Anterior prefrontal cortex: A key to the human brain’s ability to rapidly learn new tasks

Humans have come to dominate the world largely due to our intelligence relative to other species. Where does this tremendous cognitive flexibility come from?

Many have considered prefrontal cortex as the origin of this boost in intelligence, yet it has remained unclear how this chunk of brain tissue could drive intelligent behavior. In a recently published study we used fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) along with advanced machine learning approaches to read out what information is processed in prefrontal cortex during intelligent behavior.

We focused on one of the most remarkable abilities indicative of human intelligence: rapid instructed task learning (RITL). This is the ability to quickly learn new tasks from instructions. For instance, we use it to learn to use new technology (e.g., a new smartphone) and when learning to play a new game (e.g., Monopoly).

This ability may seem mundane because it’s familiar, but it’s actually quite remarkable both computationally and in terms of evolution. Computationally it’s remarkable because even modern computers can’t match the RITL abilities of human children. Evolutionarily it’s remarkable because other primates take much longer to learn many tasks that we can perform immediately upon hearing instructions.

We have investigated RITL in the past. What’s different here is that we were able to tie what information is in prefrontal cortex (instead of just how active it is) to how accurate a person is on a given trial. In other words, we were able to see the information processing in prefrontal cortex that drives successfully intelligent task performance .

Region Figure

Figure 1

We started out finding the brain regions (regions of interest; ROI) that were more responsive to novel that practice tasks. This helped us isolate RITL from general task processing. We found a variety of prefrontal areas that were preferentially involved in novel relative to practiced task performance (Figure 1).

We wanted to test whether any of these brain regions were especially important for RITL behavior. We therefore tested if there were any regions that also 1) represented task information and 2) were sensitive to task accuracy. We found three brain regions that showed all of these properties. Surprisingly, all three regions were in left anterior prefrontal cortex (regions 1, 4, & 8 in Figure 1).

Resting-state network partitions

Figure 2

Given how close these regions were to each other, we thought they might actually be the same large brain region. When we checked their overlap with brain connectivity patterns, however, we saw that they are each part of a different network (Figure 2).

This suggests there are three nearby regions in left anterior prefrontal cortex that play an especially important role in flexible and intelligent behavior in humans.

See the full scientific article for more info.


Neurevolution relaunch

It’s hard to believe we started this blog over eight years ago – all the way back when we were grad students. What a long way we’ve come. Patryk is now Director of R&D at Brain Corporation, while Michael is an assistant professor at Rutgers University.

Today we are relaunching Neurevolution, with a new design and plans for more frequent posts. Why today? It’s not only Albert Einstein’s birthday, but a very special Pi Day (3/14/15).

It is our hope that this blog continues to provide a forum for brain research knowledge and ideas that is more accessible to the general public than our scientific publications and presentations. We hope you enjoy – please contact us with any questions, ideas, or requests for the blog.

–Michael & Patryk

Frontoparietal cortex: The immune system of the mind

The frontoparietal control system is to the mind what the immune system is to the body. It may oversimplify the situation, but we’re finding it’s a useful metaphor nonetheless. Indeed, we’ve just published a new theory paper explaining that there is already an avalanche of evidence supporting this metaphor. Even though much work is left to fully establish the theory, we’re very excited about it as it appears it can explain much that is mysterious about mental illnesses. Most exciting is that the theory may unify understanding and treatment of all mental illnesses simultaneously.

Of course mental illnesses are very complex and problems in most parts of the brain can contribute. However, recent findings suggest a particular brain network may be especially important for predicting and curing mental disease: the frontoparietal control network (see yellow areas in figure). We and others have found that this network is not only highly connected to many other parts of the brain (i.e. its regions are hubs), but it also shifts that connectivity dynamically to specify the current task at hand. This means that any particular goal you are focusing on – such as solving a puzzle or finding food or cheering yourself up when you feel sad – will involve dynamic network interactions with this network (to maintain and implement that goal).

