Monday, December 31, 2007

I know I have that paper here somewhere...

I got a question.

What do you use to organize your documents/papers?

Right now I have folders organized by topics and file names that contain author, year, journal and 4-9 word summary. It makes for some friggin loooong names and annoyingly inefficient searches. I was thinking of throwing everything behind EndNote, but before I do that, I want to be sure it will work as I wanted. Are there any alternatives (must run on Windows, but easy import/export to Mac or Linux would be nice). I also hate putting all my eggs in a proprietary basket. Case in point...

I recently found a disk with some very old journal entries (early high school) and even though they were in MS Word format (Word 5 for Mac), the latest version of Office wouldn't read them. I was a smart cookie though, and saved the documents in several formats, including good ole text. Apparently I had a huge crush on Michele Brinkerhoff my Sophomore year.

Any opinions on Zotero?

Jesus "OMFG WTF is wrong with you people!?!?!" Camp

Wow, just wow. I knew we had some real nuts in this country, but after watching Jesus Camp (on A&E right now) I've never felt so disgusted, disturbed and saddened by it. Ugh. I can't sleep now. If you read sites like Digg, you'll see some relatively extreme Athiest views. That used to bother me, but after watching this, I mean how do you reason with people so corrupted from childhood? They're the exact same as the Muslim extremists. There's is zero difference. Can't we add them to a terrorist watch list or something? Oh yeah, I forgot, they're advising the president. I mean you're a kid. You solve some math problem and finish your science project, and you feel pretty good, right? Sure, but you aren't crying and screaming to the point of seizures. Which experience is going to be more strongly imprinted? At least Ted Haggard (the preacher featured in the movie) was outed by his male lover and removed from his megachurch position.

I just needed to vent. Kthnx. Happy New Year's Eve? At least I'm enjoying the irony of this being on during the holiday season.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Most viewed YouTube clip of 2007

If you haven't seen this, you MUST watch it. All the way to the end.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

All your research are belong to us!

I was going to mention this earlier (I think I have another link buried somewhere in my rss reader), but the US congress has just passed a bill requiring that all NIH funded research-based publications be made available on PubMed one year after publication. This is great news. I know that while I was out of academia, I found it almost impossible to keep up with the research world, since I couldn't access any journals.

Brought to my attention again by Slashdot.

On the season

So, first, I rarely wish Happy Hannukah because I never know when it is, even though I celebrate it. I think it was in April this year. But if you celebrate it as well, happy, cuddly wishes to you. Besides, we all know it's an excuse to keep the Jewish kids from feeling left out. Come on. No one really cares about a slight miscalculation in lamp oil volume. And what's the worst that would happen? Oh horrors! Going to bed at sundown. Woe is me!

Second, don't you Goys think you get off easy. Let's see what's in a nativity scene... hrmm wise men, baby, parents, animals... oh NO calendar. Shall we go by the Julian, Gregorian, perhaps Lunisolar? Guess what? There ain't no Santa, and Christmas is on Jesus's's'sssses's birthday (I always get that possessive form with a last name ending in 's' wrong, but I think that might be right this time). So, when you complain about Hannuuuukkahahahaah switching around, we're just being authentic. That, and it lets us take random days off be suddenly declaring that day some unknown holiday. Besides, Christmas is just a celebration taken from pre-Christian times (Yule and Saturnalia, and several others, I think), so it's just as arbitrary.

Yeah, so bah humbug, and have fun with your phony holidays! (Actually, I love this time of the year even as an Athiest, and just kidding around, so don't get all uppity about it. I can only stand to be back around the parents for so long before I go a little nutty. Plus, they don't drink coffee, so I'm going through major withdrawal.)

Hey, anyone get any good presents? (I got clothes, money, and a 3G iPhone when it is released.)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Top 10 Scientific Breakthroughs of 2007

Somehow my SfN poster was omitted from the list. (from Science Magazine, found on Slashdot)

Two interface briefs

First, the more 'boring' one. BBC reports on auditory interfaces, and using objects to emit sound with function. Cool? Sure. But, I'm not sure what it would be used for.

Second, and totally awesome, an independent programmer has turned the Nintendo Wii remote into a head tracking device. The result is absolutely incredible in both its simplicity and resulting quality. Watch the video. You can skip to 2:05 if you don't want the background info. Stuff like this makes me giddy about the innovative uses for simple technology.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Dual Boot Vista + XP How-To

Soooo, you installed Vista. It's not bad, it's not great, but you have that one nagging piece of software or hardware that just doesn't want to run. Or, you want to play your favorite game and it either doesn't run in Vista or you hate that obnoxious frickin whatever the fuck it is that Vista needs to do with your hard drive the brings the whole system to a crawl just as you see the enemy and even though you tried to track it back to single process there's nothing you can do about it (like fucking SearchIndexer - OMG I will kill you). Okay, I feel better now. Anyhow, your options?

A) Reinstall your whole system as XP. Ugh. What a PAIN.
B) Find an alternative piece of software, buy alternative piece of hardware. Expensive/annoying!
C) Add a partition or whole drive with XP. Best alternative.

It is NOT that bad. I just did it, and it took about an hour. Here's how.

Software you will need:
- EasyBCD - Download and install in Vista.
- Acronis Disk Director - Best partition resizing program I've found. You can use the built in partition resizer, but the pagefile generally makes the available size very minimal (in my case, it was 200MB for the maxsize of the new partition). Note that some people recommend Partition Magic. If this was 2 years ago, I would have given an emphatic YES, but since Symantec bought it and let it die, there have been issues with Vista that have cropped up
- Your Vista and XP CDs - yes, you need both.

Step 0: Backup you system. You do run the risk of fuXoring up the whole system, so do a full disk image. I highly recommend Acronis True Image Home (this is starting to sound like an ad, but I swear I get no kickbacks... yet!)

Step 0.5: If you want to install on a separate drive, skip Step 1.

Step 1: Create the new XP partition.
In Vista, use your chosen software, in this case ADD, to shrink the Vista partition. I would suggest at least 100GB, but more if you think you will be swapping large files - remember to have space for any temporary files that might be generated. Next, create a new partition using all the unallocated space. Make it a primary partition, NTFS format. Apply/Finalize the changes, and you will be asked to reboot.

Reboot, and you will either see a text-y prehistoric looking screen giving you a rundown of the partition creation process or a completely black screen with disk activity (my case). Don't worry, just wait for the reboot to go through. In my case ADD rebooted the system again and Windows thought the reboot was in error. Just start up normally. The partition will be formatted once in Vista, and you may need to boot again (I did, though subsequent reformatting didn't require it).

Step 2: Check My Computer, and make sure the new partition/disk appears. Hooray!

Step 3: Install XP
Insert your XP CD, and reboot. If your BIOS settings are not set up to boot from CD first, remember to set that (if you never messed with your BIOS settings, this should be how things were set up at the factory). You will be presented with a list of disks*, along with the available space. Select your newly created partition and hit Enter.

*If your disk is not shown, you probably have an older copy of XP and a newer motherboard with SATA hard drive controllers. You may have to load your driver floppy at the beginning of the XP install boot - when it asked for Third Party SCSI or RAID Drivers. (I had to do this with a 4 year old PC installing XP no-Service Packs)

Step 4: Tweak and protect XP
The average Windows PC directly connected to the internet is compromised within 15 minutes. Install all your Windows Updates, restarting as necessary. Don't forget the antivirus software and firewall. I recommend Kaspersky Internet Security 7 for both. Universities generally offer AV software for free, and you can always grab ZoneAlarm's free edition.

