brain circuits

jimin: *comes home to a big mess in his shared appartement with jungkook where no one else lives* jungkook why did you make such a mess??
jungkook: *cutely* hyung it wasn’t me
jimin: *defeated* u right….. it must’ve been me then

inspired by this video (sfw, but a sex toy is being used as car repair, so take that as you will)

“Laura’s gonna flip,” Derek says in dismay, looking at the huge dent in the driver’s side door of the Camaro. Her most precious possession, the car she’d been saving up for forever, the car she waxes and washes every weekend, the car that she let Derek borrow to go to the Mathletes competition in San Francisco because Derek had a basketball game on Friday and couldn’t make the official school bus, the car that Laura made him swear his life on, is now forever ruined.

“Damn, if there ever was a good place to curse, that would have been it,” Stiles says, crossing his arms and looking far more attractive than he had the right to. “C’mon, Derek. Just say it. Fuck.”

Derek blushes, watching the word tumble out of Stiles’ pink mouth. “No, I… there’s gotta be a way to fix it. But if I call her insurance people she’s gonna know…”

“It’s totally my fault,” Stiles says. “I was the one who wanted to go to Tastee Freeze on the way back, and let some dingbat hit you in the parking lot. Actually, it’s their fault, whoever can’t drive.”

Derek shakes his head. It’s his fault. He’d been having too much fun this weekend; he’d spent practically all of it with Stiles. He’d had a crush on him forever— in fact, joined Mathletes at his request, and the whole year of practice, of spending afternoons with Stiles poring over math problems, watching Stiles lick Cheeto dust off his fingers— it’s been too much. Coupled with the fact that Stiles actually just plain forgot to catch the bus on Friday, and then caught a ride with Derek, meant hours in the car listening to him sing along to Hamilton and muddle through the rap bits, and sleeping next to him in the four-to-a-room motel Saturday night, and waking up with Stiles’ face smashed into his shoulder.

Derek had been too overwhelmed by it all, too overwhelmed by Stiles. Getting the chance to spend time with his friend this weekend had just intensified his feelings, and he knows there’s no chance that Stiles will ever feel the same, so he’s just drinking it all in, savoring these moments when he can.

It had been a terrible parking job, the Camaro was at a weird angle, that’s why the person rounding the turn had hit him. Derek sighs. He guesses it’s for the best. He’ll just have to pay Laura back. For forever.

Stiles is studying the door, eyes narrowed in concentration. “Actually, it’s not that bad. They didn’t even scratch it. It’s just a dent. With the right amount of leverage…”

“I’m sorry, do you happen to have a magical car-door fixer in your overnight bag?”

Somehow, this causes Stiles to turn bright red. “Okay. I have an idea. But you have to promise not to laugh.”

“Okay…?”

Derek watches, perplexed, as Stiles pulls his duffle bag out of the back seat, and then rummages around in it.

“Promise not to laugh,” Stiles repeats.

“I promise.” Derek is confused, but sincere.

Stiles pulls a bright blue dildo out of the bag. It’s springy, and jiggles a little with the movement. There’s a thick vein running along the side, and the base even has… balls.

Derek’s brain short circuits, an image of Stiles, naked, working himself on the girth of the toy, his mouth open, panting, as he tries to get the right angle, skin flushed pink from pleasure…

“Fuck,” Derek says.

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yo wat if they go back to earth and when they enter earth’s orbit lance is like is there something i can call my family with cuz they probably think im dead i dont wanna shock them…and he dials their home phone number without missing a beat and his mom picks up and is like “hello?” hella confused bc there’s no caller id and lance can’t even say hello back because his brain short circuits and his throat closes up because he didn’t realize just how bad he’d wanted to hear his mom’s voice again

4

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Lena Luthor wasn’t usually a nervous person.  She could command an audience, she could dominate the boardroom, but right now?  She was panicking.

Honestly, Lena never really thought her friendship with Kara would reach a stage where she was slowly being introduced into the group, one by one.  Maggie had been first.  She and Lena had long since discussed the whole Maggie-arresting-Lena debacle, Maggie spending the better part of ten minutes apologising before Lena could get a word in edgewise.  She and Maggie had hit it off fairly quickly, bonding over their mutual love of Italian cuisine and various scientific magazines.

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Balancing Time and Space in the Brain: A New Model Holds Promise for Predicting Brain Dynamics

For as long as scientists have been listening in on the activity of the brain, they have been trying to understand the source of its noisy, apparently random, activity. In the past 20 years, “balanced network theory” has emerged to explain this apparent randomness through a balance of excitation and inhibition in recurrently coupled networks of neurons. A team of scientists has extended the balanced model to provide deep and testable predictions linking brain circuits to brain activity.