Applying this basic understanding of goal-directed thoughts and actions to mental illness, we realized deficits in this brain network may be critical for explaining many of the cognitive symptoms – such as the inability to concentrate on the task at hand – experienced across a wide variety of mental diseases. Further, we realized that many of the emotional symptoms of mental disease are indirectly affected by this network, since emotional regulation (e.g., reducing phobia-related anxiety) involves brain interactions with this network. This suggests this network may regulate symptoms and promote mental health generally, much like the body’s immune system regulates pathogens to promote physical health.

Another way to think of this is in terms of an interaction between a regulator like a thermostat and a thing to be regulated like the temperature in a room. Similar to the regulation of temperature, the frontoparietal system sets a goal to a range of distributed brain activity patterns (like setting the goal temperature on the thermostat), and the system searches for activity patterns that will make the dysfunctional brain activity patterns shift toward that goal.

As covered in our theory paper, it is well established that the frontoparietal system has all the key properties of a regulator: it maintains goal information, it has access to many other parts of the brain, and it affects distal parts of the brain according to the maintained goal. Further, there is evidence that things like emotional regulation during cognitive behavioral therapy increase activity in the frontoparietal system, suggesting this brain system is working harder when cognitive strategies are used to facilitate mental health.

Perhaps the most exciting prediction of this theory is that enhancing the frontoparietal system may reduce all symptoms of all mental diseases using a single treatment. This is because the frontoparietal system is domain general, meaning it directs goal-directed processes across all aspects of the mind and therefore all possible mental symptoms. In practice there will certainly be exceptions to this, yet simultaneous progress on reducing even just 50% of symptoms would be a tremendous advance.

How might we enhance the frontoparietal system? Perhaps using drugs that differentially influence this system (e.g., dopamine agonists) or direct stimulation of the system (e.g., using transcranial magnetic or current stimulation). Since the frontoparietal system can be reconfigured using verbal instructions, however, building on carefully structured talk therapies may be an especially specific and effective way. In particular, the frontoparietal system is known to implement rapid instructed task learning (RITL) – a way for the brain to implement novel behaviors based on instructions. Ultimately, this theory suggests the proper combination of frontoparietal system enhancement through direct influence (drugs and/or stimulation), talk therapy, and symptom-specific interventions will allow us to make major progress toward curing a wide variety of mental diseases.


The brain’s network switching stations for adaptive behavior

I’m excited to announce that my latest scientific publication – “Multi-task connectivity reveals flexible hubs for adaptive task control” – was just published in Nature Neuroscience. The paper reports on a project I (along with my co-authors) have been working on for over a year. The goal was to use network science to better understand how human intelligence happens in the brain – specifically, our ability to rapidly adapt to new circumstances, as when learning to perform a task for the first time (e.g., how to use new technology).

The project built on our previous finding (from last year) showing that the amount of connectivity of a well-connected “hub” brain region in prefrontal cortex is linked to human intelligence. That study suggested (indirectly) that there may be hub regions that are flexible – capable of dynamically updating what brain regions they communicate with depending on the current goal.

Typical methods were not capable of more directly testing this hypothesis, however, so we took the latest functional connectivity approaches and pushed the limit, going well beyond the previous paper and what others have done in this area. The key innovation was to look at how functional connectivity changes across dozens of distinct task states (specifically, 64 tasks per participant). This allowed us to look for flexible hubs in the fronto-parietal brain network.

We found that this network contained regions that updated their global pattern of functional connectivity (i.e., inter-regional correlations) depending on which task was being performed.

In other words, the fronto-parietal network changed its brain-wide functional connectivity more than any other major brain network, and this updating appeared to code which task was being performed.

What’s the significance?

These results suggest a potential mechanism for adaptive cognitive abilities in humans:
Prefrontal and parietal cortices form a network with extensive connections projecting to other functionally specialized networks throughout the brain. Incoming instructions activate component representations – coded as neuronal ensembles with unique connectivity patterns – that produce a unique global connectivity pattern throughout the brain. Since these component representations are interchangeable it’s possible to implement combinations of instructions never seen before, allowing for rapid learning of new tasks from instructions.

