Researchers find neurological notes that help identify how we process music

first_imgNot surprisingly, the study found that musicians have more potent oscillatory mechanisms than do non-musicians–but this discovery’s importance goes beyond the value of musical instruction.“What this shows is we can be trained, in effect, to make more efficient use of our auditory-detection systems,” observes study co-author David Poeppel, a professor in NYU’s Department of Psychology and Center for Neural Science and director of the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt. “Musicians, through their experience, are simply better at this type of processing.”Previous research has shown that brain rhythms very precisely synchronize with speech, enabling us to parse continuous streams of speech–in other words, how we can isolate syllables, words, and phrases from speech, which is not, when we hear it, marked by spaces or punctuation.However, it has not been clear what role such cortical brain rhythms, or oscillations, play in processing other types of natural and complex sounds, such as music.To address these questions, the NYU researchers conducted three experiments using magnetoencephalography (MEG), which allows measurements of the tiny magnetic fields generated by brain activity. The study’s subjects were asked to detect short pitch distortions in 13-second clips of classical piano music (by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms) that varied in tempo–from half a note to eight notes per second. The study’s authors divided the subjects into musicians (those with at least six years of musical training and who were currently practicing music) and non-musicians (those with two or fewer years of musical training and who were no longer involved in it).For music that is faster than one note per second, both musicians and non-musicians showed cortical oscillations that synchronized with the note rate of the clips–in other words, these oscillations were effectively employed by everyone to process the sounds they heard, although musicians’ brains synchronized more to the musical rhythms. Only musicians, however, showed oscillations that synchronized with unusually slow clips.This difference, the researchers say, may suggest that non-musicians are unable to process the music as a continuous melody rather than as individual notes. Moreover, musicians much more accurately detected pitch distortions–as evidenced by corresponding cortical oscillations. Brain rhythms, they add, therefore appear to play a role in parsing and grouping sound streams into ‘chunks’ that are then analyzed as speech or music. LinkedIn New York University researchers have identified how brain rhythms are used to process music, a finding that also shows how our perception of notes and melodies can be used as a method to better understand the auditory system.The study, which appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, points to a newfound role the brain’s cortical oscillations play in the detection of musical sequences and suggests musical training can enhance the functional role of brain rhythms.“We’ve isolated the rhythms in the brain that match rhythms in music,” explains Keith Doelling, an NYU Ph.D. student and the study’s lead author. “Specifically, our findings show that the presence of these rhythms enhances our perception of music and of pitch changes.” Share on Facebook Emailcenter_img Pinterest Share on Twitter Sharelast_img read more

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40 days of mindfulness meditation leads to structural brain changes and improved quality of life

first_imgLinkedIn Pinterest Email In addition to these neurological changes, participants also showed a marked decrease in both depressive and anxious tendencies, as evaluated by the self-assessment questionnaires. More significant reductions in depression and anxiety scores correlated with greater structural changes in the aforementioned brain regions, lending support to previous research in the same domain.The study, as noted by researchers, should be considered in light of certain methodological limitations. First and foremost, a relatively small sample size of 14 participants limits the study’s generalizability. There was also no control group, which is unfortunate, as this makes it difficult to be sure that the observed changes were, in fact, a result of the meditation practice, and not some other, external factor.Nonetheless, the study’s findings are both intriguing and promising: they contribute to our understanding of how brain structures are changed by meditation and mindfulness, and provides a number of opportunities for future research. The most striking finding of the study is that a mere 40 days of meditation was needed to both alter the structure and function of participant’s brains, and improve the participants’ quality of life as measured by depression symptomatology and anxiety.The study, “Alterations in Brain Structure and Amplitude of Low-frequency after 8 weeks of Mindfulness Meditation Training in Meditation-Naïve Subjects“, was authored by Chuan-Chih Yang, Alfonso Barrós-Loscertales, Meng Li, Daniel Pinazo, Viola Borchardt, César Ávila, and Martin Walter. A study in Scientific Reports has helped reinforce our understanding of how meditation and mindfulness affect change in the structure and functioning of certain brain areas, and how these changes lead to increased wellness.In the study, fourteen university students participated in a 40-day meditation training course. None of the students had any prior training in meditation, which allowed the researchers to evaluate changes in the function and structure of a number of brain regions. In addition, subjects were given self-assessment questionnaires before and after the meditation course to monitor any changes in mood and wellbeing.After 40 days of mindfulness training, imaging techniques revealed alterations in the precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex. These two brain regions are thought to be involved at various levels in self-awareness and consciousness. They also play critical roles in the Default Mode Network, a vast network of interconnected structures that contributes to certain fundamental aspects of personhood, including the perception of one’s own emotional state, understanding others’ thoughts and emotions, and moral reasoning.center_img Share on Facebook Share Share on Twitterlast_img read more