Lead investigators at the University of Pittsburgh say the new model accurately explains experimental findings about the highly variable responses of neurons in the brains of living animals. On Oct. 31, their paper, “The spatial structure of correlated neuronal variability,” was published online by the journal Nature Neuroscience.

The new model provides a much richer understanding of how activity is coordinated between neurons in neural circuits. The model could be used in the future to discover neural “signatures” that predict brain activity associated with learning or disease, say the investigators.

“Normally, brain activity appears highly random and variable most of the time, which looks like a weird way to compute,” said Brent Doiron, associate professor of mathematics at Pitt, senior author on the paper, and a member of the University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute (UPBI). “To understand the mechanics of neural computation, you need to know how the dynamics of a neuronal network depends on the network’s architecture, and this latest research brings us significantly closer to achieving this goal.”

Earlier versions of the balanced network theory captured how the timing and frequency of inputs—excitatory and inhibitory—shaped the emergence of variability in neural behavior, but these models used shortcuts that were biologically unrealistic, according to Doiron.

“The original balanced model ignored the spatial dependence of wiring in the brain, but it has long been known that neuron pairs that are near one another have a higher likelihood of connecting than pairs that are separated by larger distances. Earlier models produced unrealistic behavior—either completely random activity that was unlike the brain or completely synchronized neural behavior, such as you would see in a deep seizure. You could produce nothing in between.”

In the context of this balance, neurons are in a constant state of tension. According to co-author Matthew Smith, assistant professor of ophthalmology at Pitt and a member of UPBI, “It’s like balancing on one foot on your toes. If there are small overcorrections, the result is big fluctuations in neural firing, or communication.”

The new model accounts for temporal and spatial characteristics of neural networks and the correlations in the activity between neurons—whether firing in one neuron is correlated with firing in another. The model is such a substantial improvement that the scientists could use it to predict the behavior of living neurons examined in the area of the brain that processes the visual world.

After developing the model, the scientists examined data from the living visual cortex and found that their model accurately predicted the behavior of neurons based on how far apart they were. The activity of nearby neuron pairs was strongly correlated. At an intermediate distance, pairs of neurons were anticorrelated (When one responded more, the other responded less.), and at greater distances still they were independent.

“This model will help us to better understand how the brain computes information because it’s a big step forward in describing how network structure determines network variability,” said Doiron. “Any serious theory of brain computation must take into account the noise in the code. A shift in neuronal variability accompanies important cognitive functions, such as attention and learning, as well as being a signature of devastating pathologies like Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.”

While the scientists examined the visual cortex, they believe their model could be used to predict activity in other parts of the brain, such as areas that process auditory or olfactory cues, for example. And they believe that the model generalizes to the brains of all mammals. In fact, the team found that a neural signature predicted by their model appeared in the visual cortex of living mice studied by another team of investigators.

“A hallmark of the computational approach that Doiron and Smith are taking is that its goal is to infer general principles of brain function that can be broadly applied to many scenarios. Remarkably, we still don’t have things like the laws of gravity for understanding the brain, but this is an important step for providing good theories in neuroscience that will allow us to make sense of the explosion of new experimental data that can now be collected,” said Nathan Urban, associate director of UPBI.

How sleeping helps us learn

Most scientists believe that sleep plays an important role in memory. Getting a good night’s sleep after learning something new seems to help you remember it later, whether it is a new motor skill (like a series of repetitive movements) or a new cognitive skill (like memorizing a poem). The way the brain processes and stores these two types of learning (implicit or explicit) is important to understanding how our brains work with implications for learning, education, and the treatment of diseases involving memory loss.

Knowing that sleep plays a role in all of this is one thing. Understanding exactly how this happens in the brain is another. New research from Edwin Robertson at the University of Glasgow and Jocelyn Breton at the University of California, Berkeley helps clarify the role sleep plays in these two different types of learning.

Participants in the study were asked to play a game like the electronic memory game Simon. They had to push a button on a keyboard that corresponded to one of 4 possible positions of a circle on their screen. All participants received the same 12-item long repeating sequence. In the first group (the explicit learning group), the participants were told that they should try to learn the sequence and were given clues to when the sequence would begin again. In the second group (the implicit learning group) the participants were simply told to push the keys correctly as quickly as possible.

