Wilterson, Andrew; Nastase, Samuel; Bio, Branden; Guterstam, Arvid; Graziano, Michael
The attention schema theory (AST) posits a specific relationship between subjective awareness and attention, in which awareness is the control model that the brain uses to aid in the endogenous control of attention. We proposed that the right temporoparietal junction (TPJ) is involved in that interaction between awareness and attention. In previous experiments, we developed a behavioral paradigm in human subjects to manipulate awareness and attention. The paradigm involved a visual cue that could be used to guide a shift of attention to a target stimulus. In task 1, subjects were aware of the visual cue, and their endogenous control mechanism was able to use the cue to help control attention. In task 2, subjects were unaware of the visual cue, and their endogenous control mechanism was no longer able to use it to control attention, even though the cue still had a measurable effect on other aspects of behavior. Here we tested the two tasks while scanning brain activity in human volunteers. We predicted that the right TPJ would be active in relation to the cue in task 1, but not in task 2. This prediction was confirmed. The right TPJ was active in relation to the cue in task 1; it was not measurably active in task 2; the difference was significant. In our interpretation, the right TPJ is involved in a complex interaction in which awareness aids in the control of attention.
Cara L. Buck; Jonathan D. Cohen; Field, Brent; Daniel Kahneman; Samuel M. McClure; Leigh E. Nystrom
Studies of subjective well-being have conventionally relied upon self-report, which directs subjects’ attention to their emotional experiences. This method presumes that attention itself does not influence emotional processes, which could bias sampling. We tested whether attention influences experienced utility (the moment-by-moment experience of pleasure) by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure the activity of brain systems thought to represent hedonic value while manipulating attentional load. Subjects received appetitive or aversive solutions orally while alternatively executing a low or high attentional load task. Brain regions associated with hedonic processing, including the ventral striatum, showed a response to both juice and quinine. This response decreased during the high-load task relative to the low-load task. Thus, attentional allocation may influence experienced utility by modulating (either directly or indirectly) the activity of brain mechanisms thought to represent hedonic value.
Zweben SJ, Myra JR, Diallo A, Russell DA, Scotti F, Stotler DP
Transient small-scale structures were identified in the wake of blobs movingpoloidally through the SOL of high-powered H-mode plasmas in NSTX, using the gaspuff imaging (GPI) diagnostic. These blob wakes had a poloidal wavelength in therange 3.5 cm, which is significantly smaller than the average blob scale of~12 cm, and the wakes had a poloidal velocity of 1.5 km/sec in theelectron diamagnetic direction, which is opposite to the blob poloidal velocity inthese shots. These wakes were radially localized 0-4 cm outside the separatrix andoccurred within ~50 microsec after the passage of a blob through the GPI field of view.The clearest wakes were seen when the GPI viewing angle was well aligned with thelocal B field line, as expected for such small-scale structures given the diagnosticgeometry. A plausible theoretical interpretation of the wakes is discussed: theobserved wakes share some features of drift waves and/or drift-Alfven waves whichcould be excited
Gas puff imaging (GPI) observations made in NSTX [Zweben S J, et al., 2017 Phys. Plasmas 24 102509] have revealed two-point spatial correlations of edge and scrape-off layer turbulence in the plane perpendicular to the magnetic field. A common feature is the occurrence of dipole-like patterns with significant regions of negative correlation. In this paper, we explore the possibility that these dipole patterns may be due to blob-hole pairs. Statistical methods are applied to determine the two-point spatial correlation that results from a model of blob-hole pair formation. It is shown that the model produces dipole correlation patterns that are qualitatively similar to the GPI data in several respects. Effects of the reference location (confined surfaces or scrape-off layer), a superimposed random background, hole velocity and lifetime, and background sheared flows are explored and discussed with respect to experimental observations. Additional analysis of the experimental GPI dataset is performed to further test this blob-hole correlation model. A time delay two-point spatial correlation study did not reveal inward propagation of the negative correlation structures that were postulated to correspond to holes in the data nor did it suggest that the negative correlation structures are due to neutral shadowing. However, tracing of the highest and lowest values (extrema) of the normalized GPI fluctuations shows strong evidence for mean inward propagation of minima and outward propagation of maxima, in qualitative agreement with theoretical expectations. Other properties of the experimentally observed extrema are discussed.