Important points not mentioned or not emphasized in the journal article:

This study was highly hypothesis-driven, as it tested some predictions of our recent compositional theory of prefrontal cortex function (extended to include parietal cortex as well). That theory was first proposed earlier this year in Cole, Laurent, & Stocco (2013).

Also, as described in our online supplemental FAQ for the paper, we identified ‘adaptive task control’ flexible hubs, but there may be other kinds of flexible hubs in the brain. For instance, there may be flexible hubs for stable task control (maintaining task information via connectivity patterns over extended periods of time, only updating when necessary).

See our online supplemental FAQ for more important points that were not mentioned in the journal article. Additional information is also available from a press release from Washington University.


Having more global brain connectivity with some regions enhances intelligence

A new study – titled “Global Connectivity of Prefrontal Cortex Predicts Cognitive Control and Intelligence” – was published just last week. In it, my co-authors and I describe our research showing that connectivity with a particular part of the prefrontal cortex can predict how intelligent someone is.

We measured intelligence using “fluid intelligence” tests, which measure your ability to solve novel visual puzzles. It turns out that scores on these tests correlate with important life outcomes like academic and job success. So, finding a neuroscientific factor underlying fluid intelligence might have some fairly important implications.

It turns out that it’s relatively unclear exactly what fluid intelligence tests actually test (what helps you solve novel puzzles, exactly?), so we also measured a more basic “cognitive control” ability thought to be related to fluid intelligence – working memory. This measures your ability to maintain and manipulate information in mind in a goal-directed manner.

Overall (i.e., global) brain connectivity with a part of left lateral prefrontal cortex (see figure above) could predict both fluid intelligence and cognitive control abilities.

What does this mean? One possibility is that this prefrontal region is a “flexible hub” that uses its extensive brain-wide connectivity to monitor and influence other brain regions in a goal-directed manner. This may sound a bit like it’s some kind of “homunculus” (little man) that single-handedly implements all brain functions, but in fact we’re suggesting it’s more like a feedback control system that is used often in engineering, that it only helps implement cognitive control (which supports fluid intelligence), and that it doesn’t do this alone.

Indeed, we found other independent factors that were important for predicting intelligence, suggesting there are several fundamental neural factors underlying intelligence. The global connectivity of this prefrontal region could account for 10% of the variability in fluid intelligence, while activity in this region accounts (independently) for 5% of the variability, and overall gray matter volume accounts (again independently) for an additional 6.7% of the variance. Together, these three factors accounted for 26% of the variance in fluid intelligence across individuals.

There are several important questions that this study raises. For instance, does this region change its connectivity depending on the task being performed, as the “flexible hub” hypothesis would suggest? Are there other regions whose global (or local) connectivity contributes substantially to intelligence and cognitive control abilities? Finally, what other factors are there in the brain that might be able to predict fluid intelligence across individuals?


The evolutionary importance of rapid instructed task learning (RITL)

We are rarely alone when learning something for the first time. We are social creatures, and whether it’s a new technology or an ancient tradition, we typically benefit from instruction when learning new tasks. This form of learning–in which a task is rapidly (within seconds) learned from instruction–can be referred to as rapid instructed task learning (RITL; pronounced “rittle”). Despite the fundamental role this kind of learning plays in our lives, it has been largely ignored by researchers until recently.

My Ph.D. dissertation investigated the evolutionary and neuroscientific basis of RITL.

RITL almost certainly played a tremendous role in shaping human evolution. The selective advantages of RITL for our species are clear: having RITL abilities allows us to partake in a giant web of knowledge shared with anyone willing to instruct us. We might have received instructions to avoid a dangerous animal we have never seen before (e.g., a large cat with a big mane), or instructions on how to make a spear and kill a lion with it. The possible scenarios in which RITL would have helped increase our chances of survival are virtually endless.

There are two basic forms of RITL.

Read more

av hendelser som det ikke kan kontrollere

av hendelser som det ikke kan kontrollere

TORONTO The Toronto International Film Festival feirer sitt 40-utgave denne uken med en pokker for en gjesteliste: Johnny Depp, Matt Damon, Sandra Bullock, Helen Mirren og Keith Richards er bare noen av stjernene satt til å gå den røde løperen for denne milepælen år.