Step 5: Give me back my Vista!
Reboot with the Vista DVD in the drive, and select the option to repair a Vista installation. The program will scan the drives and find your Vista installation, select it. Choose the first option, which is for Boot Time Problems (prevents Windows from booting properly blahblahblah). Let it do its work, click finish and you will reboot.

Tada! Yay Vista!
(If you are not saying Yay Vista here, you may have borked your computer. Try repairing more options from the previous step, but at this point something is seriously wrong.)

Step 6: Choose, don't lose
Time for the magic. Open EasyBCD. Select Add/Remove entries, type NT/2000/XP/2003, name it something with 'XP' in it, click Add. Click Change Settings, select the XP item and select the correct drive letter. Save settings. (UPDATE: Oops! Select the drive letter that Vista is installed on, not that XP is installed on. This is because the Vista bootloader is on the Vista Parition, and will handle booting XP)

Shazzam! You win! Reboot and you should have the option to choose either XP or Vista. Niiiice. As a side note, you can also install Ubuntu using the same procedure (partition, install, Vista CD reboot, repair, and EasyBCD), and use the NeoGrub option in EasyBCD. Haven't tried adding MacOS X... yet. Then again, I have no reason to.

Slightly more technical explanation (if you WANT to know, not that you NEED to know). The issue here is that the Master Boot Record (MBR) gets overwritten by Windows with that version of Windows bootloader. So Installing XP means the bootloader for XP only is installed. The Vista bootloader plays nice with XP, with the right settings (XP's does NOT play nice with Vista), but not Linux. NeoGrub, based on the GRUB bootloader lets you select between a Linux distro and the Vista bootloader. Depending on how you configure it, you may end up with Selecting between Linux and Windows on the first screen, and then XP or Vista on a second one (first screen is NeoGrub, second is the Vista bootloader).

All in all, the whole thing is not that bad. The hiccups are if you have to use a floppy with SATA drivers (who has a floppy drive anymore? and flash drives won't work for it), and user error, so take your time. You may be forced to call Microsoft to reactivate your old copy of XP. Just call them and speak to the nice Indian woman for the authorization code. I know people that have used crazy pirated XP serial numbers from Chinese hacking sites, and they were just given their activation code.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Sssssssooper paper FryDAE!

I just threw them all together this week. You get a wiggity tossed salad of primary research deliciousness!

Anatomical and physiological definition of the motor cortex of the marmoset monkey.
Burman KJ, Palmer SM, Gamberini M, Spitzer MW, Rosa MG.
J Comp Neurol. 2007 Dec 12;506(5):860-876 [Epub ahead of print]

Cooperation in self-organizing map networks enhances information transmission in the presence of input background activity
Maxim Raginsky and Thomas J. Anastasio
Biological Cybernetics, Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Order-Dependent Modulation of Directional Signals in the Supplementary and Presupplementary Motor Areas
Jeong-Woo Sohn and Daeyeol Lee
The Journal of Neuroscience, December 12, 2007, 27(50):13655-13666.

Brain–Computer Communication: Motivation, Aim, and Impact of Exploring a Virtual Apartment
Leeb, R. Lee, F. Keinrath, C. Scherer, R. Bischof, H. Pfurtscheller, G.
Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on, Dec. 2007, Volume: 15, Issue: 4, 473-482.

Real-Time Classification of Forearm Electromyographic Signals Corresponding to User-Selected Intentional Movements for Multifunction Prosthesis Control
Momen, K. Krishnan, S. Chau, T.
Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on, Dec. 2007, Volume: 15, Issue: 4, 535-542

Prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia control access to working memory.
McNab F, Klingberg T.
Nat Neurosci. 2007 Dec 9 [Epub ahead of print]

Vestibular Signals in Primate Thalamus: Properties and Origins
Hui Meng, Paul J. May, J. David Dickman, and Dora E. Angelaki
The Journal of Neuroscience, December 12, 2007, 27(50):13590-13602.

Thermal Impact of an Active 3-D Microelectrode Array Implanted in the Brain
Kim, S. Tathireddy, P. Normann, R. A. Solzbacher, F.
Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on, Dec. 2007, Volume: 15, Issue: 4, 493-501

Recruitment and Comfort of BION Implanted Electrical Stimulation: Implications for FES Applications
Popovic, D. Baker, L. L. Loeb, G. E.
This paper appears in: Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on, Dec. 2007, Volume: 15, Issue: 4, 577-586

Design, Implementation and Clinical Tests of a Wire-Based Robot for Neurorehabilitation
Rosati, G. Gallina, P. Masiero, S.
This paper appears in: Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on, Dec. 2007, Volume: 15, Issue: 4, 560-569

A deliberate practice account of typing proficiency in everyday typists.
Keith N, Ericsson KA.
J Exp Psychol Appl. 2007 Sep;13(3):135-45.

Spatiotemporal dynamics of cortical sensorimotor integration in behaving mice.
Ferezou I, Haiss F, Gentet LJ, Aronoff R, Weber B, Petersen CC.
Neuron. 2007 Dec 6;56(5):907-23.

Impairment of retention but not acquisition of a visuomotor skill through time-dependent disruption of primary motor cortex.
Hadipour-Niktarash A, Lee CK, Desmond JE, Shadmehr R.
J Neurosci. 2007 Dec 5;27(49):13413-9.

Prediction of upper limb muscle activity from motor cortical discharge during reaching.
Pohlmeyer EA, Solla SA, Perreault EJ, Miller LE.
J Neural Eng. 2007 Dec;4(4):369-79. Epub 2007 Nov 12.

Inhibition and brain work.
Buzsáki G, Kaila K, Raichle M.
Neuron. 2007 Dec 6;56(5):771-83.

Spatiotemporal dynamics of cortical sensorimotor integration in behaving mice.
Ferezou I, Haiss F, Gentet LJ, Aronoff R, Weber B, Petersen CC.
Neuron. 2007 Dec 6;56(5):907-23.

Connected corticospinal sites show enhanced tuning similarity at the onset of voluntary action.
Yanai Y, Adamit N, Harel R, Israel Z, Prut Y.
J Neurosci. 2007 Nov 7;27(45):12349-57.

Increasing the performance of cortically-controlled prostheses.
Shenoy KV, Santhanam G, Ryu SI, Afshar A, Yu BM, Gilja V, Linderman MD, Kalmar RS, Cunningham JP, Kemere CT, Batista AP, Churchland MM, Meng TH.
Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2006;1 Suppl:6652-6.

Visually guided reaching depends on motion area MT+.
Whitney D, Ellison A, Rice NJ, Arnold D, Goodale M, Walsh V, Milner D.
Cereb Cortex. 2007 Nov;17(11):2644-9. Epub 2007 Feb 8.

Reference frames for reach planning in macaque dorsal premotor cortex.
Batista AP, Santhanam G, Yu BM, Ryu SI, Afshar A, Shenoy KV.
J Neurophysiol. 2007 Aug;98(2):966-83. Epub 2007 Jun 20.

