neural system

Scientists discover new mechanism of how brain networks form

Scientists have discovered that networks of inhibitory brain cells or neurons develop through a mechanism opposite to the one followed by excitatory networks. Excitatory neurons sculpt and refine maps of the external world throughout development and experience, while inhibitory neurons form maps that become broader with maturation. This discovery adds a new piece to the puzzle of how the brain organizes and processes information. Knowing how the normal brain works is an important step toward understanding the nature of neurological conditions and opens the possibility of finding treatments in the future. The results appear in Nature Neuroscience.

“The brain represents the external world as specific maps of activity created by networks of neurons,” said senior author Dr. Benjamin Arenkiel, associate professor of molecular and human genetics and of neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine, who studies neural maps in the olfactory system of the laboratory mouse. “Most of these maps have been studied in the excitatory circuits of the brain because excitatory neurons in the cortex outnumber inhibitory neurons.”

The studies of excitatory maps have revealed that they begin as a diffuse and overlapping network of cells. “With time,” said Arenkiel, “experience sculpts this diffuse pattern of activity into better defined areas, such that individual mouse whiskers, for instance, are represented by discrete segments of the brain cortex. This progression from a diffuse to a refined pattern occurs in many areas of the brain.”

In addition to excitatory networks, the brain has inhibitory networks that also respond to external stimuli and regulate the activity of neural networks. How the inhibitory networks develop, however, has remained a mystery.

In this study, Arenkiel and colleagues studied the development of maps of inhibitory neurons in the olfactory system of the mouse.

Studying inhibitory brain networks of the mouse sense of smell

“Unlike sight, hearing or other senses, the sense of smell in the mouse detects discrete scents from a large array of molecules,” said Arenkiel, who is also a McNair Scholar at Baylor.

Mice can detect a vast number of scents thanks in part to a complex network of inhibitory neurons. Inhibitory neurons are the most abundant type of cells in the mouse brain area dedicated to process scent. To support this network, newly born inhibitory neurons are continually added and integrated into the circuits.

Arenkiel and colleagues followed the paths of these newly added neurons in time to determine how inhibitory circuits develop. First, they genetically labeled the cells so they would glow when the neurons were active. Then, they offered individual scents to the mice and visually recorded through a microscope the areas or networks of the brain that glowed for each scent the live, anesthetized animal smelled. The scientists repeated the experiment several times to determine how the networks changed as the animal learned to identify each scent.

Surprising result

The scientists expected that inhibitory networks would mature in a way similar to that of excitatory networks. That is, the more the animal experienced a scent, the better defined the networks of activity would become. Surprisingly, the scientists discovered that the inhibitory brain circuits of the mouse sense of smell develop in a manner opposite to the excitatory circuits. Instead of becoming narrowly defined areas, the inhibitory circuits become broader. Thanks to this new finding scientists now better understand how the brain organizes and processes information.

Arenkiel and colleagues think that the inhibitory networks work hand-in-hand with the excitatory networks. They propose that the interaction between excitatory and inhibitory networks could be compared to a network of roads (excitatory networks) whose traffic is regulated by a network of traffic lights (inhibitory networks). The scientists suggest that the formation of useful neural maps depends on inhibitory networks driving the refinement of excitatory networks, and that this new information will be essential towards developing new approaches for repairing brain tissue.

Had some interesting talks in class today that I think hit topics that more ppl need to know about…specifically involving algorithms, machine learning, and neural nets. When it comes to things like websites making recommendations or restricting content, there’s a lot of big issues that aren’t worked out, partially because neural nets and similar systems aren’t really transparent and it’s not always easy to see or control how they come to the conclusions that they do 

The example brought up in class was one about mortgages or loans. A hypothetical bank uses a neural net or something similar to evaluate candidates and to reject those who are likely to be a problem. They purposely make “race” an ignored variable to avoid discrimination…and yet, after running into a few accusations, they discover that the system rejects a significantly higher number of black applicants. Why is that? ..Well, when evaluating parent income, it considered poverty a high-risk variable, and in the branch’s area of operation, a higher number of black applicants come from poor families, even though their current status no longer reflects that. The neural net, having no understanding of systematic or historical racism, did not recognize that this was potentially discriminatory 

And that’s a big problem with a lot of different areas right now. “High risk” keywords that an algorithm is supposed to learn to pick up can be correlated with unforeseen things, making terms previously associated with discrimination or inappropriate content be unfairly targeted. And unfortunately, a lot of companies are excited to implement these algorithms to handle the huge mass of data and traffic they have to deal with, but there isn’t really a good solution to these sort of problems…so groups that suffer from racism, sexism, transphobia, and other forms of prejudice get the short end of the stick with no ill will meant against them

Technology is amazing, but it’s not inherently moral. It’s exciting to look towards the future, but it’s also important to be critical in an ethical, social, and societal sense, because sometimes that’s all too easily overlooked in tech circles

Medical Astrology

❝   Medical astrology (traditionally known as iatromathematics) is an ancient medical system that associates various parts of the body, diseases, and drugs as under the influence of the sun, moon, and planets, along with the twelve astrological signs. ❞

Medical Astrology has been practiced for centuries over centuries and still remains in practice to this day - although it became much humbler as modern medicine evolved and astrology transformed into something wildly interpreted as “humbug”. Even some of those who study astrology still seem to have a false understanding of what exactly medical astrology is and therefore don’t believe in it themselves.

