women who paved the way for me. Who, like me, identified as a woman in all ways and who, like me, was socially scarred by fear & mean-filled eyes of passersby who would identify us as butch or worse, men. “I’m looking for masculine looking women,” he said. And at once, I agreed & thanked him for the opportunity to participate. Thanked him for pushing forward with such a project. Thanked him for being kind. And then I stood there in the square of that busy intersection, in our favorite ocean-side city, with my family playing nearby & curious people observing, standing on his X marks the spot & looking into the lens of this great camera.

In all the world, he is the only person to have ever approached such a sensitive topic in such an earnest, honest, kind way. And he is the first person to seek me out and ask for just me.

#twomoms #8x10 #BWphotography

givemeyourfuckingmilk asked:

So are you keeping the url or are you just going to throw it back into the bowl of urls

I’m going to keep it for a week or two, and have it redirect to my new URL, just in case anyone visits me directly by URL for some reason.

But I’ll be dumping it after that.

So someone sent me a Kik message with a link to their blog. Following the link brings me to the Tumblr sign-in page, even though I’m signed in. Also, the blog doesn’t exist. I searched Tumblr and Google, and the page doesn’t exist, just a redirect asking me to log on when I’m already on.
Be wary of people trying to steal your info, guys. This screams odd and dangerous to me. Don’t log in when prompted!