The researchers then used a technique called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) that allows them to temporarily turn off specific neural circuits in the brain to test the role of two circuits in storing the sequence in the brain. After a night of sleep, the participants were then tested to recall as much of the sequence as possible. The researchers found that two independent brain circuits mediate the improvement in explicit and implicit learning that typically occurs with sleep. When the participants learned a skill through the repetitive motion alone, the memory was learned through a circuit in the inferior parietal lobe. When they learned by consciously trying to remember the sequences, the learning was stored through a different circuit in the primary motor cortex. This suggests that awareness of learning, even the same sequence, can alter the circuit supporting learning and subsequent memory enhancement over sleep. Overall, the same memory enhancement over a night of sleep can be achieved through different circuits.

This work was published this week in Nature Human Behaviour.

Suits, volleyball, and all the headcanon in between.

[Terushima, Futakuchi, Noya, Tanaka, Ushijima and Tendou here]
[Akiteru, Kei, Kageyama and Hinata here]
[Ladies of Karasuno here]

Kuroo.

  • Black on black. No tie, open two-buttoned suit jacket that hugs his waist, the top two buttons of his shirt are undone. Tailored wingtip derbies, black and matte- polished to perfection.
    • He’s actually the one who dislikes wearing suits the most (I mean, have you seen the guy, he literally looks like he throws on whatever he has lying on his bed).
    • Oh, but if you challenge him, or if the need arises- he’s going to be the sexiest guy in the room because he sure as hell isn’t going to lose at anything.
      • Hours of research and a lot of changing rooms is not going to be for nothing. If he’s going to suffer, he’s going to do some real damage before he goes (namely to your short-circuited brain and perhaps severe blood loss via nosebleed).
    • He tried the red and black combination once, until a girl actually came up to him and asked him which host club he worked at, and he’s stuck to black from then on.
    • Those undone buttons on his shirt? Collarbones. They’re so sharp that they can slice through paper, and it makes his neck slimmer and his smirk all the sexier.
    • Everything’s been absolutely tailored at least twice, and it’s so on purpose. Can you imagine those legs- miles and miles of slim height and oh, he knows you’re staring. He’ll wink right back.
      • Now that he thinks about it, he’s never had to buy his own drink before, and thus Kuroo’s legendary alcohol tolerance was born.

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More Your Good Intentions by @dangerouscommiesubversive because I wanted to draw their faces so bad, but then things got a little intense and I gave up. You’ll find what’s responsible for my face being stuck below the cut

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  • me, after seeing Rogue One: ok this is a great movie and there's so much to talk about!
  • also me: VADER VADER VADER VADER VADER VADER VADER VADER VADER VADER VADER VADER VADER VADER VADER VADER VADER VADER VADER VADER VADER VADER VADER VADER VADER VADER VADER VADER VADER VA-

some quick random thoughts about the last chapter:

  • naked guan shan is a sight to behold, and it’s not like we didn’t know since old xian loves to draw him in various states of undress (which is still hilarious to me), but d a m n, he is hella build
  • he also looks gorgeous in those white pants
  • actually he looks gorgeous full stop, like srsly sometimes i can’t believe how beautiful guan shan is, his character design is so good
  • guan shan looking up he tian’s horoscope is THE MOST. ADORABLE. THING. EVER. and it clearly shows that guan shan has been thinking about he tian and wants to learn more about him, wants to understand him, and im just!!!! so excited because guan shan’s feeling have been slowly shifting and turning into something more, and seeing his journey into falling in love with he tian is so breathtakingly beautiful HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO DEAL
  • “your partner is very tender, soft, sweet, and understanding, will look after you well” [muffled screaming] OKAY LISTEN he tian’s horoscope is making me so emo because he actually is all those things, we got to see it in the way he constantly cares about guan shan, and we didn’t really need a confirmation but im still very grateful that old xian spelled it out like this
  • WHAT IS HE TIAN’S ZODIAC SIGN THO @old xian you can’t have guan shan look it up and not tell us I NEED TO KNOW
  • ….i honestly don’t want to say that guan shan was about to jerk off thinking about he tian but it sure looked like it and my brain short circuited for a while there………….
  • ..was…………was he tian waiting on guan shan’s balcony while guan shan showered and then hiding there until he could make the perfect entrance GOD DAMMIT HE TIAN
  • okay but guan shan’s mom making he tian wait for guan shan in his room and he tian looking around it to learn more about guan shan and then stepping out on the balcony and turning around when he hears guan shan walking in but stopping in his track because guan shan is SHIRTLESS and that wasn’t in the plan and HE NEEDS A MINUTE idk about y'all but im considering this canon
  • GUAN SHAN'S​ RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS MOM IS BEAUTIFUL AND IM CRYING I LOVE THEM SO MUCH
  • i fucking knew he tian was smart as hell, and the fact that he just showed up at guan shan’s house to help him study is making me feel stuff because !!!!!!!!!! he cares!!!! about guan shan!!!! so much!!!! he wants guan shan to stay in school and succeed and be the best version of himself because, unlike she li, he knows guan shan has potential and deserves so much more than being used as a scapegoat and he tian just loves him so much IM SHOOK
  • (i honestly want to make an analysis about he tian vs she li so badly, i wish my brain could just work sigh)
  • those last three panels are just so???? cute???? i don’t know, he tian looks adorable in them and their banter feels so comfortable and light-hearted, and i just really love it (im lowkey laughing at guan shan’s punches feeling like a massage to he tian THESE DORKS)
  • (guan shan not looking at he tian in that third to last panel is interesting tho, i wonder if it actually means something or if im reading too much into things as usual)
  • i really REALLY need to see guan shan and he tian studying together and then guan shan’s mom inviting he tian to stay for dinner and the three of them just interacting with each other, it would be SO GOOD and have so much potential to learn more about he tian and guan shan @old xian IM BEGGING YOU (……am i being too greedy??)
  • guan shan’s mom is gonna become the number 1 tianshan shipper just wait for it
Speed data for the brain’s navigation system