Buzzy filmer allerede genererer skravling inkluderer stjernen pakket muckraking thriller med Michael Keaton og Mark Ruffalo som en del av et team av journalister som undersøker sex misbruk påstander som involverer den katolske kirke; Scott Cooper gangster flick Mass, med en skallet Depp portretterer hensynsløs klok fyr James (Whitey) Bulger; og Ridley Scott outerspace thriller Martian, med Damon spiller en astronaut forlatt på den røde planeten.

Så er det den irske kanadiske om en fem år gammel beretning om å vokse opp med sin mor låst i et skur, som han mener er hele verden; han uvitende om at de er fanger.Canada Goose Jakke,Norge,Victoria,salg,outlet,nettbutikk Kjøp Canada Goose Parker

tror det mange filmer som omhandler forestillingen om traumatiske hendelser skiftende livet ditt og hva det gjør med deg, TIFF CEO Piers Håndtering sa trender på årets festival.

slik usikkerhet hos mennesker personlige liv så vel som politisk, sosialt tror jeg det en mer engstelig verden, det er en mer tilkoblet verden, så det er en verden som er litt redd for hendelser som det ikke kan kontrollere. år åpningsfilm kommer fra Quebec direktør Jean Marc Vallée, den auteur som denne gangen Helms studio støttet engelsk drama Det stjerner Jake Gyllenhaal som en bankmann som reagerer på plutselige død av sin kone med tilfeldige handlinger av ødeleggelse.

Canadiske titler dette året inkluderer en ny utflukt fra Deepa Mehta, som slår tannhjul med et actionfylt gangster fortelling, Boys fra festival veteran Atom Egoyan, som vervet Christopher Plummer og Martin Landau for nazi hevn thriller; krigen saga Road fra skuespiller / regissør Paul Gross; og forbudte rom fra sikkert merkelig Guy Maddin.

Celeb stalkers vil utvilsomt være på utkikk etter legendariske Rolling Stones gitaristen Keith Richards tør si vi, tølt om byen med sin pirat bror Depp? som han premierer sin Netflix dokumentar, Richards: Under the Influence, fra Oscar vinnende regissøren Morgan Neville (Feet fra Stardom doc skjermer som en del av TIFF nye TV-delen, Primetime, som lover å har det beste innen global TV, men på den store skjermen. program~~POS=TRUNC seks titler inkluderer Hulu komedie utøvende produsert av Jason Reitman, og den andre sesongen premiere i Frankrike naturlig drama Returnerte. fokus for mange cinephiles på TIFF, selvfølgelig, er på å finne de kommende tildelingene sesongen utfordrere. Tradisjonelt sett på som en lansering . pad for Oscar håpefulle, har TIFF en track record for å lansere den neste millionær eller konge Speech det minste, flere vipper synes sikker på å provosere: Michael Moore unleases sin nye dokumentar å invadere Neste Oscar-vinner Eddie Redmayne spiller en trans maler i Tom Hooper dansk jente Charlie Kaufman eksperimenter med stop motion animasjon i Netflix kommer inn i samtalen med sin barnesoldat saga of No Nation og argentinske auteur Pablo Trapero dokumenterer en flom av virkelige brutale kidnappinger i Clan. regissør Cameron Bailey hadde en vanskelig tid å velge outs og i stedet blinket ut en ny konkurranse program kalt Platform, som har ambisiøse kino. Mye oppmerksomhet har blitt betalt til Ben Wheatley film som er veldig bra, og jeg tror folk kommer til å elske det, men det er noen andre filmer i den delen som virkelig vil overraske folk, sier Bailey.

av mine favoritter er en film som heter Bull, fra Gabriel Mascaro. Når jeg så det jeg hadde den samme følelsen som jeg hadde første gang jeg så en David Lynch film. Følelsen av å bli dratt inn i en verden som er helt nytt, og se ting som er veldig overraskende. voksende kanadiske filmskapere, plukket han Stephen Dunn debutfilm Monster, og kaller det av de sterkeste filmene i vår lineup. bare et kjempefint kommer av alder og kommer ut historien vakker stilig, veldig emosjonell. Det er omtrent så god som du kunne få fra en debutfilm. Toronto International Film Festival går av stabelen torsdag.