Protein sequence space is vast; nature uses only an infinitesimal fraction of possible sequences to sustain life. Are there solutions to biological problems other than those provided by nature? Can we create artificial proteins that sustain life? To investigate this question, the Hecht lab has created combinatorial collections, or libraries, of novel sequences with no homology to those found in living organisms. These libraries were subjected to screens and selections, leading to the identification of sequences with roles in catalysis, modulating gene regulation, and metal homeostasis. However, the resulting functional proteins formed dynamic rather than well-ordered structures. This impeded structural characterization and made it difficult to ascertain a mechanism of action.
To address this, Christina Karas's thesis work focuses on developing a new model of libraries based on the de novo protein S-824, a four-helix bundle with a very stable three-dimensional structure. The first part of this research focused on mutagenesis of S-824 and characterization of the resulting proteins, revealing that this scaffold tolerates amino acid substitutions, including buried polar residues and the removal of hydrophobic side chains to create a putative cavity.
Distinct from previous libraries, Karas targeted variability to a specific region of the protein, seeking to create a cavity and potential active site. The second part of this work details the design and creation of a library encoding 1.7 x 10^6 unique proteins, assembled from degenerate oligonucleotides. The third and fourth parts of this work cover the screening effort for a range of activities, both in vitro and in vivo. I found that this collection binds heme readily, leading to abundant peroxidase activity. Hits for lipase and phosphatase activity were also detected.
This work details the development of a new strategy for creating de novo sequences geared toward function rather than structure.
Mondal, Shanka Subhra; Webb, Taylor; Cohen, Jonathan
A dataset of Raven’s Progressive Matrices (RPM)-like problems using realistically rendered
3D shapes, based on source code from CLEVR (a popular visual-question-answering dataset) (Johnson, J., Hariharan, B., Van Der Maaten, L., Fei-Fei, L., Lawrence Zitnick, C., & Girshick, R. (2017). Clevr: A diagnostic dataset for compositional language and elementary visual reasoning. In Proceedings of the IEEE conference on computer vision and pattern recognition (pp. 2901-2910)).
Hvasta, M. G.; Dudt, D.; Fisher, A. E.; Kolemen, E.
A 'weighted magnetic bearing' has been developed to improve the performance of
rotating Lorentz-force flowmeters (RLFFs). Experiments have shown that the new bearing
reduces frictional losses within a double-sided, disc-style RLFF to negligible levels.
Operating such an RLFF under 'frictionless' conditions provides two major benefits.
First, the steady-state velocity of the RLFF magnets matches the average velocity of the
flowing liquid at low flow rates. This enables an RLFF to make accurate volumetric flow
measurements without any calibration or prior knowledge of the fluid properties. Second,
due to minimized frictional losses, an RLFF is able to measure low flow rates that cannot
be detected when conventional, high-friction bearings are used. This paper provides a
brief background on RLFFs, gives a detailed description of weighted magnetic bearings,
and compares experimental RLFF data to measurements taken with a commercially available
Explosive volcanic eruptions have large climate impacts, and can serve as observable tests of the climatic response to radiative forcing. Using a high resolution climate model, we contrast the climate responses to Pinatubo, with symmetric forcing, and those to Santa Maria and Agung, which had meridionally asymmetric forcing. Although Pinatubo had larger global-mean forcing, asymmetric forcing strongly shifts the latitude of tropical rainfall features, leading to larger local precipitation/TC changes. For example, North Atlantic TC activity over is enhanced/reduced by SH-forcing (Agung)/NH-forcing (Santa Maria), but changes little in response to the Pinatubo forcing. Moreover, the transient climate sensitivity estimated from the response to Santa Maria is 20% larger than that from Pinatubo or Agung. This spread in climatic impacts of volcanoes needs to be considered when evaluating the role of volcanoes in global and regional climate, and serves to contextualize the well-observed response to Pinatubo.