So to clear up any possible misconceptions before I start: Medical Astrology is NOT the stars telling you that you’re going to have a specific condition because one of your placements suggests it. As with most other things, there’s a lot that comes into play: Other placements, on one hand, but especially, and I really want to stress this, things like how you treat your body, accidents that you may get into, DNA, … you get the drift.

I already mentioned it, but medical astrology only SUGGESTS higher risks for specific ailments. It does NOT predict them. (Transits, however, CAN - but even they don’t promise for you to get the disease or whatever ailment is supposed to happen. This is another topic, though.)

Having said that, I will make another post for very specific conditions, for this one I’ll only talk about some general things like what signs/houses/planets rule what body part and what role everything plays. Also, I do NOT take responsibility for what you do with this information. I’m not trying to scare anyone, I’m just passing on some of my knowledge.


  • Aries/1st House: rules head, face (and everything in it), brain, hair, vision
  • Taurus/2nd House: rules throat, voice/vocal cords/tract, neck, thyroid, weight
  • Gemini/3rd House: rules hands, arms, nerve system, shoulders, lungs, brain
  • Cancer/4th House: rules alimentary canal, breasts/chest, stomach
  • Leo/5th House: rules heart, chest, upper back, spinal column, spine
  • Virgo/6th House: rules intestines, nervous system, digestive system, spleen
  • Libra/7th House: rules skin, lumbar region, kidneys, buttocks, lower back
  • Scorpio/8th House: rules genitalia, bowels, reproductive & excretory system
  • Sagittarius/9th House: rules thighs, hips, sciatic nerve, liver
  • Capricorn/10th House: rules skeletal system, knees, joints
  • Aquarius/11th House: rules calves, ankles, circulatory system
  • Pisces/12th House: rules feet, toes, adipose tissue, lymphatic system


  • Sun: general vitality, spine, heart
  • Moon: digestive & lymphatic system, stomach, female organs
  • Mercury: central nervous system, hands, brain
  • Venus: throat, kidneys, ovaries
  • Mars: muscles, head, adrenal glands
  • Jupiter: growth, pituaitary gland, liver
  • Saturn: skin, hair, bones, teeth, immune system, spleen
  • Uranus: neural activity, aura, parathyroid gland
  • Neptune: pineal gland
  • Pluto: metabolism, pancreas

Now we know what the involved parts represent, but not why and how that is. So to use medical astrology properly we have to make the connections between these aspects (hint: aspects can play a role too, but one usually puts more emphasis on houses/signs + planets) and know about some common themes:

  • SATURN suggests struggles & weakness in the assigned body part(s) of the sign/house he resides in.
    • e.g.: Saturn in Gemini and 5th suggests trouble with breathing properly (in extreme cases ailments like asthma) and back problems
  • URANUS often makes for “abnormalities” or strange/unusual conditions.
    • e.g.: Uranus in Taurus and 3rd can indicate rapidly changing weight and somewhat differently formed fingers (in extreme cases things like swan neck fingers)
  • STELLIA can cause trouble due to the excessive amount of energy bundled in (a) certain body part(s).
    • e.g.: An Aries (head/brain) stellium can make for strong or chronical headaches
  • EXTREME DOMINANCE works like a stellium as long as the dominance is very prominent.
  • CHALLENGING ASPECTS can lead to trouble as well -  one has to look at the planets involved and the houses/signs they’re in for this one to know more.
    • e.g.: A VERY afflicted/”damaged” sun in the 6th might in extreme cases indicate a heightened potential to suffer of a heart attack.

      I of course didn’t cover every theme, every aspect, everything that is important, but with your new-earned knowledge you should have a solid and basic foundation with which you should be able to work. As I already said, I’ll make a separate post with very specific ailments which I will also describe (the why and how) that I will then link in this one.

      As Medical Astrology is its own branch of astrology and therefore gets more and more complex the more you dive into it, my ask box is always open if you should need clarification or help with interpreting something.

      Meant For Each Other

      Originally posted by robinllordtaylor

      Pairing: Bucky x Reader (female)

      Summary: reader is finishing school while trainer with The Avengers. She and Bucky are close friends and both have feelings for each other but are too afraid to say anything. When reader is injured during a mission drill, Bucky insists on taking care of her. Feelings surface more and they are forced to discuss the situation. 

      Warnings: injuries, blood (i think), mentions of self doubt, LOTS of FLUFF 
      also, I didn’t edit this so I apologize if there are any mistakes.

      *Reader POV* 

      “Can you not, Stark?” I said as Tony continued to probe me with his new invention. 

      “I need to test it on someone,” he replied. 

      “Well, I’m not in the mood to be poked and shocked.” 

      “It;s not shocking you. It’s sending waves through your body to see how it effects the neural system. And it looks like it’s giving negative feedback.” 

      “Why don’t you do this to Steve or Bucky. Someone who won’t be brain damaged if it doesn’t work.” 

      Just as I said that, Bucky walked into the room and said, “my brain has been tampered with enough already so I think I’ll pass.” 

      I felt like an idiot for saying what I said. But how could I have known Bucky was going to walk into the room? 