Biomimetic brain machine interfaces for the control of movement.
Fagg AH, Hatsopoulos NG, de Lafuente V, Moxon KA, Nemati S, Rebesco JM, Romo R, Solla SA, Reimer J, Tkach D, Pohlmeyer EA, Miller LE.
J Neurosci. 2007 Oct 31;27(44):11842-6.

Electrical Stimulation of the Midbrain for Hearing Restoration: Insight into the Functional Organization of the Human Central Auditory System
Hubert H. Lim, Thomas Lenarz, Gert Joseph, Rolf-Dieter Battmer, Amir Samii, Madjid Samii, James F. Patrick, and Minoo Lenarz
The Journal of Neuroscience, December 5, 2007, 27(49):13541-13551.

Neuroscience: sensors and synchronicity.
Heidelberger R.
Nature. 2007 Nov 29;450(7170):623-5.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

And more on the inevitable robot uprising

Okay, coffee shop is getting a little boring, and I just finished another chapter in Machine Learning (suggested by a reader). So, before I go trudge through the snow that is falling like CRAZY, here's a fun post.

A robot heckled President Clinton at a recent speech before succumbing to the police is a hail of paper propaganda. What's worse, it seems to be using a human to host it's menacing opinions! Report, plus video here. (via Engadget)

Perhaps we should have listened to this editorial in 1932, that nineteen-thirty-frickin-two people! Yes, this is a real editorial. (via BoingBoing)

perhaps we could escape this lunacy by burrowing deep below the Earth's surface, you say? That would have been a good idea, IF THE WORLD WASN'T HOLLOW. Perhaps the ascended masters that live there will shield us from the death from above.

Biopolymers - Beating the crap out of biomonomers

Actually, I don't know if biomonomers are are better or not. I'm running out of headlines ideas.

GATech, an underappreciated powerhouse of neural engineering, reports that a couple researchers have been using "ACh-like" chemical to stimulate CNS nerve growth (in the spine). I've only got the news bites (linked below), but here's how it goes, I think.

Previous work has shown that laminin induces nerve regeneration by providing a scaffolding signal for the sprouting processes to travel down. Laminin dissolves quickly, though, making it a poor choice when not dealing with a petri dish. Part of regeneration is not only providing the necessary trophic environment, but also activating the growing fibers. Using a polymer with ACh binding domains, these GATechies were able to get both the scaffolding and activation needed to induce regeneration. There are also issues of how much activation is needed, which can be tested by just varying the number of embedded ACh binding sites - in this case they settled on 70% max.

One problem that remains is that the polymer does not dissolve at all, meaning that long term implantation could eventually lead to biocompatibility problems down the road, but I assume that some savvy chemist will make a dissolvable polymer replacement as soon as the timecourse for reinnervation is determined (don't want it dissolving too quick or too slow).

If complete reinnervation isn't possible, this could also be used to direct nerve growth from severed cells, to a biochip interface for using a BCI (depending on how much axon retraction there is).

Reports here and here.

Hot off the press!

And just when I went back to dig up more stories, this hits the front page:

Ted Berger, rocker of many socks, has released a report on the state of BCI. It is long, it is free, and I have only skimmed it, but good stuff. Here's the breakdown:
The report contains three overall findings on Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) work worldwide:

-- BCI research is extensive and rapidly growing, as is growth in the interfaces between multiple key scientific areas, including biomedical engineering, neuroscience, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, materials science and nanotechnology, and neurology and neurosurgery.

-- BCI research is rapidly approaching first-generation medical practice—clinical trials of invasive BCI technologies and significant home use of noninvasive, electroencephalography (EEG-based) BCIs. The panel predicts that BCIs soon will markedly influence the medical device industry, and additionally BCI research will rapidly accelerate in non-medical arenas of commerce as well, particularly in the gaming, automotive, and robotics industries.

-- The focus of BCI research throughout the world was decidedly uneven, with invasive BCIs almost exclusively centered in North America, noninvasive BCI systems evolving primarily from European and Asian efforts. BCI research in Asia, and particularly China, is accelerating, with advanced algorithm development for EEG-based systems currently a hallmark of China's BCI program. Future BCI research in China is clearly developing toward invasive BCI systems, so BCI researchers in the US will soon have a strong competitor.

It is over 200 pages, and at first glance a really nice report of the state of the art. (Several other very prominent authors, as well.) Found the report news release here, and the actual reports (free to everyone!) is here (6MB pdf). For anyone asking, "Could you recommend a good general overview of the field?" this would be it.

The Neurosky is falling!

Into fun-filled children's toys, that is! Everyone's favorite EMG, I mean no, wait TOTALLY EEG from one dry electrode because they have either signed a pact with Satan or they aren't using brain signals, has been in talks to integrate Neurosky into several toys designed by Sega Toys.

Now, I love me some BCI in the consumer marketplace, but this is starting to get a little out of hand. It was funny when Emotiv showed off the Cap of Infinite Dorkiness(tm), but Neurosky better post some concurrent EMG recordings that show they are actually using EEG before I believe it (I'm talking wet electrode, established 'real' techniques). Until then, I'll say it again, you are only getting covert muscle movements, not EEG. There's a reason EEG studies use 128 electrodes with skin abrasion and conductive gel. Oh wait, no, it is kinda fun to torture the volunteering undergrads, but no, no, it does have a real purpose.

Bah! Anyways, here's the media blitz. Here here here.

Brain in a dish

.... flies a plane. Yes, old news, but it was mentioned yet again. Possibly blogspam, but if you haven't heard about it, worth the read.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Posts coming

I know I haven't posted in a while, but this time of year is always a mixed bag. More reviews needed for Digital Trends, and that feeling that I'm not making any progress (always happens this time of year) have kept me from keeping up with DNI. But I got a bunch of material piling up, so I gotta post some of it soon.

To make up for it, here's a puppy nibbling on a cat's ear. Enjoy!

Puppy Vs Cat - Funny videos are here

Friday, December 7, 2007

Not related to anything

Papers will be posted sometime next week. I will probably be setting the EEG/ECoG stuff apart from the neurosciencey/cortical BCI stuff and possibly scaling it back a little. I've been catching up on papers and found I just don't need the non-invasive pansiness (haha!). j/k, but I just glaze over when I try to read them, and they're not important for my schtuff.

Wow. I had a bud over to play Halo 3, but I cracked open Call of Duty 4 before he got there to just play a mission or two first. He ended up watching me play for 3 hours (Hey! I asked something like 15 times if he wanted to play it or switch to Halo 3, but he insisted that it was fun.) The game is like watching a movie and friggin fun as hell to play, and I'm just a casual gamer. Seriously, if you own a PC/XBox 360/PS3, get it. It is ridiculously beautiful and fun. Just... wow. Our original plan was to crack open H3, and whoever won a match would have to drink - that way it evens out the abilities (hey, I haven't had a sip of alchy since SfN, so this isn't a regular occurance). Some other time, I guess.

Maybe I'll start a gaming night here in Prov, and any readers are welcome to come and join in. We'll see.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I'm good, and I got proof

So all those productivity software bits about file management I posted the other day... "Sure, why should I listen to YOU?" you say. Well, most of those same programs were mentioned today on Lifehacker. There's a reason I get paid for that type of advice!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

High tech wheelchairs

Title says it all. I think I covered most of these, but it's a nice list. Posted on Neatorama.