B Meieri Tilbake Åpne fem måneder etter East Village Explosion

B Meieri Tilbake Åpne fem måneder etter East Village Explosion

En elskede kosher middag i East Village, B Dairy, gjenåpnet på fredag, fem måneder etter en dødelig eksplosjon jevnet tre bygninger på blokken. NY1 Michael Scotto var der som kunder tilbake for å få deres Challah fikse.

Inne, lang tid arbeidere ble fyre opp takke og spent forbereder seg på å komme tilbake til arbeid etter at East Village Eksplosjon i slutten av mars tvunget B Dairy å stenge dørene.

Jeg kan ikke sove hele natten, sier Mike Tarabih, ansatt på B Dairy.

Jeg fikk det første måltidet,» sa en mann. Ja!canada goose jakke

Kosher kafeen har vært et innslag i dette nabolaget for 73 år. Det ble ikke skadet da eksplosjonen jevnet tre bygninger rett nede i blokken, men gassen ble stengt av.

For dørene her å gjenåpne, eieren måtte gjøre en rekke nødvendige oppgraderinger til sin butikk, men disse forbedringene ble gjort enda verre av alle byråkrati han måtte skjære gjennom.

For opprømt eieren, Fawzy Abdelwahed dagen kunne ikke komme fort nok. Under avslutnings plaget han opp titusenvis av dollar i utgifter. Bidrag fra lang tid kunder lettet smertene, men han fryktet at han kanskje må stenge.

For en stund jeg bare håper og takk Gud vi er nå tilbake i business, sa Abdelwahed.

Og det er gode nyheter for B gjengangere som ser det som en av de siste store familiedrevet diners i en by som blir mer og mer corporate. B er New York på alle måter en Kosher restaurant eid av en egyptisk og bemannet av en FN-arbeidere. For en patron, er dette stedet bedre enn familien.

Finding the most important brain regions

When you type a search into Google it figures out the most important websites based in part on how many links each has from other websites. Taking up precious website space with a link is costly, making each additional link to a page a good indicator of importance.

We thought the same logic might apply to brain regions. Making a new brain connection (and keeping it) is metabolically and developmentally costly, suggesting that regions with many connections must be providing important enough functions to make those connections worth the sacrifice.

We developed two new metrics for quantifying the most connected—and therefore likely the most important—brain regions in a recently published study (Cole et al. (2010). Identifying the brain’s most globally connected regions, NeuroImage 49(4): 3132-3148).

We found that two large-scale brain networks were among the top 5% of globally connected regions using both metrics (see figure above). The cognitive control network (CCN) is involved in attention, working memory, decision-making and other important high-level cognitive processes (see Cole & Schneider, 2007). In contrast, the default-mode network (DMN) is typically anti-correlated with the CCN and is involved in mind-wandering, long-term memory retrieval, and self-reflection.

Needless to say, these networks have highly important roles! Without them we would have no sense of self-control (via the CCN) or even a sense of self to begin with (via the DMN).

However, there are other important functions (such as arousal, sleep regulation, breathing, etc.) that are not reflected here, most of which involve subcortical regions. These regions are known to project widely throughout the brain, so why aren’t they showing up?

It turns out that these subcortical regions only show up for one of the two metrics we used. This metric—unlike the other one—includes low-strength connections. Subcortical regions tend to be small and project weak connections all over the brain, such that only the metric including weak connections could identify them up.