      I felt my heart stop, and skip a beat. I’ve liked Bucky for longer than I can remember. He was my best friend, which made it harder to hold those feelings back. Other than Steve, I am the only one who has seen Bucky as himself. The nightmares, the good days, the bad days. That goofy he smile he gets when we joke around. And all the intimate moments we’ve had. 

      Not intimate like sex, even though I dream about more often than I care to admit. But intimate like telling our dreams and fears. When I fall sleep next to him, or when he comforts me, or vice versa. Those to me are way more intimate than having sex because you have to be able to trust the person to not betray you when you let your guard down. 

      Bucky and I are close. We do things like a couple. He cares for me and is over protective, and so am I. But neither one of us has mentioned feelings. Despite what Steve says, I am afraid to lose what I already have with Bucky. So I keep my mouth shut. 

      Tony hit another button on his toy and it sent another shock through my body. “Dammit, Tony. Get these things off my face,” I said. “I’ve had a really bad day and I just want to relax.” 

      “But I-” 

      “Tony, take it off. She’s looking pale and like she’s ready to pass out,” Bucky said. He had that look in his eyes. The one he has when he’s on the verge of getting angry. None of us dare to mess with him when he has that look. 

      “Fine,” Tony said and detached me from his device and left the common room. 

      I sighed and stood up, walking past Bucky and to my room. I shut the door, not realizing that Bucky may have wanted to talk. But the day I had was shit and I just needed to be alone for a few minutes since Tony took up most of my time I was supposed to have for myself. 

      I laid down on my bed and drifted off to sleep. 


      About an hour later, I heard a light knock on my door. It woke me from my slumber, but I was too groggy to move. I knew it was Bucky. It was never anyone else. 

      The door opened and shut. I felt the bed dip, and the cool touch of Bucky’s metal hand. He took the spot next to me, then pulled me onto him so my head was resting on his chest. I took in his familiar scent and immediately felt comforted. 

      “How are you feeling,” he asked. “Did the nap help?” 

      “Well, it wasn’t finished so I wouldn’t know.” I meant it as a joke, but I was still tired and mumbled the words and it didn’t have the effect I wanted it to. 

      “Awe, I’m sorry,” he cooed. He brushed his lips over the top of my head. But that’s all it was. A brush. Never quite a kiss. 

      “It’s okay. I just had a long day and coming home to Tony’s bullshit didn’t help at all. 

      “What happened at school today?” 

      I yawned and said, “I have a history final coming up in a week and my professor gave us a mock exam today for practice and I completely blew it. I got like maybe a quarter of the answers correct and this shit is worth fifty percent of my grade. I’m screwed, Buck.” 

      “No, you’re not,” he said, his flesh hand massaging my back. “I’ll help you study. Did you forget that I’m a century old? I lived through half the stuff your learning. I even caused some of it…” he said the last sentence kind of hushed. 

      “Oh yeah. You don’t look a day over ninety-nine,” I joked. 

      “Gee, thanks.” 

      “You’re welcome,” I said and looked up at his face. His icy blue eyes stared down at me and I watched as a smile crept onto his face. “What?” I asked. 

      “Nothing. There’s just a certain glow about you tonight.” 

      I looked away, embarrassed and my cheeks turning hot. I love it when he compliments me like that. I sat up and stared forward. I tried to supress the ecstatic smile with a small one. 

      “Was it something I said?” 

      “What? Oh, no. Not at all, Buck. You’re just one of the very few people that actually treat me like a person.” 

      “You are a person, (y/n). You’re my person. I don’t know what I’d do without you.” 

      I smiled again. We stared at each other for a couple of seconds. We leaned into each other, but stopped a few inches short. “I… uhh… I’m gonna get something to eat. Do you want anything?” 

      “No,” I said. “I’m not hungry. I think I’ll just get ready for bed.” I was slightly disappointed that what I wanted ti happen, didn’t. 

      “Alright. Get some rest. Don’t forget we have that mission drill in the morning.” I nodded. Bucky got up and started making his way to the door. “Come get me if you need anything.” I nodded again and Bucky. I fell back on my bed and groaned. 

      “Just tell him,” I heard Steve shout from his bedroom which was next to mine. I rolled my eyes and groaned again. 


      I groaned and stood up. Tony just blasted me with one of the new cannons on his suit. “I’m on your team, you idiot!” I shouted. 

      “I’m sorry. I guess I like using you as a test dummy,” he shouted back. 

      “Fuck off, Stark!” 

      “(y/n), watch your language,” Steve said as he walked up behind me. “We need to get the flag.” 

      “So this is a game of capture the flag. How mature.” 

      “Essentially, yes. But in this case the flag is supposed to represent a new, highly dangerous weapon.” 

      “And we want it why?” 

      “So the bad guys don’t get it and take over the world,” he said and gave me a small smile. 

      “Got it,” I nodded. I watched as Tony blasted the Hulk into the air. 

      “I’ll take the left and create a diversion. You’ll take the right. You’ll need to keep an eye out for Nat, but Vision with have you covered for the most part. Bucky will be waiting for you on the other side. Then you two need to get passed Hawkeye and take the weapon. Got it?” 