Good neural network books, anyone?

Anyone know of some good intro to neural networking type books? Something from theory to application, without being too 'dense'. I know they're somewhat dense in general, but nothing with 20 consecutive pages of formulas (which are usually special cases to the special cases that the author just happened to like). I've had some AI and the basics, but a good refresher is always welcome. Please post in the comments section.


Microsoft's first robo-minions get legs with which to crush the life out of you!

The first fruits of Microsoft's Robotics Studio have made it into the marketplace.
What this nimble biped lacks in torso, it makes up for in ass-kicking soccer/football playing. The only clip I could find was the one below, and frankly, it kinda sucks. But, hopefully it's an early version.

BCI like gandpa used to use

Yes, a wooden robotic arm that you can build! Now, if I had any ability to work with wood, I would be set. I did make a 6 foot circumference hovercraft in junior high school (yes, it worked), but gramps helped me big time.

Friday, November 30, 2007

New Feature! Productivity Software!

Da Feature: Caught this on TechRIVET (awesomeness glazed in a sweet html sauce). Windows Live! Translate makes reading DNI in your native language a snap, which is a good thing because I no speak-o the funny-o languages-o. To the right you'll see a drop down. Click it, select your language and off you go.

Of course, you can always use Google Translate and bookmark the site in your native tongue as well. For example, here I am in Italian!

Da Productivity Software: While we're on the topic of Windows Live! Here's a nice organization/productivity tip. Sign up for FolderShare, another Live! service. Works on PCs and Macs. You basically set up a syncing relationship between specific folders on a several computers, run the application in the background, and voila! Your folders are kept auto'magically' synchronized. I love it love it love it. I write a couple new lines of code, download a new paper or two, and save meeting notes on my laptop, and within seconds, they are on my desktop. Yesterday I added a new lines of code to a MatLab script, saved the file, logged into my desktop PC using VNC, and the new version was waiting for me, ready to run.

The only drawbacks are:
A) You have to be running the program (very low memory and cpu footprint - I leave it on even when I play online games). You can close it, but if you edit the same file on both computers while the program is off it will keep two copies of the file renamed in the same folder.
2) There is a limit to the number of folders you can sync, and that limit is pretty low. Somewhere around 8. As far as files, no idea. I'm syncing my "papers" folder, which is 1,200 documents. 2GB file max size.
III) You can't sync some 'special' folders, like your music folder. They basically are making sure this remains a productivity app, and not a music sharing service.
v.4) I don't think transfers are encrypted.

Once installed and running, though, you can access any file on either PC from a browser (if you have the password). You can also invite others to download share files, though they need the software installed (it's free and sign up is 30 seconds). You can also set each folder to sync automatically or on demand.

Another nice bit of software is SyncBack, for offline syncing. The setup is a little long, because it has a million options that's you'll read about when you go through the first folder setup, but you have total control of everything (plus an easy wizard). I use this for syncing to my portable drive and flash drive. It can be set up to sync everything in one click. Oh yeah, the SE version is $30USD (what i that now? .02 Euros?), but the freeware version is great (and spyware/adware free). (PC only)

And last, but not least, for those 'sensitive' files, there's TrueCrypt. Free and powerful. You can create virtual volumes, encrypted partitions, and the the options are mind boggling. All I know is that you'd have to run all the world's computers for 3,000 years to get at my data files. I'm sure I won't care by then. Open source and stable. Using the entirely encrypted drive option is a little finicky and if set up wrong you'll find yourself reformatting in order to make it more usable. I did that, so just think about how you'll use it. For instance, if the whole drive is encrypted, then you always have to have a system with the software installed, or a flash drive with it. You can also copy a lightweight version to the drive with an encrypted file so that the software is accessible on any PC.

I have found that the best blend of security and usability is to leave the drive formatted as by your PC and create an encrypted virtual volume, which appears as a file on the drive. Keep the lightweight version copied to the drive somewhere and leave a little room for less sensitive files you access regularly. The downside is that if the drive is stolen, people can see that there's something special on the drive, because you have that huge honkin file. But, they will be unable to access whatever is on that virtual volume. Basically, it's always more secure to make it look like there's nothing out of the ordinary, but sometimes that isn't practical.

Couple quick notes: Remember that FAT has a low max file size (4GB?), and your volume will essentially be a file on the drive. NTFS isn't natively supported on Macs or Linux, but support can be 'added'. There have been some reports that the current ways of writing to NTFS from either can cause data corruption, but reading should be fine. ext3 isn't supported on Windows, though ext support can be added (don't worry about ext2 versus ext3 - they are compatible with each other (ext3 adds journaling)). I use Ext2FSD for messing with my Linux partition from Windows Vista without any problems. For reading a Mac drive, you'll have to shell out for something like MacDrive, which is obnoxious in general. Yes, it works, but why can't Apple jsut play nice with the other 95% of the world? And why can't Microsoft just release the some sort of NTFS spec? (PC and Linux)

And last but not least. Everyone has a flash drive now. So why not install some of your favorite apps on it, so they're always available? PortableApps has a nice package of free software. Various torrent sites also have portable-ized pay-for apps (like MS Office and Norton). Just FYI. And here's some love for you Mac users.

Required reading

I think I mentioned it here before, but everyone in BCI should read The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Phil Kennedy made me read it back during my days and Neural Signals Inc, and while it isn't particularly stirring or eloquently written, the time you take reading it forces you to take the perspective of a locked-in patient. Looks like they have made a movie out of the book, and Slate has the review (spoiler: the reviewer liked it). (IMDb link) Netflix subscribers can save it to their queue so that it is added when available on DVD (I just did).

SNL does BCI

Brain in a Vat found a BCI related short from Saturday Night Live. I particularly like the neural probe they use.

Mmmmm Mmmmm Papers!

A Principle for Learning Egocentric-Allocentric Transformation.
Byrne P, Becker S.
Neural Comput. 2007 Nov 28 [Epub ahead of print] (Couldn't find a link)

Bayesian spiking neurons I: inference.
Deneve S.
Neural Comput. 2008 Jan;20(1):91-117.

Bayesian Spiking Neurons II: Learning.
Deneve S.
Neural Comput. 2008 Jan;20(1):118-45.

Self-initiation of EEG-based brain–computer communication using the heart rate response
R Scherer et al 2007 J. Neural Eng. 4 L23-L29
R Scherer, G R Müller-Putz and G Pfurtscheller

Congruent activity during action and action observation in motor cortex.
Tkach D, Reimer J, Hatsopoulos NG.
J Neurosci. 2007 Nov 28;27(48):13241-50.

EEG-informed fMRI reveals spatiotemporal characteristics of perceptual decision making.
Philiastides MG, Sajda P.
J Neurosci. 2007 Nov 28;27(48):13082-91.

A computational model for redundant human three-dimensional pointing movements: integration of independent spatial and temporal motor plans simplifies movement dynamics.
Biess A, Liebermann DG, Flash T.
J Neurosci. 2007 Nov 28;27(48):13045-64.

Ubiquitous plasticity and memory storage.
Kim SJ, Linden DJ.
Neuron. 2007 Nov 22;56(4):582-92.