I recently found out that this article received the 2010 NeuroImage Editor’s Choice Award (Methods section). I was somewhat surprised by this, since I thought there wasn’t much interest in the study. When I looked up the most popular articles at NeuroImage, however, I found out it was the 7th most downloaded article from January to May 2010. Hopefully this interest will lead to some innovative follow-ups to try to understand what makes these brain regions so special!


secondo il cronoprogramma

Eppure, secondo il cronoprogramma che suddivide la realizzazione del nuovo tratto di tangenziale e dell’annesso sottopassaggio in tre fasi i tempi potrebbero anche essere rispettati con consegna dei lavori nel settembre 2013. In fondo, dei 5,8 milioni necessari per portare a termine la viabilità, il Comune ne ha già spesi 2,6. Un altro milione è stato stanziato nel bilancio preventivo per il 2012, che domani verrà approvato dal consiglio comunale.

La guerra in Mesopotamia, il secondo grande errore strategico di Bush, ha trasformato quella regione in terra del jihad. Dopo l’ Afghanistan del jihad antisovietico negli anni Ottanta, l’Iraq è divenuto il luogo del secondo grande pellegrinaggio armato internazionalista islamista . Allora il Nemico era l’Urss, vent’anni dopo gli Stati Uniti.
Moncler Outlet Online Shop Italia-Moncler Outlet
Arriva una primavera di acconciature semplici nella forma, ma particolari nei dettagli. Le passerelle di stagione sembrano dire: non necessario inventare niente di complicato per dare un bel twist al proprio look. Dominano le sfilate, infatti, dei raccolti semplicissimi da realizzare da sole, ma che trovano un nuovo appeal grazie a piccole astuzie e una cascata di accessori.

Per chi desidera fare acquisti per la casa, il negozio “1870 Arturo Pasquinucci” arriva al 50% su prodotti selezionati di diverso tipo: da oggettistica e arredamento alle idee regalo. Positiva la prima mattinata per la “storica” commessa di “Blue Mama” (abbigliamento da 0 a 16 anni), Ambra Pacciardi che consiglia sicura: Un ottimo acquisto è il piumino Geox o Sarabanda: ottima qualità al 30%. E’ c’è ampia scelta per l’abbigliamento bambini: da “I nini” si scontano scarpe fino al 50%; da “Z”, marchio francese, si arriva al 60% su tutta la merce autunno inverno e da Prenatàl si ottiene anche un buono sconto del 20% sulla merce nuova.

La linea di trasporto marittimo Grado Trieste e viceversa, a disposizione tre volte al giorno, si arricchisce quindi di un nuovo “servizio a bordo”. Le partenze da Trieste sono previste alle 8.15, 12.45 e 16.45 mentre le partenze da Grado 9.45, 14.15 e 16.15 ogni giorno escluso il lunedì. Dunque, grazie alla collaborazione con l’associazione DelTa che si occupa già da tempo di censimenti di cetacei e tartarughe nel golfo di Trieste, ricercatori e studenti universitari saranno imbarcati un giorno a settimana per effettuare il monitoraggio delle specie marine ritenute in pericolo e quindi protette da convenzioni internazionali..

S perch se gli italiani sono nella media (+12,4%) mentre la Francia molto pi forte (+19,4%), c anche chi tra le italiane fa meglio e registra tassi di crescita francesi, come nel caso di Prada, Ferragamo e Moncler. E Prada anche l marchio italiano inserito nella Top 100 dei pi redditizi del pianeta secondo la classifica della societ di consulenza Millward Brown. In base a questa ricerca infatti il brand di Patrizio Bertelli e Miuccia Prada si classifica come il 96esimo pi visto, riconosciuto, e perci redditizio del globo..

American Eagle Soars Above the Competition

American Eagle Soars Above the Competition

Judging by the retail sector’s recent carnage, there might be just one retailer worth owning these days teen apparel firm American Eagle Outfitters (AEO).

I’ve recommended AEO on numerous occasions over the past year, although that’s been a mixed call at best, as the stock has dropped nearly 6% intraday over the past two months or so.

AEO’s movement has been bewildering to me because company continues to crush analyst forecasts on both the top and bottom lines, while the retailer’s management team is working like a well oiled machine. Nonetheless, the stock is trading at a mere 12x forward earnings.

