Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
How we play memories in fast forward
New York : Scientists have discovered a mechanism that may explain how we recall nearly all of what happened on a recent afternoon lunch with a friend or make a plan for how to spend an upcoming afternoon at home in the fraction of a time.
 
The breakthrough has implications for research into schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders, Alzheimer's disease and other disorders where real experiences and ones that exist only in the mind can become distorted.
 
Laura Colgin, assistant professor of neuroscience and Chenguang Zheng, postdoctoral researcher, at the University of Texas at Austin found that one of the brain frequencies allows us to play back memories -- or envision future activities -- in fast forward.
 
"The reason we're excited about it is that we think this mechanism can help explain how you can imagine a sequence of events you're about to do in a time-compressed manner," said Colgin.
 
"You can plan out those events and think about the sequences of actions you'll do. And all of that happens on a faster time scale when you're imagining it than when you actually go and do those things," Colgin added.
 
The mechanism compresses information needed for memory retrieval, imagination or planning and encodes it on a brain wave frequency that is different from the one used for recording real-time experiences.
 
Colgin notes that the research could also explain why people with schizophrenia who are experiencing disrupted brain rhythms have a hard time distinguishing between imagined and real experiences.
 
"Maybe they are transmitting their own imagined thoughts on the wrong frequency, the one usually reserved for things that are really happening," Colgin pointed out.
 
The paper appeared in journal Neuron.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Four killed in Jakarta blasts
Jakarta : At least four people, including a policeman, were killed and two others injured after gunmen attacked a traffic police post near a shopping mall here on Thursday, an official said.
 
The police spokesman, Brigadier General Anton Charliyan told reporters: "Three police were victims, one of them was killed and two others were injured, and three civilians were also killed." 
 
Previously, the spokesman said all the three policemen were killed.
 
Indonesia police chief General Badrodin Haiti said security at the presidential palace has been beefed up after explosions and fire exchanges with attackers in the heart of the capital city.
 
"Yes, there are more deployment of force (in the palace)," Badrodin said, but he did not go into details on either the number or the security measures taken at the palace to respond to the attacks.
 
The strikes occurred after police got warning that the Islamic State (IS) group would launch attacks in Indonesia, Charliyan told reporters. 
 
"It is clear that from the warning given by IS group that Indonesia will have a concert, Indonesia will be an international news," he said.
 
Therefore, "we have given warning too" of the possible strikes, and conducted arrests of several militants in many places in the country, Charliyan said.
 
Jakarta police spokesman M. Iqbal said in a TV telephone interview that "the explosions were allegedly from bombs, we don't know yet."
 
"Further investigation is underway at present. Our apparatus is now combing a coffee shop building at the left side of the attacked traffic police post," he said.
 
Footage broadcast by Metro TV showed that some of the explosions also took place in the front yard of the shopping mall. 
 
Another footage showed two people in white clothes pointed their guns to the street direction, and gave orders to their colleagues who followed behind.
 
The TV reported that at least 14 people were involved in the shootout with police. A witness said that among those killed in the incident was a foreigner.
 
The TV also reported that another explosion occurred in Palmerah, west Jakarta. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Killing the chill - the Kashmiri way
Kashmiris carry it inside the 'pheran', a traditional long flowing tweed over-garment, to keep the freezing winter away
 
New Delhi : Have you ever imagined carrying red-hot charcoal filled in an earthen pot inside your dress? It sounds dangerous, but Kashmiris do it to kill the chill.
 
As Kashmir freezes in bone-chilling temperatures, woollen and thermal wear are not enough to cope. 'Kangri', commonly called kanger in Kashmir, is a traditional earthen pot in a woven wicker basket and filled with red-hot charcoal.
 
Kashmiris carry it inside the 'pheran', a traditional long flowing tweed over-garment, to keep the freezing winter away.
 
As most of rural Kashmir is devoid of electricity, locals use the kangri daily as it doesn't disappoint them like electricity does.
 
"Winter in Kashmir means kangri. Due to poor electric supply we use the kangri on a daily basis as it is cheaper than oil, gas and heaters" said Wali Muhammad, a resident of Chadoora in Budgam.
 
"At present, the majority of people in the Valley use kangris to keep warm. With its potability we can take it anywhere," Muhammad added.
 
Everybody cannot make a kangri. It needs skill, dexterity and craftsmanship.
 
"We collect twigs from deciduous shrubs, scratch and peel them. After peeling, it goes through the process of soaking, drying, and then dyeing", kangri-maker Abdul Rashid told IANS.
 
"Dried and dressed twigs are woven around a bowl-shaped earthen pot decorated with colourful threads to make the kangri beautiful," he added.
 
"The production of kangris has declined over the years due to availability of alternate heating gadgets", Rashid said.
 
With the increasing winter cold, other modern heating equipment has been flooding the markets but have failed to replace the kangri.
 
Kangri has become a popular handicraft. Besides being used for heating purposes, it remains a durable article which is eco-friendly and cost-effective.
 
"There are different prices of kangris starting from Rs.70 a piece. The prices can go as high as Rs.3,500 depending on the artistic work and design," said Muhammad Shafi, the owner of a kangri shop in Srinagar.
 
"This is a specialty as some kangris are made only for newly-weds. Like many other household articles, the brides carry them to their in-laws' houses. The kangri is also used as a decoration piece in drawing rooms.
 
"Its colours, innovative designs and artwork attract tourists.
 
"If you want to visit Kashmir during winter, you will find different shops selling heaters and other appliances, but you will be surprised to see heavy rush of people at shops selling kangris," Shafi claimed.
 
Kashmiris may use modern gadgets to keep themselves warm, but the majority prefer to follow their culture by using the kangri.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

 

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