Neural substrates of visuomotor learning based on improved feedback control and prediction.
Grafton ST, Schmitt P, Van Horn J, Diedrichsen J.
Neuroimage. 2007 Oct 12 [Epub ahead of print]

Motor cortex gates vibrissal responses in a thalamocortical projection pathway.
Urbain N, Deschênes M.
Neuron. 2007 Nov 22;56(4):714-25.

Machine learning for real-time single-trial EEG-analysis: From brain-computer interfacing to mental state monitoring.
Müller KR, Tangermann M, Dornhege G, Krauledat M, Curio G, Blankertz B.
J Neurosci Methods. 2007 Sep 29;167(1):82-90 [Epub ahead of print]

Social comparison affects reward-related brain activity in the human ventral striatum.
Fliessbach K, Weber B, Trautner P, Dohmen T, Sunde U, Elger CE, Falk A.
Science. 2007 Nov 23;318(5854):1305-8.

Long-term speeding in perceptual switches mediated by attention-dependent plasticity in cortical visual processing.
Suzuki S, Grabowecky M.
Neuron. 2007 Nov 22;56(4):741-53.

Motor cortex gates vibrissal responses in a thalamocortical projection pathway.
Urbain N, Deschênes M.
Neuron. 2007 Nov 22;56(4):714-25.

Cortex mediates multisensory but not unisensory integration in superior colliculus.
Alvarado JC, Stanford TR, Vaughan JW, Stein BE.
J Neurosci. 2007 Nov 21;27(47):12775-86.

Can the human brain predict the consequences of arm movement corrections when transporting an object? Hints from grip force adjustments.
Danion F, Sarlegna FR.
J Neurosci. 2007 Nov 21;27(47):12839-43.

The representation of behavioral choice for motion in human visual cortex.
Serences JT, Boynton GM.
J Neurosci. 2007 Nov 21;27(47):12893-9.

Resonant or not, two amplification modes of proprioceptive inputs by persistent inward currents in spinal motoneurons.
Manuel M, Meunier C, Donnet M, Zytnicki D.
J Neurosci. 2007 Nov 21;27(47):12977-88.

The golden beauty: brain response to classical and renaissance sculptures.
Di Dio C, Macaluso E, Rizzolatti G.
PLoS ONE. 2007 Nov 21;2(11):e1201.

Simultaneous sensorimotor adaptation and sequence learning.
Overduin SA, Richardson AG, Bizzi E, Press DZ.
Exp Brain Res. 2007 Nov 21 [Epub ahead of print]

Combining modules for movement.
Bizzi E, Cheung VC, d'Avella A, Saltiel P, Tresch M.
Brain Res Rev. 2007 Sep 5 [Epub ahead of print]

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Lines Derived from Human Somatic Cells.
Yu J, Vodyanik MA, Smuga-Otto K, Antosiewicz-Bourget J, Frane JL, Tian S, Nie J, Jonsdottir GA, Ruotti V, Stewart R, Slukvin II, Thomson JA.
Science. 2007 Nov 20 [Epub ahead of print]

The origins of human bipedalism.
Schwartz JH.
Science. 2007 Nov 16;318(5853):1065.

Comment on "Origin of human bipedalism as an adaptation for locomotion on flexible branches".
Begun DR, Richmond BG, Strait DS.
Science. 2007 Nov 16;318(5853):1066.

Self-organization, embodiment, and biologically inspired robotics.
Pfeifer R, Lungarella M, Iida F.
Science. 2007 Nov 16;318(5853):1088-93.

Learning in and from brain-based devices.
Edelman GM.
Science. 2007 Nov 16;318(5853):1103-5.

Concept-based behavioral planning and the lateral prefrontal cortex.
Tanji J, Shima K, Mushiake H.
Trends Cogn Sci. 2007 Nov 13 [Epub ahead of print]

Prediction of arm movement trajectories from ECoG-recordings in humans.
Pistohl T, Ball T, Schulze-Bonhage A, Aertsen A, Mehring C.
J Neurosci Methods. 2007 Oct 10 [Epub ahead of print]

Model-based development of neural prostheses for movement.
Davoodi R, Urata C, Hauschild M, Khachani M, Loeb GE.
IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2007 Nov;54(11):1909-18.

HermesB: a continuous neural recording system for freely behaving primates.
Santhanam G, Linderman MD, Gilja V, Afshar A, Ryu SI, Meng TH, Shenoy KV.
IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2007 Nov;54(11):2037-50.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

In da newz

Ah vacation. So nice. Here's what hit my radar the past few days...

The technique used by Dr Kuiken at Northwestern for control a robotic limb has been turned on its head, and used to supply touch sensation. Place some haptic sensors on the artificial arm, wire them up to various DRG afferents/efferents, and supply a little juice. (2nd report here.)

MIT, trying to map the whole damn brain. Pffft. Amateurs. Why don't they just stick to wearable motion capture systems?

Ah exoskeletons. How be-est the so rad? (Play the video above.)

DLR had their wares in the news a bit. Yay robots!

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Well, it's Thanksgiving time here in the US, so I am home visiting family in Chicago. The 'rents redesigned their living room with many new tech gadgets that they don't know how to use, so I have alot of work to do.

I'm thankful for all my loyal readers! Awwwww....

Monday, November 19, 2007

Can I call it or what?

Hours after I post my little Sony vs Amazon ebook comparison, admittedly a quick rundown, Gizmodo posts a more formal point by point comparison. Like I said, the Amazon Kindle is nice if you want to just read novels and don't mind paying (ie-have no content already), but the Sony wins out on most fronts.



This was too cool not to post...
first from Guerillartivism


So, I thought I would post a quickie on ebooks. I have, through various sources accumulated thousands of electronic books in various formats (PDF, doc, html, djvu). So, as a technogeek, I have been anxiously awaiting a nice ebook reader that it light and powerful. There have been a couple players tat have entered the market int he last few months, so I thought I would post some quick impressions.

First, the big news maker today is the Amazon Kindle. It looks slick, has a keyboard and neat-o bookmarking and high lighting slider. It ieven has built in EVDO, so yo can buy books directly over the ether for anywhere from $1 (for free Gutenburg works) to $10 for new releases. There's even the ability to upload you own books and convert them to the native format. AND you can submit your own work and even blog (ahem!) to be downloaded via the internal RSS reader. Also, there's an SD expansion slot. 30 hours of reading per charge, using epaper/eink technology.

Downsides? A) Proprietary format with a charge to convert it. Yuck! B) Only SD, but the newer high density version. C) Version 1.0 - who knows what bugs will turn up, or if it will catch on and be viable in a year.

And second, the Sony Ebook reader PRS-505 - the second ebook reader from Sony in a year. New, and improved digital ink for faster page turns (big problem with the old version), MS Pro Duo for expansion, RSS reader and podcast support (mp3 playback, same as the Kindle), multiple formats (PDF, DOC, TXT, RTF), integrated cover, smaller profile, no keyboard.

Downsides? No html, no wireless, must purchase from Sony ebook store for purchased materials.

So, which is the better bet? If you have a big collection, like me, the Sony ebook reader is obviously better. You don't have to pay to convert, you can just throw everything on a memory stick, and is a more 'open' option. Plus it is a slightly more mature platform. If, however, you want to use this as a regular, everyday reader, the kindle might be the better bet. Purchasing is quick and easy, it supports a more community driven approach, and offers a much larger purchasing selection.