      “Yeah. Let’s go.” I ran out. I took my gun and shot a water tank sitting near by. The thing exploded and water pooled onto the street, soaking Thor completely. 

      I saw Bucky, and I thought I was in the clear when Nat roundhouse kicked me to the ground. 

      “You need to have eyes everywhere,” she advised. “But good call on the water tank.” 

      It took me a few minutes, but eventually I got her tired enough. One good blow to her face sent her to the ground long enough for me to reach Bucky. I took off after that. But the Hulk picked me up and through me fifty feet to where Bucky was. I hit hard. I couldn’t move at first, then I felt a cool metal hand on my skin. 

      “(y/n), are you okay?” 

      “I can’t move, Bucky. My… my chest. And my head.” 

      Bucky touched my right side and I screamed. “You might have broken a couple of ribs.” 

      “The flag…” 

      “Forget the flag. You need medical attention.” 

      “What’s going on,” Steve asked. 

      “(y/n)’s down,” Bucky responded. She can’t move.” 

      “Alright. She’s done. Take her to the med bay and I’ll take over from here.” 

      Bucky picked me up gently and carried me back. 


      I laid in my bed in pain. I had a concussion and three cracked ribs. I was beyond irritated. I was doing so well and for me to blow a fake mission… Maybe I wasn’t cut out to be a part of the Avengers.  

      I stood up, wincing as I moved. My ribs didn’t hurt as much as they did when it first happened. I was trying to find my history notebook and textbook. I figured I should study if I was going to be stuck in bed for the next couple of days. I remembered I had left them in my backpack. It was hard to bend over, so I squatted down. But before I could reach my bag, someone took hold of my arm and pulled me up. I turned to find Bucky. He had insisted on taking care of me. 

      “What are you doing out of bed?” 

      “Getting my notebook.” 

      “You need to get back in bed,” he said sternly. 

      “I need to study,” I said back. 

      “(y/n), don’t argue with me. Get back in bed.” 

      “No,” I deadpanned and turned back towards my bag. I winced as I tried to bend down again. 

      “Why are you always so stubborn?” 

      “Why can’t you just leave me alone? You’re not my boss, you’re not my boyfriend. You can’t tell me what to do!” I stared at Bucky’s face. I don’t yell at him often. Especially not like that. But these injuries have made me very irritable and the fact that I’ve been around Bucky for most of the day didn’t help either.  

      “Guess I’ll have to change that then,” he growled. His hands came up to my face and he crashed his lips against mine. His lips were softer than I imagined. He kissed me slowly, passionately. I would have wrapped my arms around his neck, but lifting them would hurt too much. So I just clutched his shirt in my fists. He tasted so good. Sweet and warm. Like freshly made cotton candy. He pulled away and rested his forehead on mine. “Please, get back in bed,” he asked gently. 

      “Okay,” was all I said. He helped me back into bed. He sat next to me, sitting so that I could rest on his chest comfortably. 

      “I’m sorry, Bucky.” I said. “I’m just… I’m mad at myself. I’ve been doing so well in training and then I blow a fake mission. It makes me think that I’m not meant for this. And I’m a coward because I was never able to admit my feelings for you, and then they just kept piling up. And school… I know I’m doing good, but I can feel myself slipping and I don’t know what to do.” 

      Bucky kissed the top of my head. Finally. “You were picked for this team for a reason. It was just a fluke. Banner should have never tossed you like that. It wasn’t your fault. And school, I’ll help you with that. I already told you I would.” He paused. “And I was no better with confessing my feelings. I’ve loved you longer than I can remember. I was scared of losing you by saying anything, so I just didn’t.” 

      “I love you too, Bucky.” 

      “Good,” he said and kissed my head again. “Whatever it is, we can get through it together. As for studying, you have time. Right now you need to sleep and recover from your head injury.” 

      “Fine,” I yawned. 

      “Go to sleep. I’ll be right here. I’m not gonna go anywhere. Except maybe the bathroom at some point…” 

      I chuckled, and then sucked in a breath of pain. “Don’t make me laugh! It hurts too much.” 

      Bucky chuckled in return. “I’m sorry. I’ll try to keep my charm to a minimum.” 

      I rolled my eyes, but kept a smile on my face. 

      “Sweet dreams, doll.” 

      “Hmm,” I hummed before I fell asleep in Bucky’s arms

      Services Terminated

      Originally posted by abelmvada

      Pairing: Bingsepticeye X Reader

      Request: “#54 with Bing pleas!” (“Get a job!”)  + “87 with Bing!” (“Your services are no longer required.”)

      A/N: I really love the idea that Bing has anger issues and glitches out because of it. I figured I’d take out two birds with one stone here! Enjoy! [Y/M/N= Your Mother’s Name]

      Warnings: slight swearing, angsty-ish, reader’s mom is a rude human, fluffy towards the end

      You stared at your computer, scrolling through countless job-search websites as you sipped your coffee which was now cold. You lost your job as an editor nearly a month ago because quote, “Your services are no longer required.” 

      What business that posts articles doesn’t require a goddamned editor?! You groan and let your head fall to the table. You weren’t sure if you wanted to scream or cry or punch something in the face but it was killing you to do nothing.

      Something clinks down onto the table next to you. “My sensors indicate an influx of blood to the neural system.”