I think the market just can’t believe that what American Eagle is doing can be sustainable in an era of fast fashion and large scale apparel bankruptcies, like those of Aeropostale (AROPQ) and Pacific Sunwear (PSUNQ). There’s just this general distrust for all apparel stocks, especially those that cater to fickle teens. After all, one miscue on knit tops for the back to school season could mean a disastrous year.

Moreover, the market has been keen on the turnaround story at Abercrombie Fitch (ANF). I don’t blame investors for that, as ANF has really begun to head down the right direction operationally.

Still, American Eagle deserves more respect for its impressive performance over the past year, as well as for the momentum that it has as we head closer to the back to school season. I suspect some of this respect will start to surface over the next several weeks as AEO tells its story in various venues.

Here are several things that jumped off the page to me from the company’s most recent earnings report:

Good Growth at AEO’s Core Brand

American Eagle’s namesake stores saw comps increase 4% during the first quarter despite the weak mall traffic and poor weather that tripped up just about every other retailer.

I agree with management when it says AEO continues to gain market share, and the company’s latest results support that notion. Where that share is coming from is bankrupt Aeropostale and other mall retailers as American Eagle sharpens its prices and continues to strike the right mark with its fashions.

A big subset of teens don’t want to dress like H models and the prefer preppier offerings that they can still find at American Eagle. Teens are also freakin’ lazy and don’t want to wander around a department store like Macy’s (M). They’d rather head to American Eagle’s smaller stores, where they know the sizes and product assortment and can get in and out.

Plenty of Oxygen at Aerie

Aerie is American Eagle’s intimates business, which investors seem to have forgotten because the company is no longer aggressively expanding the format.

That’s fine with me, because AEO is continuing to refine the product and consumers are eating it up hand over fist. The brand put up a 30% comp increase during the first quarter, which is completely abnormal in today’s consumer environment.

Importantly, that represents diversified growth that shows consumers have loyalty to the American Eagle brand. Online sales also surged in the quarter and now represent about 30% of the brand’s sales.

Bras, undies, apparel and swimwear were all strong performers for the unit. In other words, Aerie’s growth isn’t driven by one single style fad, which is good to know if you plan to invest in an apparel brand for more than a month.

American Eagle’s CEO Is a Top Dog

In a retail sector that’s chock full of subpar management think Gap Stores (GPS) I think that American Eagle CEO Jay Schottenstein is the chief that you want to bet on.

He was basically American Eagle’s original architect, having served as CEO from 1992 to 2002. Schottenstein then moved over to the chairmanship, but returned as interim CEO in January 2014 and permanent CEO last December.

From what I’ve long seen of Schottenstein (I used to cover AEO as an analyst), he’s a proven “results getter” who’s good at building teams. For example, I think the American Eagle team is working cohesively with the Aerie team, while the digital team is working cohesively with the stores team. In today’s “omni channel” retail environment, such collaboration is critical to success.

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Employees of TheStreet are restricted from trading individual securities. Please note that due to factors including low market capitalization and/or insufficient public float, we consider AROPQ and PSUNQ to be a small cap stock. You should be aware that such stocks are subject to more risk than stocks of larger companies, including greater volatility, lower liquidity and less publicly available information, and that postings such as this one can have an effect on their stock prices.

Carlos Sastre passe professionnel

Carlos Sastre passe professionnel en 1997 dans l’équipe ONCE et il fait partie de la Team CSC depuis 2002. Régulièrement considéré comme un outsider, il a emmené, en tant qu’équipier, des coureurs comme Laurent Jalabert, Joseba Beloki et Ivan Basso dans sa carrière. Il est bon grimpeur et s’est toujours distingué dans les courses par étapes comme le Tour de France ou le Tour d’Espagne..

Encore faut il procéder convenablement. En utilisant les pots de l’année dernière simplement passés au lave vaisselle après usage. Sortant de l’armoir sans les relaver de nouveau, j’y verse la confiture bouillante, visse immédiatement le couvercle tant que le verre est encore saisissable à la main et je retourne le pot sur un plateau.