Just something to think about. Ebook readers are really starting to look appealing, and these are the two big players. It is probably worth waiting for the next generation before pouncing, but I might try to grab one for review at Digital Trends (I'll post here if I do).

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Super Paper Friday Night

Yeah, big party animal here. Wooo woooooooooo! Woo. w... w... ah just read the damn papers!

A synaptic memory trace for cortical receptive field plasticity.
Froemke RC, Merzenich MM, Schreiner CE.
Nature. 2007 Nov 15;450(7168):425-429.

Mental Simulation of Action in the Service of Action Perception.
Raos V, Evangeliou MN, Savaki HE.
J Neurosci. 2007 Nov 14;27(46):12675-12683.

There are a number here, as well, but I won’t link to each one:
Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2007

Of course, I would expect nothing less than an article title by Nicolelis in nothing but caps!
Lebedev MA, O'Doherty JE, Nicolelis MA.
J Neurophysiol. 2007 Nov 14; [Epub ahead of print]

Gradual changes in hippocampal activity support remembering the order of events.
Manns JR, Howard MW, Eichenbaum H.
Neuron. 2007 Nov 8;56(3):530-40.

Defining cortical frequency tuning with recurrent excitatory circuitry.
Liu BH, Wu GK, Arbuckle R, Tao HW, Zhang LI.
Nat Neurosci. 2007 Nov 11; [Epub ahead of print]

Towards an executive without a homunculus: computational models of the prefrontal cortex/basal ganglia system.
Hazy TE, Frank MJ, O'reilly RC.
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2007 Sep 29;362(1485):1601-13.

Visual grouping in human parietal cortex.
Xu Y, Chun MM.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Nov 12; [Epub ahead of print]

An oscillator theory of motor unit recruitment.
Prashanth PS, Chakravarthy VS.
Biol Cybern. 2007 Nov 10; [Epub ahead of print]

Mental Simulation of Action in the Service of Action Perception.
Raos V, Evangeliou MN, Savaki HE.
J Neurosci. 2007 Nov 14;27(46):12675-12683.

And some general interest papers….

Hearing Illusory Sounds in Noise: Sensory-Perceptual Transformations in Primary Auditory Cortex.
Riecke L, van Opstal AJ, Goebel R, Formisano E.
J Neurosci. 2007 Nov 14;27(46):12684-12689.

Cortical interference effects in the cocktail party problem.
Narayan R, Best V, Ozmeral E, McClaine E, Dent M, Shinn-Cunningham B, Sen K.
Nat Neurosci. 2007 Nov 11; [Epub ahead of print]

Down-regulation of neurosteroid biosynthesis in corticolimbic circuits mediates social isolation-induced behavior in mice.
Agís-Balboa RC, Pinna G, Pibiri F, Kadriu B, Costa E, Guidotti A.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Nov 14; [Epub ahead of print]

Producing primate embryonic stem cells by somatic cell nuclear transfer.
Byrne J, Pedersen D, Clepper L, Nelson M, Sanger W, Gokhale S, Wolf D, Mitalipov S.
Nature. 2007 Nov 14; [Epub ahead of print]

'Trapped rainbow' storage of light in metamaterials.
Tsakmakidis KL, Boardman AD, Hess O.
Nature. 2007 Nov 15;450(7168):397-401.

Magnetic resonance spectroscopy identifies neural progenitor cells in the live human brain.
Manganas LN, Zhang X, Li Y, Hazel RD, Smith SD, Wagshul ME, Henn F, Benveniste H, Djuric PM, Enikolopov G, Maletic-Savatic M.
Science. 2007 Nov 9;318(5852):980-5.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Being heard

Phil Kennedy's work is in the news again. He's been working on using his Neurotrophic Electrode to decode phonemes from Broca's area of a locked-in patient. He did have a number of posters at SfN (right next to mine, too), and the work seems to be moving along steadily. Having talked with him, I know his philosophy is to write papers only when there is a major, major finding, but I would like to see a few technique or preliminary result papers in a peer reviewed journal, like J Neural Engineering. Still, I'll always cheer on the guy that just forges ahead, blazing a path for others.

Unfortunately, the article is at New Scientist, which requires a subscription, which I don't have, but there is a BBC report as well.

The Neurotrophic Electrode is something Phil developed and has been used in several locked-in patients. When I worked with him, we were focused on ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) and spinal cord injury (SCI), and implanting MI. The electrode is essentially a glass cone with a bit of sciatic nerve and neurotrophic factor that is just pushed into the cortex. The damage causes neurons to sprout new processes, which are attracted to the trophic factor and grow through the cone. There is no information on the types of cells attracted to the trophic factor, and while units are seen after a couple dozen weeks, the identity of the cells is unknown. While the cone tip is lined up to grab pyramidal cells, the patients need a 'warm up' period in order to activate the cells, which is somewhat suspicious. Other studies using traditional electrodes show instantaneous control, and the fact that a warm up period is necessary could mean that what is actually being grabbed are ascending cholinergic fibers from the RAS or possibly local interneurons active during learning. Either way, information about the associated function is still present, but some basic histology showing more than myelinated fibers in the cone are really needed. Just a few thoughts that I've had since leaving...


Shelley over at the Retrospectacle pointed out that the above confocal image of the cochlea won 4th place in the Olympus Bioscapes Digital Imaging Competition. 1st Place was the Brainbow (which is my current wallpaper on my desktop PC), but I actually like this more. I just wish they would post some nice, high-res versions (like 1920x1200 or 1600x1200). I had to piece the Brainbow one together by hand from the study pdf.

Two upcoming events

I wish I could go to both, but I just don't have time...

First, back in Rome, Italy, there is:
NEUROREHABILITATION AND ROBOTICS. Changing environment to train the function, Dec 13-14. I couldn't find a site that linked directly to the program I received, but here is the Children's Hospital it is associated with.

- I'll be the jerk to say it. Please run titles past native English speakers. This title makes no sense, but I think we get the idea, kinda. Is this supposed to be changing the function of the environment by changing said environment, or changing the environment to change some other 'function'? I think the idea is changing the user's environment such that it assists techniques unique to neurorehabilitation. Either way, it would be nice to get back to Italy, but there's no way I'll be able to make it.

Next, in Naples, FL, there is:
The Neural Control of Movement Society meeting, April 28-May 4 (abstract submission open now)

- I might try to go to this one, but we'll see.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

TMR going far

And last one for tonight, Natalia pointed out that Dr. Kuiken's work in Chicago has been in the news again, thanks to some advancements that led to a J Neurophys paper. You'll remember the work (targeted muscle reinnervation) from the big media blitz a couple years ago.

Long story short, they reroute nerves that were going to an amputated limb, to muscles on the chest, side, and abdomen. Patients think about moving the non-existent limb, causing the fibers to fire, thereby eliciting a EMG detectable twitch of the new target muscle. That activity is then translated into movement of a robotic arm. The new paper discusses nerve targets, and more electrodes, making movement detection 95% accurate for 16 movements.

Paper found here.

Exoskeletons and love

BoingBoing has a short story about finding exoskeletons and finding love... awwww. Cool part is that it is based on an actual exoskeleton project at GE back in the 60's.