      Keep reading

      World-building some validity for mech usage~

      The introduction  of direct neural interfaces has generated a slew of incredible advantages, being able to increase reaction times in vehicle drivers, as well as the precision of every movement a machine has to take. These benefits come at great costs however, as well as a few major complications. 

      Researchers and developers have yet to produce systems that can accommodate the Neural Alienation Effect. The NEA is a result of the driver not being able to conceptualise movement within the neural connection from a series of biological inputs to a direct mechanical input. The current technology finds it nearly impossible to convert the idea of walking to rotation within a driveshaft, or the concept of aiming/targeting to a rotation of a turret.

      The current fix is to produce vehicles that can harness the current technology to the fullest, having vaguely humanoid shapes to better suit the biological input of the pilot, thereby bypassing the issue altogether. The pilot has no need to think a certain way in times of panic to utilise the direct neural input system to its fullest. 


      “The Drift. Jaeger tech. Based on DARPA jet fighter neural systems. Two pilots, mind-melding through memories with the body of a giant machine. The deeper the bond, the better you fight.”

      An AU where DK and Mingyu are drift-compatible all-star Jaeger pilots and Mingyu’s mouth gets them into almost as much trouble as DK’s endless kaiju-related curiosities.

      Wew, finally was able to sit down and just force the emoting practice with Xev out, took a couple days, but its finally done. Also added in his nice tentacle maw collective - he’s able to grasp things with them e3e.

      Xev’s a precious marshmallow of a prime; just as long as he’s kept out of the void. He’s got issues with neural sentries intruding his systems.

      More (Detailed) Neuroscience and Behavior Notes

      Other Neuroscience and Behavior Notes (with pics!)
      What’s not included in that^ post is here and vice versa. Also some things might repeat.


      Neurons: The Basic Elements of Behavior
      The Structure of the Neuron

      • Neurons: Nerve cells, the basic elements of the nervous system
      • Perhaps as many as trillion neurons throughout the body are involved in the control of behavior.
      • The nucleus incorporates heredity material that determines how a cell will function.
      • Neurons are physically held in place by glial cells. Glial cells provide nourishment to neutrons, insulate them, help repair damage, and generally support neural functioning.
      • Terminal Buttons AKA Terminal Branches
      • Myelin Sheath: made up of fat and protein
      • Neural impulses generally move across neurons in one direction only

      Keep reading

      One Girl and Two Boys - part 5

      Bucky Barnes x Reader x Steve Rogers

      Summary: Reader is dating Steve until he gets hit during a mission. Slowly, Reader and Bucky will get to know each other better and transform their friendship into something else.

      Word Count: 1,398

      Warnings: None

      A/N: We all know where this is going ;) I hope you’ll have fun reading this one.

      (cross-posted to Ao3)

      [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4]

      Originally posted by lobo-de-luna

      Warrior Falls, Wakanda | 6 Months after Steve’s Death

      It took you and Bucky nearly five months, but you found the group of thugs who were stealing Vibranium. They hid their robbery in a cave outside Serpent Valley and tried to peddle it to foreign companies.

      You were going to Birnin Zana, the capital, and finally made your way out of Serpent Valley. A sunbeam caressed your face for the first time in weeks. You turned to Bucky who was smiling at you.

      You followed the track leading to the fall, the sound of running water getting closer and closer. Soon, you were standing in awe in front of the crystal lake.

      “Oh God,” You gasped. “I’ve never seen anything so beautiful.”

      “You can blink, you know, ‘t’s not going to disappear.” Bucky said, laughing heartily.

      Keep reading

      anonymous asked:

      As a high schooler thinkin of takin psychology,how is it btw? No one in my fam has ever took psychology so idk what to expect :/

      Hmm where to begin.. Okay! I’m gonna briefly explain some of the classes I had in psychology so that you can have an overall idea :) 

      So, in a nutshell psychology is the study of human behavior. It’s a way of trying to figure out why people do the things they do.

      In my 1st year we had a psych 101 class that gave you a nutshell idea about psych. It included the history, the most important people of psychology and the basic theories about human behavior (There is a lot of theories in psychology, 95% of the stuff I study are theories!)

      I had physiology classes in 1st, 2nd 3rd and 4th year. You’ll focus on the neural system (brain) and the hormonal system in particular (because they influence the person’s behavior the most). You also learn about memory, gender and sexuality (expect to study A LOT about sex!), perception, consciousness, stages of sleep, the impact of stress on the body etc.

      Pathology were classes in my 1st 2nd and 4th year. This is where you study the different type’s psychological problems like anxiety disorders, sexual dysfunctions, paraphilias, personality disorder, mood disorders, addiction and developmental disorders.

      I had classes on human development as well. It’s about how humans develop from birth to death. You study about how everything develops in each stage of life. It includes how your thinking changes as you grow older, how parents and the environment influence a child’s development, how teens deal with puberty, identity development, relationships and how those things can screw with their development. How people deal with menopause, midlife crisis and growing old.

      I had a social psychology class that focused on the person as a social being. Stuff like relationships, how people make choices, attitudes, how people influence one another, aggression and prejudice.

      I had a class that focused entirely on personality and the different types. We had to study the different cultures like African, Eastern and Western cultures and how they differ from one another and how their differences can impact on how they interact with each other.