In order to guide us accurately through space, the brain needs a “sense” of the speed of our movement. But how do such stimuli actually reach the brain? Researchers at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) have now identified a signal pathway in mice that feeds speed information directly into the brain’s navigation system. Scientists led by Stefan Remy report on this in the journal “Nature Neuroscience”. Similar neural pathways exist in humans. They are known to be damaged by Alzheimer’s disease – a possible explanation why spatial orientation is frequently impaired in this form of dementia.

In this study, the researchers stimulated specific areas in the brains of mice and recorded the evoked brain activity. “In previous studies, we found specific cells in the medial septum that fire at higher rates when the mouse moves faster. They function as ‘speedometer cells’. Possibly, they receive their input from deeper brain areas that are involved in motion control”, explains Professor Remy.

Neuronal data bus

These neurons are connected to other brain regions via long-range projections. This includes an area called the “entorhinal cortex” which is considered to be the brain’s navigation center. “The computations needed to navigate in space are ultimately made in this area of the brain,” says Remy. “We have now been able to show that the rate at which the speedometer cells fire influences neuronal activity in the entorhinal cortex. When the firing rate increases, activity in the entorhinal cortex increases too. The speedometer cells act like a data bus, an interface that relays speed information directly to the brain’s navigation center.”

Cause of spatial orientation disorders?

Humans have similar neural pathways connecting the medial septum and entorhinal cortex. Their function has not yet been investigated in detail; however, in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients these connections are known to degenerate early in the progress of the disease. “The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include spatial memory impairments. In such cases, it might happen that an affected person cannot find the way home,” says Remy. “Our results now provide a possible explanation for these symptoms: Information about the ongoing speed of movement is withheld and does not reach the brain’s navigation center.”

breathe me in.

Been wanting to write something about this since my good friend @sasusake and I flailed about how such a first time could have gone down during their travels. It was such an inspiring conversation, and the image I had in mind was just too good to pass up! And now many, many months later I finally got around to it.

Hope you enjoy! :)

Rating: M

Disclaimer: I don’t own Naruto.


It was that look in her eyes that unraveled him: hesitant, determined—but so gentle, so shy as she tentatively held his dark gaze. Straddled along the span of his legs, her small hands rested at the opening of his slacks; questioning him, but never pushing, always only gingerly testing the limits of where he was willing to go.

Swallowing thickly, Sasuke only pushed his face into her neck, and nodded. Closing his eyes, he exhaled a slow breath as she timidly worked on the buttons, slim fingers shaking. His stomach tensed when he felt her reach for the band of his underwear, fumbling with it momentarily with nervous tugs—but when she finally pulled him out, he found himself holding back a gasp, his lone hand curling tightly against the back of her shirt.

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ryvetted4  asked:

Hii! For the 3-sentence fic could you do Sterek? Where Stiles is a taxi driver it's raining and suddenly this stranger dressed in a tux and patent leather shoes hurriedly flags him down. He smells the money and expensive cologne before he even gets in and Stiles is all "Shouldn't you have your own limo or something?"

