26 December 2007

Talk nerdy to me


"The.. theory of ADHD suggests that dopamne hypofunction changes basic learning mechanisms by producing a narrower time window for the association of preceding stimuli, behavior, and its consequences.. This results in altered reinforcement processes.. that are described by an abnormally steep and short delay-of-reinforcement gradient, and slower extinction of inefficient responses. Such deficits will result in a slower establishment of long integrated behavioral chains under proper stimulus control; partly due to slower chaining of behavioral elements and partly due to intrusion of inefficient and inadequate responses into the stream of behavior due to an inefficient extinction. The resulting behavior may be described as overactive, impulsive, inattentive, and varable." - Johansen et al, November 2007

Who said science can't be poetry? Not least because the above applies to almost everyone: the optimal steepness of one's delay-of-reinforcement gradient &co depends on one's dreams and desires, and most of us are far far from what we would consider optimum. etc.

In other news,
Aubrey de Gray's latest googletechtalk. Yes, watching this 1hr lecture requires a strong interest either in mitochondria or defeating aging, but if you've got both it's well worth it. Slow in the middle but there's a real kicker towards the end. He's made more of these Google talks, including one on cancer.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales announces the launch of a transparent, open-source search engine to rival Google and Yahoo. Bout time.

Finally, in San Francisco escaped tiger eats man...
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