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Treasury tax windfall down to 3% SDLT surcharge

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

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Measure Paves Way For Montaukett Recognition

first_imgNew York State Senator Kenneth LaValle and Assemblyman Fred Thiele announced last week that both houses in the New York State Legislature had passed legislation to reinstate state recognition of the Montaukett Indian Tribe. The vote passed overwhelmingly in both chambers and now goes to Governor Andrew Cuomo for his signature.The tribe lost its recognition by the state in 1910 in the case of Pharaoh vs Bensen, when a judge declared the tribe to be extinct, despite the presence of several tribal representatives in his courtroom. In 1994, a state Supreme Court justice ruling on another matter called into question the “propriety” of the Pharaoh ruling.In 2017, the governor vetoed similar legislation. However, since last year, the tribe’s representatives have met with the governor’s legal team to provide additional information relating to state recognition.“Prior to 1910, the Montaukett Indians were recognized by New York State as a tribe,” said LaValle in a release. “The designation was improperly removed from them in 1910, and it’s time the Montaukett Tribe receives the appropriate recognition. I am pleased that we were able to obtain the approval of the measure from both the Senate and the Assembly.”“I’m delighted that the Senate came through in the 11th hour to vote in favor of this important measure, following the Assembly’s approval,” said Thiele in a release. “I thank Senator LaValle for his significant efforts to move this legislation forward. The Montaukett Indian Nation is alive and thriving, and I’m proud the state is finally correcting a grave injustice.”sjkotz@indyeastend.com Sharelast_img read more

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Costamare-York Joint Venture Ready for the Acquisition

first_imgCostamare Inc. announced today that it has entered into a joint venture Framework Deed with York Capital Management Global Advisors LLC (York), a New York-based investment advisor firm, to invest jointly up to approximately $500 million in equity for the acquisition of container vessels.Under the Agreement:Costamare Inc. will hold up to a 49% interest in the joint venture. It will have the option to increase its percentage participation from a minimum of 25% to a maximum of 49% within a pre-determined time period after each acquisition commitment has been agreed upon.Decisions regarding vessel acquisitions will be taken jointly.The joint venture is expected to be each party’s exclusive vehicle for the acquisition of vessels in the container industry during the two-year investment period and it will have a right of first refusal on any container vessel acquisitions proposed by either party.The term of the joint venture is six years unless earlier terminated by the parties upon the occurrence of certain extraordinary events or disagreements. Upon any termination of the joint venture, Costamare Inc. will have the right to require a split of the vessel fleet between the parties.Costamare Shipping Company S.A. (Costamare Shipping), an affiliate of Costamare Inc. controlled by one of its principal shareholders, will provide shipmanagement services, with the right to subcontract to V.Ships Greece Ltd. and/or Shanghai Costamare Ship Management Co., Ltd. Costamare Shipping currently provides shipmanagement services to Costamare Inc. on an exclusive basis.The board of directors of Costamare Inc. has unanimously approved the Framework Deed and necessary waivers under the existing management agreement between Costamare Shipping and Costamare Inc.Gregory Zikos, Chief Financial Officer of the Company, commented: “We are pleased to announce our joint venture agreement with York, a first class and well respected fund manager, and we look forward to pursuing investment opportunities in container shipping. The structure of the agreement is designed to avoid any conflict between the public company and private investors; on the contrary, Costamare Inc. will be co-investing alongside York and will have the opportunity to earn incremental returns. With this agreement we complement our own purchasing power with that of our partner, allowing us to pursue opportunities of larger scale and cater to the increased needs of our clients. Our strategy has always been returns-oriented; we believe that our partnership with York will further enhance investor returns.”The summary of the Framework Deed set out above is qualified in its entirety by reference to the full text of the Framework Deed, which will be filed with the SEC.[mappress]Press Release, May 30, 2013;last_img read more