Autre extrait à découvrir : La Vie Par Procuration , revu par Pauline et Leslie. C’est une chanson que tout le monde connaît, que j’ai entendue à la radio, que j’ai aimé chanter depuis toute petite. C’était donc un vrai choix , souligne Pauline dans une vidéo teaser. lancel premier flirt

Although Ugg Australia are knwns as the UGGs Nederland, it also creates other types of footwear now like slippers, shoes, and clothes which probably you do not know clearly. In fact, there are not only UGGs online are offered to the public. They are versatile footwear.

Ritchie, ‘Shell Carving: History and Techniques’, Cranbury, New Jersey, South Brunswick and New York, 1974, illus. On p. 196). Alors, reprends le journaliste l doit apprendre lire, compter et manger. Un process qui avait port ses fruits lorsque le sp de l Jacques Puisais avait lanc l des classes du go dans les ann 70. On s alors rendu compte que ces classes les consciences des enfants et pouvaient un moyen de susciter des vocations chez ceux qui allaient devenir les consommateurs de demain..

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Cingulate Cortex and the Evolution of Human Uniqueness

Figuring out how the brain decides between two options is difficult. This is especially true for the human brain, whose activity is typically accessible only via the small and occasionally distorted window provided by new imaging technologies (such as functional MRI (fMRI)).

In contrast, it is typically more accurate to observe monkey brains since the skull can be opened and brain activity recorded directly.

Despite this, if you were to look just at the human research, you would consider it a fact that the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) increases its activity during response conflict. The thought is that this brain region detects that you are having trouble making decisions, and signals other brain regions to pay more attention.

If you were to only look at research with monkeys, however, you would think otherwise. No research with macaque monkeys (the ‘non-human primate’ typically used in neuroscience research) has found conflict activity in ACC.

My most recent publication looks at two possible explanations for this discrepancy: 1) Differences in methods used to study these two species, and 2) Fundamental evolutionary differences between the species.

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A Meta-Meta-Analysis of Brain Functions

Thousands of brain imaging studies are published each year. A subset of these studies are replications, or slight variations, of previous studies. Attempting to come to a solid conclusion based on the complex brain activity patterns reported by all these replications can be daunting. Meta-analysis is one tool that has been used to make sense of it all.

Meta-analyses take locations of brain activity in published scientific papers and pool them together to see if there is any consistency.

This is typically done using a standardized brain that all the studies fit their data to (e.g., Talairach). Activation coordinates are then placed on a template brain as dots. When dots tend to clump together then the author can claim some consistency is present across studies. See the first figure for an example of this kind of result.

More sophisticated ways of doing this have emerged, however. One of these advanced methods is called activation likelihood estimation (ALE). This method was developed by Peter Terkeltaub et al. (in conjunction with Jason Chein and Julie Fiez) in 2002 and extended by Laird et al. in 2005.

ALE computes the probability of each part of the brain being active across studies. This is much more powerful than simple point-plotting because it takes much of the guess-work out of deciding if a result is consistent across studies or not.

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Keeping Up: Tips for Managing Science Reading

Keeping up with new findings is constantly becoming more difficult with the rate of publication in just cognitive neuroscience increasing by over 200 per year, with an overall increase of 2333 over the last ten years  (see figure below). I will briefly describe some methods I’ve recently discovered to help deal with this onslaught of new information.

I have found that using a combination of computer applications and websites can be effective for keeping up with science readings.

The websites are useful for searching and subscribing to syndicated (RSS) feeds. The applications are useful for organizing articles.

Websites for searching

Google Scholar
This website is extremely useful for exploring a comprehensive collection of research on a particular topic. It uses Google’s legendary indexing algorithms to make keyword searching a breeze, while browsing citation links can reveal a chain of publications on a topic. It’s also useful because citations can be quickly imported into programs like EndNote, and articles that are often unavailable on other websites are made available via Google’s indexing.

Scopus is “the largest abstract and citation database of research literature and quality web sources”. It’s very useful for seeing all the papers that have cited a particular article, and all the papers that article has cited. Google Scholar also has this feature, but in my experience there are more false-positives than with Scopus. The consistent link, citation, and abstract-viewing interface makes Scopus often more effective than Google Scholar.

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