      I had 2 therapy classes which were about, well, therapy. How to build a good relationship with a client, building trust, empathy, developing good interpersonal skills and stuff like that.

      In 3rd and 4th year I had stats classes. This is where you do research (math and stuff like that). You collect, analyse and interpret data that focuses on human behavior (Stats is my favorite part in psychology!)

      I hope this is what you wanted to know. There’s a lot of stuff that you study in psychology. I had no idea what it was about when I was in high school. It’s a lot of work but it’s a really fun thing to study! I’m doing my master’s in research next year!  If there’s anything else you want to know, feel free to ask! I’d be more than happy to answer! :)) 

      Open Sourcing a Deep Learning Solution for Detecting NSFW Images

      By Jay Mahadeokar and Gerry Pesavento

      Automatically identifying that an image is not suitable/safe for work (NSFW), including offensive and adult images, is an important problem which researchers have been trying to tackle for decades. Since images and user-generated content dominate the Internet today, filtering NSFW images becomes an essential component of Web and mobile applications. With the evolution of computer vision, improved training data, and deep learning algorithms, computers are now able to automatically classify NSFW image content with greater precision.

      Defining NSFW material is subjective and the task of identifying these images is non-trivial. Moreover, what may be objectionable in one context can be suitable in another. For this reason, the model we describe below focuses only on one type of NSFW content: pornographic images. The identification of NSFW sketches, cartoons, text, images of graphic violence, or other types of unsuitable content is not addressed with this model.

      To the best of our knowledge, there is no open source model or algorithm for identifying NSFW images. In the spirit of collaboration and with the hope of advancing this endeavor, we are releasing our deep learning model that will allow developers to experiment with a classifier for NSFW detection, and provide feedback to us on ways to improve the classifier.

      Our general purpose Caffe deep neural network model (Github code) takes an image as input and outputs a probability (i.e a score between 0-1) which can be used to detect and filter NSFW images. Developers can use this score to filter images below a certain suitable threshold based on a ROC curve for specific use-cases, or use this signal to rank images in search results.

      Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) architectures and tradeoffs

      In recent years, CNNs have become very successful in image classification problems [1] [5] [6]. Since 2012, new CNN architectures have continuously improved the accuracy of the standard ImageNet classification challenge. Some of the major breakthroughs include AlexNet (2012) [6], GoogLeNet [5], VGG (2013) [2] and Residual Networks (2015) [1]. These networks have different tradeoffs in terms of runtime, memory requirements, and accuracy. The main indicators for runtime and memory requirements are:

      1. Flops or connections – The number of connections in a neural network determine the number of compute operations during a forward pass, which is proportional to the runtime of the network while classifying an image.
      2. Parameters -–The number of parameters in a neural network determine the amount of memory needed to load the network.

      Ideally we want a network with minimum flops and minimum parameters, which would achieve maximum accuracy.

      Training a deep neural network for NSFW classification

      We train the models using a dataset of positive (i.e. NSFW) images and negative (i.e. SFW – suitable/safe for work) images. We are not releasing the training images or other details due to the nature of the data, but instead we open source the output model which can be used for classification by a developer.

      We use the Caffe deep learning library and CaffeOnSpark; the latter is a powerful open source framework for distributed learning that brings Caffe deep learning to Hadoop and Spark clusters for training models (Big shout out to Yahoo’s CaffeOnSpark team!).

      While training, the images were resized to 256x256 pixels, horizontally flipped for data augmentation, and randomly cropped to 224x224 pixels, and were then fed to the network. For training residual networks, we used scale augmentation as described in the ResNet paper [1], to avoid overfitting. We evaluated various architectures to experiment with tradeoffs of runtime vs accuracy.

      1. MS_CTC [4] – This architecture was proposed in Microsoft’s constrained time cost paper. It improves on top of AlexNet in terms of speed and accuracy maintaining a combination of convolutional and fully-connected layers.
      2. Squeezenet [3] – This architecture introduces the fire module which contain layers to squeeze and then expand the input data blob. This helps to save the number of parameters keeping the Imagenet accuracy as good as AlexNet, while the memory requirement is only 6MB.
      3. VGG [2] – This architecture has 13 conv layers and 3 FC layers.
      4. GoogLeNet [5] – GoogLeNet introduces inception modules and has 20 convolutional layer stages. It also uses hanging loss functions in intermediate layers to tackle the problem of diminishing gradients for deep networks.
      5. ResNet-50 [1] – ResNets use shortcut connections to solve the problem of diminishing gradients. We used the 50-layer residual network released by the authors.
      6. ResNet-50-thin – The model was generated using our pynetbuilder tool and replicates the Residual Network paper’s 50-layer network (with half number of filters in each layer). You can find more details on how the model was generated and trained here.

      Tradeoffs of different architectures: accuracy vs number of flops vs number of params in network.

      The deep models were first pre-trained on the ImageNet 1000 class dataset. For each network, we replace the last layer (FC1000) with a 2-node fully-connected layer. Then we fine-tune the weights on the NSFW dataset. Note that we keep the learning rate multiplier for the last FC layer 5 times the multiplier of other layers, which are being fine-tuned. We also tune the hyper parameters (step size, base learning rate) to optimize the performance.