This got… a little out of hand

Stiles wasn’t exactly sure why someone at the MET Gala called for a Lyft, most of those guests had limos or town cars at the very least, but he didn’t really care; it was a relatively slow night because of the rain and the girl who called the Lyft was pretty. 

There was a tap on the window and Stiles jumped, he had just sent the ‘I’m here’ text so he wasn’t expecting his passenger already, “Are you Stiles?”

“Yeah but you don’t look like a Cora to me,” Stiles said before he could stop himself. His brain to mouth filter was pretty shitting on the best day and when there was a guy who was hotter than the sun standing in a tux worth more than his Jeep looking like something out of a Rom Com it was nonexistent. 

The guy, who looked oddly familiar, huffed, “I’m Derek, she’s my sister. My phone died and I needed to get out of there so she called the ride, can I get in?”

“Oh yeah, sure, yeah,” Stiles said, running a hand through his hair, “Like I said I’m Stiles and you’re not Cora.”

“Right,” The guy said with a smile, “Derek, Derek Hale.”

Stiles brain short circuited for a second. Derek Hale, son of Talia and Joseph Hale, New York City billionaires, was in his shitty Jeep. 

“Well, Derek, Derek Hale,” Stiles said once his motor functions came back online, “Where am I taking you in your fancy suit. Wait shouldn’t you have a limo or something?”

“Paps follow the limos when they leave,” Derek said, “I just wanted some peace and quiet.”

“So… home then?” Stiles asked, not sure what to make of the handsome billionaire in his car.

Derek looked at him then, really looked at him, his eyes soft and earnest, and said, “This might sound really stupid and you can say no, but would you just take me to some hole in the wall diner in like Queens and eat a meal with me? I want to be around someone who isn’t fawning over me and you haven’t done that yet.”

“I’m very good at hiding my fawning,” Stiles said with a smile, “And I know just the place. No one will bother you there, not even me.”

“You can bother me if you want,” Derek said with a little smile, letting out a breath as Stiles pulled away and headed toward Queens and his favorite diner, the one his mom used to take him to when he was a kid.

When they got there Stiles put the car in park but didn’t get out, “This is a good place, tell them you know Stiles and they’ll make sure you’re taken care of.”

“How about you tell them I know Stiles,” Derek said with a shy grin, “My treat, this time.”

“I’ll get the next one then,” Stiles said, shutting the Jeep off and getting out into the rainy night.

“I’d like that.”

Can the brain feel it? The world’s smallest extracellular needle-electrodes

A research team in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Information Engineering and the Electronics-Inspired Interdisciplinary Research Institute (EIIRIS) at Toyohashi University of Technology developed 5-μm-diameter needle-electrodes on 1 mm × 1 mm block modules. This tiny needle may help solve the mysteries of the brain and facilitate the development of a brain-machine interface. The research results were reported in Scientific Reports
on Oct 25, 2016.

(Image caption: Extracellular needle-electrode with a diameter of 5 μm mounted on a connector)

The neuron networks in the human brain are extremely complex. Microfabricated silicon needle-electrode devices were expected to be an innovation that would be able to record and analyze the electrical activities of the microscale neuronal circuits in the brain.

However, smaller needle technologies (e.g., needle diameter < 10 μm) are necessary to reduce damage to brain tissue. In addition to the needle geometry, the device substrate should be minimized not only to reduce the total amount of damage to tissue but also to enhance the accessibility of the
electrode in the brain. Thus, these electrode technologies will realize new experimental neurophysiological concepts.

A research team in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Information Engineering and the EIIRIS at Toyohashi University of Technology developed 5-
μm-diameter needle-electrodes on 1 mm × 1 mm block modules.

The individual microneedles are fabricated on the block modules, which are small enough to use in the narrow spaces present in brain tissue; as demonstrated in the recording using mouse cerebrum cortices. In addition, the block module remarkably improves the design variability in the packaging, offering numerous in vivo recording applications.

“We demonstrated the high design variability in the packaging of our electrode device, and in vivo neuronal recordings were performed by simply placing the device on a mouse’s brain. We were very surprised that high quality signals of a single unit were stably recorded over a long period using the 5-μm-diameter needle,” explained the first author, Assistant Professor Hirohito Sawahata, and co-author, researcher Shota Yamagiwa.

The leader of the research team, Associate Professor Takeshi Kawano said: “Our silicon needle technology offers low invasive neuronal recordings and provides novel methodologies for electrophysiology; therefore, it has the potential to enhance experimental neuroscience.” He added, “We expect the development of applications to solve the mysteries of the brain and the development of brain–machine interfaces.”