A network of artificial neurons learns to use human language

A network of artificial neurons learns to use human language

A group of researchers from the University of Sassari (Italy) and the University of Plymouth (UK) has developed a cognitive model, made up of two million interconnected artificial neurons, able to learn to communicate using human language starting from a state of "tabula rasa", only through communication with a human interlocutor. The model is called ANNABELL (Artificial Neural Network with Adaptive Behavior Exploited for Language Learning) and it is described in an article published in the international scientific journal PLOS ONE.

Self-calibration enhances BrainGate ease, reliability

Self-calibration enhances BrainGate ease, reliability

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] -- A new study in Science Translational Medicine describes three software innovations that substantially improved the user experience and performance of the BrainGate* brain computer interface (BCI). Researchers said the gains are a significant advance in their ongoing work to develop and test a practical BCI assistive technology that people with paralysis could use easily, reliably, independently, and on demand to regain control over external devices.

Gene therapy makes advances against a lethal childhood disorder

Gene therapy makes advances against a lethal childhood disorder

Researchers have taken a significant step forward in developing gene therapy against a fatal neurodegenerative disease that strikes children. By delivering a working version of a gene to produce a key enzyme that is lacking in Batten disease, the scientists delayed symptoms and extended lifespan in dogs with a comparable disease.

The paper appears online today in Science Translational Medicine.

Batten disease may benefit from gene therapy

Batten disease may benefit from gene therapy

In a study of dogs, scientists showed that a new way to deliver replacement genes may be effective at slowing the development of childhood Batten disease, a rare and fatal neurological disorder. The key may be to inject viruses that carry the codes for the gene products into the ventricles, which are fluid-filled compartments in the center of the brain that serve as a plumbing system. The study, published in Science Translational Medicine, was partially funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Machine learning could solve riddles of galaxy formation

Machine learning could solve riddles of galaxy formation

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- A new machine-learning simulation system developed at the University of Illinois promises cosmologists an expanded suite of galaxy models - a necessary first step to developing more accurate and relevant insights into the formation of the universe.

The feasibility of this method has been laid out in two recent papers written by astronomy, physics and statistics professor Robert Brunner, his undergraduate student Harshil Kamdar and National Center for Supercomputing Applications research scientist Matthew Turk.

CCNY researchers open 'Golden Window' in deep brain imaging

The neuroscience community is saluting the creation of a "Golden Window" for deep brain imaging by researchers at The City College of New York led by biomedical engineer Lingyan Shi. This is a first for brain imaging, said Shi, a research associate in City College's Institute for Ultrafast Spectroscopy and Lasers, and the biology department.

The breakthrough holds promise for the noninvasive study of the brain and breasts in greater detail than possible today.

Penn study: Adults with OCD can benefit from exposure therapy when common drug treatment options fail

PHILADELPHIA - Patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can improve their symptoms significantly by adding exposure and response prevention therapy to their treatment regimen when common drug treatment options have failed, according to new research from psychiatrists at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Exposure and response prevention therapy is a type of cognitive behavior therapy in which the patient is asked to confront triggers that give rise to their obsessions in order to refrain from performing the rituals in response to these obsessions.

'Sorry' doesn't heal children's hurt, but it mends relations

Most adults know that a quick apology for a minor transgression, such as bumping into someone, helps maintain social harmony. The bumped-into person feels better, and so does the person who did the bumping. It's all part of the social norm.

But do apologies have this effect on children?

Focusing on user habits key to preventing email phishing, according to UB research

BUFFALO, N.Y. - The cumulative number of successful phishing cyberattacks has risen sharply over the last decade, and in 2014 that figure surged past the total U.S. population.

To date, about 400 million breaches have yielded hackers some kind of personal information, according to Arun Vishwanath, an associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University at Buffalo and an expert in cyber deception.

"That means everyone in the country may have been breached," says Vishwanath. "Everyone. Including me and you."

Men with Alzheimer's gene at risk of brain bleeding, study finds

A common genetic variation, ApoE4, linked to Alzheimer's disease greatly raises the likelihood of tiny brain bleeds in some men, scientists have found.

Such hemorrhages in brain tissue - microbleeds - leave small points of damage throughout the brain and contribute to memory loss.

The study led by USC Davis School of Gerontology scientists reveals that the gene variant, ApoE4, has different effects on men and women diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's disease.