Pinpointing the brain’s arbitrator: Reliability weighed before brain centers given control


amanimal called my attention to this fascinating article, which has a bearing on yesterday’s and many other posts I’ve made about brain processing.

We tend to be creatures of habit. In fact, the human brain has a learning system that is devoted to guiding us through routine, or habitual, behaviors. At the same time, the brain has a separate goal-directed system for the actions we undertake only after careful consideration of the consequences. We switch between the two systems as needed. But how does the brain know which system to give control to at any given moment? Enter The Arbitrator.

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have, for the first time, pinpointed areas of the brain — the inferior lateral prefrontal cortex and frontopolar cortex — that seem to serve as this “arbitrator” between the two decision-making systems, weighing the reliability of the predictions each makes and then…

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Tutorial on Binary Descriptors – part 1

Gil's CV blog

Why Binary Descriptors?

Following the previous post on descriptors, we’re now familiar with histogram of gradients (HOG) based patch descriptors. SIFT[1], SURF[2] and GLOH[3] have been around since 1999 and been used successfully in various applications, including image alignment, 3D reconstruction and object recognition. On the practicle side, OpenCV includes implementations of SIFT and SURF and Matlab packages are also available (check vlfeat for SIFT and extractFeatures in Matlab computer vision toolbox for SURF).

BRISK descriptor - sampling pairs BRISK descriptor – sampling pairs

So, if there no question about SIFT and SURF performance, why not use them in every application?

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A Short introduction to descriptors

Gil's CV blog

Since the next few posts will talk about binary descriptors, I thought it would be a good idea to post a short introduction to the subject of patch descriptors. The following post will talk about the motivation to patch descriptors, the common usage and highlight the Histogram of Oriented Gradients (HOG) based descriptors.

I think the best way to start is to consider one application of patch descriptors and to explain the common pipeline in their usage. Consider, for example, the application of image alignment: we would like to align two images of the same scene taken at slightly different viewpoints. One way of doing so is by applying the following steps:

  1. Compute distinctive keypoints in both images (for example, corners).

  2. Compare the keypoints between the two images to find matches.

  3. Use the matches to find a general mapping between the images (for example, a homography).

  4. Apply the mapping on…

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2013 top ten brain science studies

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Science and research NEWS

Neuroscience gives us fascinating insights into how our brains work and what incredibly flexible and miraculous, but also mysterious organs they are. An article in Forbes Magazine outlines the 2013 top ten brain science studies, with some of them having practical implications for our everyday lives. We outline the article here.

1. The brain takes toxins out of it while we sleep
During daytime, a lot of neurotoxins that are connected to diseases like Alzheimer’s assemble in our brain. Researchers now have found that while we sleep, so-called “hidden caves” in our brain open up and neurotoxins are flushed out by cerebrospinal fluid, a fluid found in the brain and spine. This study implies that our brain needs sleep to get rid of the waste it assembles during the daytime. Thus, lack of sleep is likely to be a brain killer.
The original article was published in…

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