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Petrobras Finds More Oil in Santos Basin

first_imgKnown as the 3-BRSA-1184-RJS (3-RJS-723), the well is located at a water depth of 2,011 meters, some 200 km from the city of Rio de Janeiro and 7.5 km southeast of discovery well 2-ANP-1-RJS (Franco).The new well has confirmed the presence of good quality oil (28º API) in excellent carbonate reservoirs below the salt layer, starting at a depth of 5,398 meters. A total depth of 5,900 meters was reached after a 396-meter column of oil was confirmed.Samples were collected in reservoirs of thickness similar to that of the discovery well, confirming the extension of these oil reservoirs towards the eastern section of the Franco block.The drilling of this well is an addition to the mandatory exploration program for Franco, designed to improve volume delimitation.Under the Right’s Transfer Agreement, Petrobras is entitled to produce up to 3,058 billion barrels of oil equivalent in Franco. The exploratory phase is under way and is expected to be completed by September 2014.[mappress]Press Release, November 20, 2013 Petrobras has completed drilling another well in the Franco area of the Santos Basin included in the Right’s Transfer agreement.last_img read more

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Marco Polo asks money back from Sembcorp Marine

first_imgMarco Polo Marine’s subsidiary, Marco Polo Drilling (MP Drilling), on Tuesday initiated the contractual dispute process against Sembcorp Marine’s subsidiary, PPL Shipyard, seeking refund of payments made for a rig construction. Namely, MP Drilling last week cancelled a newbuild rig construction contract with PPL due to, as the company said, PPL’s failure to comply with certain of its material contractual obligations.The two companies entered into a jack-up rig construction contract worth $214.3 million in February 2014 and the rig was scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2015.MP Drilling last week refused to take the delivery of the rig asking for a refund from PPL of the initial amount of 10% of the contract price (approximately $21.4 million) previously made to PPL together with interest.According to MP Drilling, following the notice of termination of the rig construction contract, PPL has not acceded to its demand for, among others, the refund of the initial payment. As a consequance, MP Drilling has initiated the contractual dispute resolution process against PPL to seek the refund of the initial payment.Offshore Energy Today Stafflast_img read more

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Ignorance is no excuse

first_imgSubscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe now for unlimited access Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAYlast_img read more

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Port Corpus Christi names director of Engineering Services

first_imgDavid’s experience at the Port and in private practice made him well qualified for the responsibilities as the new head of the Port’s Engineering Department. Krams will replace Greg W. Brubeck, who officially retires July 31, 2012 after 23 years of service to the Port.Krams joined the port in 1994, after first working as a consulting engineer in the Corpus Christi area for ten years, specialising in underwater engineering related to marine and waterfront facilities. Prior to his promotion as director of Engineering Services, Krams was the port’s senior project engineer.www.portofcc.comlast_img read more

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Bryn Thomas opens in Newcastle

first_imgLocated in Newcastle, the facility will be Bryn Thomas Cranes’ second depot in the northeast of England and it will initially house seven of the company’s cranes, with a view to growing the depot to twelve machines in 2018. The depot will offer cranes ranging from 35 to 500 tonnes lifting capacity; it will be the main location of the groups flagship heavy crane, the 500-tonne capacity Liebherr LTM1500-8.1, which will be delivered in October 2017. In addition to crane rental services, the depot will also offer contract lifting support staff, lifting equipment, heavy transportation and service support vehicles.Bryn Thomas Cranes has appointed Gary Brown, previously depot manager at Ainscough Crane Hire, as manager of the Newcastle facility.   www.brynthomascranes.comlast_img read more

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