BoingBoing, and the story.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

B2B v2: Brain To Bot

The EU has been hearing the call of BCI, and upping the funding for non-invasive systems left and right. One project to make the news this last week is the Brain2Robot initiative at the Frauenhofer Institute and Charite hospital in Berlin. Not much too new to report here, just a new funding source for another collaboration, but worth noting, of course. The new arm to come out of the collaboration should be shown off... oh... today in Dusseldorf.

DARPA's readin my thoughts, man!

Ah DARPA. When will you stop burrowing through my psychic defenses to sap the sweet, sweet nectar of my thoughts? *sigh*

Apparently the defense department financial juggernaut is funding companies like Honeywell, who are working on harnessing the quasi-subconscious precessing detectable by EEG (okay, yes, I know, that's a crappy description, but you get the idea) to automatically weed out or identify visually perceived objects of interest. Not an entirely new idea, the whole process might make it possible, in the absence of reliable image recognition software, the ability to breeze though crime suspect images at 1 per 50 millisecond, or quickly scanning large landscapes in front of analysts target extraction/identification at high speeds.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Super Paper Friday Shazzam!

In no particular order...

A new thalamic pathway of vibrissal information modulated by the motor cortex.
Urbain N, Deschênes M.
J Neurosci. 2007 Nov 7;27(45):12407-12.

Reconfiguration of a vertebrate motor network: specific neuron recruitment and context-dependent synaptic plasticity.
Li WC, Sautois B, Roberts A, Soffe SR.
J Neurosci. 2007 Nov 7;27(45):12267-76.

The Motor Cortex and Its Role in Phantom Limb Phenomena.
Reilly KT, Sirigu A.
Neuroscientist. 2007 Nov 7; [Epub ahead of print]

Adaptation reveals independent control networks for human walking.
Choi JT, Bastian AJ.
Nat Neurosci. 2007 Aug;10(8):1055-62. Epub 2007 Jul 1.

Gain mechanisms for contextually guided visuomotor transformations.
Brozović M, Gail A, Andersen RA.
J Neurosci. 2007 Sep 26;27(39):10588-96.

Reading and controlling human brain activation using real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging
R. Christopher deCharmsa
Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 7 November 2007.

Connected Corticospinal Sites Show Enhanced Tuning Similarity at the Onset of Voluntary Action
Yuval Yanai, Nofya Adamit, Ran Harel, Zvi Israel, and Yifat Prut
Journal of Neuroscience, November 7, 2007, 27(45):12349-12357

Flexible Coding for Categorical Decisions in the Human Brain
Sheng Li, Dirk Ostwald, Martin Giese, and Zoe Kourtzi
Journal of Neuroscience, November 7, 2007, 27(45):12321-12330

Trade-Off between Object Selectivity and Tolerance in Monkey Inferotemporal Cortex
Davide Zoccolan, Minjoon Kouh, Tomaso Poggio, and James J. DiCarlo
Journal of Neuroscience, November 7, 2007, 27(45):12292-12307

Trusting Our Memories: Dissociating the Neural Correlates of Confidence in Veridical versus Illusory Memories
Hongkeun Kim1 and Roberto Cabeza
Journal of Neuroscience, November 7, 2007, 27(45):12190-12197

Neural Ensembles in CA3 Transiently Encode Paths Forward of the Animal at a Decision Point
Adam Johnson1 and A. David Redish
Journal of Neuroscience, November 7, 2007, 27(45):12176-12189

Human Motor Corpus Callosum: Topography, Somatotopy, and Link between Microstructure and Function
Mathias Wahl, Birgit Lauterbach-Soon, Elke Hattingen, Patrick Jung, Oliver Singer, Steffen Volz, Johannes C. Klein, Helmuth Steinmetz, and Ulf Ziemann
Journal of Neuroscience, November 7, 2007, 27(45):12132-12138

The random electrode selection ensemble for EEG signal classification
Shiliang Suna, Changshui Zhangb and Yue Lua
Pattern Recognition, Volume 41, Issue 3 (March 2008)

Superior temporal and premotor brain areas necessary for biological motion perception.
Saygin AP.
Brain. 2007 Sep;130(Pt 9):2452-61. Epub 2007 Jul 26.

Poetry in motion.
Churchland P.
Nature. 2007 Nov 1;450(7166):29-30.

Posterior parietal cortex encodes autonomously selected motor plans.
Cui H, Andersen RA.
Neuron. 2007 Nov 8;56(3):552-9.

To touch or not to touch: posterior parietal cortex and voluntary behavior.
Lee D.
Neuron. 2007 Nov 8;56(3):419-21.

Brain-computer interfaces in the continuum of consciousness.
Kübler A, Kotchoubey B.
Curr Opin Neurol. 2007 Dec;20(6):643-9.

Biomimetic brain machine interfaces for the control of movement.
Fagg AH, Hatsopoulos NG, de Lafuente V, Moxon KA, Nemati S, Rebesco JM, Romo R, Solla SA, Reimer J, Tkach D, Pohlmeyer EA, Miller LE.
J Neurosci. 2007 Oct 31;27(44):11842-6.

Premotor inhibitory neurons carry signals related to saccade adaptation in the monkey.
Kojima Y, Iwamoto Y, Robinson FR, Noto CT, Yoshida K.
J Neurophysiol. 2007 Oct 31; [Epub ahead of print]

Influences of sensory input from the limbs on feline corticospinal neurons during postural responses.
Karayannidou A, Deliagina TG, Tamarova ZA, Sirota MG, Zelenin PV, Orlovsky GN, Beloozerova IN.
J Physiol. 2007 Nov 1; [Epub ahead of print]

Towards unravelling task-related modulations of neuroplastic changes induced in the human motor cortex.
Antal A, Terney D, Poreisz C, Paulus W.
Eur J Neurosci. 2007 Nov 1;26(9):2687-2691. Epub 2007 Oct 26.

Cells in somatosensory areas show synchrony with beta oscillations in monkey motor cortex.
Witham CL, Wang M, Baker SN.
Eur J Neurosci. 2007 Nov;26(9):2677-86. Epub 2007 Oct 23.

Comparing natural and constrained movements: new insights into the visuomotor control of grasping.
Begliomini C, Caria A, Grodd W, Castiello U.
PLoS ONE. 2007 Oct 31;2(10):e1108.

Different Effects of Voluntary and Involuntary Attention on EEG Activity in the Gamma Band
Ayelet N. Landau, Michael Esterman, Lynn C. Robertson, Shlomo Bentin, and William Prinzmetal
Journal of Neuroscience, October 31, 2007, 27(44):11986-11990

Differential Modulation of Motor Cortical Plasticity and Excitability in Early and Late Phases of Human Motor Learning
Karin Rosenkranz, Aleksandra Kacar, and John C. Rothwell
Journal of Neuroscience, October 31, 2007, 27(44):12058-12066

Spinal Cord Injury: Time to Move?
Serge Rossignol, Martin Schwab, Michal Schwartz, and Michael G. Fehlings
Journal of Neuroscience, October 31, 2007, 27(44):11782-11792

Cerebellar motor learning: when is cortical plasticity not enough?
Porrill J, Dean P.
PLoS Comput Biol. 2007 Oct 26;3(10):1935-50.