      We observe that the performance of the models on NSFW classification tasks is related to the performance of the pre-trained model on ImageNet classification tasks, so if we have a better pretrained model, it helps in fine-tuned classification tasks. The graph below shows the relative performance on our held-out NSFW evaluation set. Please note that the false positive rate (FPR) at a fixed false negative rate (FNR) shown in the graph is specific to our evaluation dataset, and is shown here for illustrative purposes. To use the models for NSFW filtering, we suggest that you plot the ROC curve using your dataset and pick a suitable threshold.

      Comparison of performance of models on Imagenet and their counterparts fine-tuned on NSFW dataset.

      We are releasing the thin ResNet 50 model, since it provides good tradeoff in terms of accuracy, and the model is lightweight in terms of runtime (takes < 0.5 sec on CPU) and memory (~23 MB). Please refer our git repository for instructions and usage of our model. We encourage developers to try the model for their NSFW filtering use cases. For any questions or feedback about performance of model, we encourage creating a issue and we will respond ASAP.

      Results can be improved by fine-tuning the model for your dataset or use case. If you achieve improved performance or you have trained a NSFW model with different architecture, we encourage contributing to the model or sharing the link on our description page.

      Disclaimer: The definition of NSFW is subjective and contextual. This model is a general purpose reference model, which can be used for the preliminary filtering of pornographic images. We do not provide guarantees of accuracy of output, rather we make this available for developers to explore and enhance as an open source project.

      We would like to thank Sachin Farfade, Amar Ramesh Kamat, Armin Kappeler, and Shraddha Advani for their contributions in this work.


      [1] He, Kaiming, Xiangyu Zhang, Shaoqing Ren, and Jian Sun. “Deep residual learning for image recognition” arXiv preprint arXiv:1512.03385 (2015).

      [2] Simonyan, Karen, and Andrew Zisserman. “Very deep convolutional networks for large-scale image recognition.”; arXiv preprint arXiv:1409.1556(2014).

      [3] Iandola, Forrest N., Matthew W. Moskewicz, Khalid Ashraf, Song Han, William J. Dally, and Kurt Keutzer. “SqueezeNet: AlexNet-level accuracy with 50x fewer parameters and 1MB model size.”; arXiv preprint arXiv:1602.07360 (2016).

      [4] He, Kaiming, and Jian Sun. “Convolutional neural networks at constrained time cost.” In Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, pp. 5353-5360. 2015.

      [5] Szegedy, Christian, Wei Liu, Yangqing Jia, Pierre Sermanet,Scott Reed, Dragomir Anguelov, Dumitru Erhan, Vincent Vanhoucke, and Andrew Rabinovich. “Going deeper with convolutions” In Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, pp. 1-9. 2015.

      [6] Krizhevsky, Alex, Ilya Sutskever, and Geoffrey E. Hinton. “Imagenet classification with deep convolutional neural networks” In Advances in neural information processing systems, pp. 1097-1105. 2012.


      Check out this tiny dragonfly cyborg drone in flight

      The project aimed to create the smallest drone possible by doing more than just taking inspiration from the animal kingdom — engineers literally outfitted an actual dragonfly with drone tech, putting a suite of next-gen navigation, synthetic biology, and neurotechnology systems on its back in the form of mini “backpack,” which is powered by a built-in solar cell.

      The cyborg is also controlled by a system of optical structures, called optrodes, that target the exact neural systems needed to send navigation commands without disrupting the rest of the dragonfly’s neural network.

      Read More:

      Haters gonna hate
      • Sherlock: *furiously typing on his laptop*
      • John: *Just got in with little Rosie on his hips, sees tall, dark and brooding slamming the keys in his laptop. Turns to his daughter.* Well, Rosie looks like Uncle Sherlock is in a bad mood again. Should we just go down and see if Nana Martha has some delicious cookies?
      • Molly: *Exits from the kitchen and walks up to them* Hi John. Hi Rosie, my sweetheart *goes to take the giggling baby from her father* He's doing it again. I already tried telling him to stop but he's in too deep now.
      • John: *Sighs deeply then worriedly looks over at his former flat mate* How deep?
      • Molly: *Frowns then leans closer* I think he is tracking their IPs now.
      • John: Okay, that's scary but also routine. He always does that when things like this happens.
      • Molly: *Huffs* No, I think he's...well, I think he is tracking them down *Leans even more to whisper* and is shutting them one by one.
      • John: *whispers* He can't do that! *Looks at his best friend who is still abusing his keyboard* Can he?
      • Sherlock: *Still very much engaged in his laptop* Doing it.
      • Molly: *Jumps away from John* Okay, that's my cue. I'll just take Rosie down to Mrs. Hudson for some sweet treats. *Turns to the little pod of cuteness in her arms* Come on sweetie, let's leave Daddy and Uncle Sherlock to do their serious grown up talk. *Looks up to John and whispers before leaving* Do something, please!
      • John: *Pats Molly in the arm as she turns to leave then slowly walks to his chair* So...
      • Sherlock: *Still karate-chopping his keyboard* Nope.
      • John: *Lowers himself in his chair* You haven't even heard what I was about to say.
      • Sherlock: *Without looking away from his computer* Didn't need to. And the answer is still no.
      • John: *Beginning to feel frustrated* Sherlock, this is not healthy. You've been at it for almost a week now. Surely you've realized by now that engaging with them only makes things worse.
      • Sherlock: *Still drilling through his keys* Yes, which is why I am about to finish them off now. Except, you are bothering me so I have to portion part of my brain cells just to talk to you, instead of using all of them to finish this.
      • John: *definitely frustrated now* How are you finishing them off? By shutting them down? That's hacking, Sherlock! That's illegal!
      • Sherlock: *still hammering away* We both know I have done far worse.
      • John: *Sighs and then begins to massage his temples* Yes. Unfortunately, yes. But Sherlock! These are trolls, haters! As long as there is internet, they'll keep popping out no matter how many times you try to shut them down!
      • Sherlock: *Noncommittal voice* Yes. Yes. Uhuh. I agree. You are right.
      • John: *Huffs and sinks in his chair* Aaaaand you are not listening anymore. You know one of this days, that act of yours will get you in trouble.
      • Sherlock: *Definitely not paying attention* Yes. Yes. Uhuh. I agree. You are right.
      • John: *Throws his arms in the air* That's it, I give up. *Reaches for his phone* I'm telling Mycroft what you are doing, just so he knows why there is a sudden increase of angry customer service calls on internet providers.
      • Sherlock: *Hammers through a few more keys before finally stopping and shutting down his laptop with a loud snap* No need.
      • *As if on cue, approaching footsteps could be heard from the staircase*
      • John: *glares at the consulting detective* What did you do?
      • Sherlock: *Shrugs then looks around* Where's Molly?
      • John: Sh-
      • Sherlock: Ah yes, you brought your sprog. Did you tell her to bring up some gingernuts here?
      • John: *disbelievingly* No I di-
      • Mycroft: *Appears out of nowhere* William Sherlock Scott Holmes! What do you think you're doing?!?
      • Sherlock: *Turns to look at his brother* When Mrs. Hudson let you in, did you tell her to bring up some gingernuts with the tea?
      • Mycroft: *Strides in and stops in the middle of the room* Need I remind you that I have far more important things to do than arrest these *takes out a piece of paper* haters of yours.
      • Sherlock: Hmmm...guess you didn't. *Shouting out* MRS. HUDSON, PLEASE BRING SOME GINGERNUTS WITH THE TEA!
      • *Sherlock's phone rings immediately after*
      • Sherlock: *Answer's his phone* Molly can you tell her to bring some hob-
      • Molly: Sherlock! Rosie's here! Don't scream! And Mrs. Hudson is not your housekeeper!
      • Sherlock: *Rolls his eyes* Mrs. Hudson screamed too! And she's down there with Rosie!
      • Molly: I covered her ears! Now stop being a petulant child and listen to John and Mycroft. And no, Mrs. Hudson is not going to serve you tea. Go to the kitchen and prepare it yourself!
      • Sherlock: *whines* Bu-
      • Molly: There is also a plate of gingernuts and hobnobs in there.
      • Sherlock: And custard creams?
      • Molly: And custard creams.
      • Sherlock: *Smiles* I love you
      • Mycroft: *groaning* Oh for Christ's sake!
      • Molly: And I, you. *hangs up*
      • Mycroft: Now that we are done with that cringe-worthy display of sentiment. Can we go back to the topic at hand?
      • Sherlock: *puts his phone away then immediately shots up from his chair to go to the kitchen* Nope
      • Mycroft: Sherlock, you cannot keep doing this! You cannot keep disconnecting people and taking away their internet connection. You're disrupting the flow of information and the system.
      • Sherlock: *returning from the kitchen with a heaping plate of cookies* What flow of information? That apparently John and I are secretly engaged and that Molly is just my beard. That she is just here to hide the fact that John and I are secretly raising Rosie together? That Molly Hooper is a little morgue mouse that needs to be shut down because she's interfering with our great love? That Mary's dea-
      • *looks guiltily at John before turning back to his brother* There is no flow of information Mycroft. There is however, systematic character assassination towards important women in our lives. *plops down his chair and shoves biscuits in his mouth*
      • John: *grave* What are they saying about Mary? *reaches for Sherlock's laptop*
      • Sherlock: *stops eating and reaches out to firmly place his hand above his laptop and stare solemnly at his bestfriend*
      • John: *holds his bestfriend's gaze for a few seconds before leaning back and turning to Mycroft* You know, if people can't properly use the internet, maybe it's for the best if they are kept off of it for a while.
      • Mycroft: John, the internet is a complex system of neural net-
      • John: Off of it. For. A. While. *stares at Mycroft as if daring him to do otherwise*
      • Mycroft: *Meets Dr. Watson's heavy gaze before turning to look at his brother who is also looking at him in the same way*
      • ...
      • Mycroft: Fine. I suppose there's a solar flare that could be cooked up somewhere. *Approaches Sherlock's work table and puts down the piece of paper* I am, however, drawing the line with arresting people. Unless they do something illegal, no one is going to jail. They'll simply have to live without internet connection for a week.
      • Sherlock: *still munching despite consuming half of the treats* Based on their psychological profiles, a week without internet is a worse punishment than jail.
      • John: Speaking from experience?
      • Sherlock: *raises a gingernut in the air before tossing it in his mouth*