Temporal Coding of Time-Varying Stimuli
Maoz Shamir, Kamal Sen, H. Steven Colburn
Neural Computation 2007 19:12, 3239-3261

Development of continuous and discrete neural maps.
Luo L, Flanagan JG.
Neuron. 2007 Oct 25;56(2):284-300.

Assembly of motor circuits in the spinal cord: driven to function by genetic and experience-dependent mechanisms.
Ladle DR, Pecho-Vrieseling E, Arber S.
Neuron. 2007 Oct 25;56(2):270-83.

Classifying EEG for Brain Computer Interfaces Using Gaussian Processes
Mingjun Zhong, Fabien Lotte, Mark Girolami and Anatole Lécuyer
Pattern Recognition Letters, In Press, Accepted Manuscript, Available online 24 October 2007

Dorsal Premotor Cortex Exerts State-Dependent Causal Influences on Activity in Contralateral Primary Motor and Dorsal Premotor Cortex.
Bestmann S, Swayne O, Blankenburg F, Ruff CC, Haggard P, Weiskopf N, Josephs O, Driver J, Rothwell JC, Ward NS.
Cereb Cortex. 2007 Oct 26; [Epub ahead of print]

Neural substrates of intermanual transfer of a newly acquired motor skill.
Perez MA, Tanaka S, Wise SP, Sadato N, Tanabe HC, Willingham DT, Cohen LG.
Curr Biol. 2007 Nov 6;17(21):1896-902. Epub 2007 Oct 25.

Serial organization of human behavior in the inferior parietal cortex.
Jubault T, Ody C, Koechlin E.
J Neurosci. 2007 Oct 10;27(41):11028-36.

Preparatory suppression of the human primary motor cortex induced by repetition of simple and choice reaction time tasks: A transcranical magnetic stimulation study.
Kinoshita H, Yahagi S, Kasai T.
Brain Res. 2007 Oct 1; [Epub ahead of print]

Hold Your Horses: Impulsivity, Deep Brain Stimulation, and Medication in Parkinsonism.
Frank MJ, Samanta J, Moustafa AA, Sherman SJ.
Science. 2007 Oct 25; [Epub ahead of print]

And general interest papers:

Social decision-making: insights from game theory and neuroscience.
Sanfey AG.
Science. 2007 Oct 26;318(5850):598-602.

Decision theory: what "should" the nervous system do?
Körding K.
Science. 2007 Oct 26;318(5850):606-10.

Novelty and collective attention.
Wu F, Huberman BA.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Nov 6;104(45):17599-601. Epub 2007 Oct 25.

Mapping Behavioral Repertoire onto the Cortex.
Graziano MS, Aflalo TN.
Neuron. 2007 Oct 25;56(2):239-51.

The magnificent compromise: cortical field evolution in mammals.
Krubitzer L.
Neuron. 2007 Oct 25;56(2):201-8.

Intracortical circuits modulate transcallosal inhibition in humans.
Avanzino L, Teo JT, Rothwell JC.
J Physiol. 2007 Aug 15;583(Pt 1):99-114. Epub 2007 Jun 7.

Cognitive Signals in the Primate Motor Thalamus Predict Saccade Timing
Masaki Tanaka
Journal of Neuroscience, October 31, 2007, 27(44):12109-12118

Stress-induced alterations in hippocampal plasticity, place cells, and spatial memory.
Kim JJ, Lee HJ, Welday AC, Song E, Cho J, Sharp PE, Jung MW, Blair HT.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Nov 5; [Epub ahead of print]

Socialization between toddlers and robots at an early childhood education center.
Tanaka F, Cicourel A, Movellan JR.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Nov 5; [Epub ahead of print]

The neural correlates of subjective value during intertemporal choice.
Kable JW, Glimcher PW.
Nat Neurosci. 2007 Nov 4; [Epub ahead of print]

Dissecting a circuit for olfactory behaviour in Caenorhabditis elegans.
Chalasani SH, Chronis N, Tsunozaki M, Gray JM, Ramot D, Goodman MB, Bargmann CI.
Nature. 2007 Nov 1;450(7166):63-70.

Transgenic strategies for combinatorial expression of fluorescent proteins in the nervous system.
Livet J, Weissman TA, Kang H, Draft RW, Lu J, Bennis RA, Sanes JR, Lichtman JW.
Nature. 2007 Nov 1;450(7166):56-62.

What can we learn from synaptic weight distributions?
Barbour B, Brunel N, Hakim V, Nadal JP.
Trends Neurosci. 2007 Nov 4; [Epub ahead of print]

Sight and sound

Alright, Super Paper Friday will be tomorrow. I don't have the attention span to compile the whole list right now (about 1/3 done). Instead, here are a few stories...

An interesting idea here. Glasses that have embedded microphones and with attached hearing aids which amplify sounds that the wearer is looking toward and reduce background noise. Not BCI, but neat-o concept. (@ Medgadget)

Again, not BCI, but interface-y, the new JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) helmet prototype "augments skills and the senses". That's all anyone is saying right now. That and that it makes everyone pee themselves in fear. (@ Gizmodo)

And lastly, what robot programmers do when they get bored...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

No time for love, Dr. Jones!

I thought I would be all good and update during SfN regularly. Nope. Not happening. Check back this Friday. Something about the acute liver cirrhosis and information overload...

I survived my poster presentation and only had a few minor hiccups, so I was happy. I was actually kinda hoping to get grilled a little more, which is disappointing. A few great questions were asked and some good ideas about future directions were discussed. It was nice to meet a few of you folks reading, including kids from the Nicolelis and Schwartz labs, CalTech, and a few others that I don't remember the institutions of.

It is kinda strange presenting, at least for me. I switch from slightly awkward research mode into showmanship mode, and during that time, everything is a blur. At one point Leigh Hochberg was watching me present, and having seen Leigh on at least a weekly basis while in 'research mode', it completely disrupted my flow. I got caught switching states back and forth, and it was oddly paralyzing. (Not his fault, obviously. It was just a very strange feeling.)

It was great to see so may people from Brown stop by just to say, "hi!" And it was also nice to see all of you NIH folks as well (though I missed Ilya's presentation because I had my poster at the same time).

Anyhow, enough rambling. Tonight: Dinner, Grad student/Post-Doc Social, Recovery/Notetaking/Brainstorming.

Oh, and the line for the MIT party was just frickin ridiculous. That venue was just too damn small (but nice inside).

Friday, November 2, 2007

I made it!

Look out San Diego! The air here is horrible, btw. You could see all the scorched ground on arrival.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Excel opens to black screen

So, I thought I would post a quick note for anyone that might one day have this problem.

Symptoms: My spiffy Performance Analysis spreadsheet suddenly decided it did not want to open. Yeah, 1 week to SfN and not good. Excel would open with a blank screen. I could click stuff and it was responsive, but the center was completely blank, regardless of whether it was opened with a document or just launched with a 'blank worksheet'. Nuttin there.

System specs: Vista (32-bit), Office 2007, all updates etc installed.

Resolution: I don't know what caused this, but launching Excel as Administrator clears it up. Just navigate to your Office folder (C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\), right click on excel.exe, and choose "Runs as Administrator". Voila! Yer welcome. I don't know if it resolves it entirely (that one launch clears up all future launches), but it works well enough to allow you to use the program.