Τρίτη, 27 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News


From chaos to order: How ants optimize food search

Posted: 26 May 2014 03:27 PM PDT

Ants are capable of complex problem-solving strategies that could be widely applied as optimization techniques. An individual ant searching for food walks in random ways. Yet the collective foraging behavior of ants goes well beyond that, a mathematical study reveals: The animal movements at a certain point change from chaos to order. This happens in a self-organized way. Understanding the ants could help analyze similar phenomena -- for instance how humans roam the Internet.

Sound and vision: Visual cortex processes auditory information, too

Posted: 25 May 2014 12:53 PM PDT

"Seeing is believing," so the idiom goes, but new research suggests vision also involves a bit of hearing too. "So, for example, if you are in a street and you hear the sound of an approaching motorbike, you expect to see a motorbike coming around the corner. If it turned out to be a horse, you'd be very surprised," researchers said.

Buried fossil soils found to be awash in carbon

Posted: 25 May 2014 12:47 PM PDT

Soils that formed on Earth's surface thousands of years ago and that are now deeply buried features of vanished landscapes have been found to be rich in carbon, adding a new dimension to our planet's carbon cycle. The finding is significant as it suggests that deep soils can contain long-buried stocks of organic carbon which could, through erosion, agriculture, deforestation, mining and other human activities, contribute to global climate change.

Seeing is a matter of experience: Visual perception for faces, letters similar

Posted: 21 May 2014 10:36 AM PDT

Faces are of tremendous importance for human beings. That's why in the course of the evolution our visual perception has specialized in the recognition of faces in particular. Until now researchers assumed that these distinct adaptation mechanisms are unique to the perception of faces. But, as scientists now have proven, a similar effect can also occur in the perception of letters.

Neuroscience's grand question: How do neurons regenerate without losing memory?

Posted: 21 May 2014 10:35 AM PDT

A new theoretical model to understand how cells monitor and self-regulate their properties in the face of continual turnover of cellular components has been developed by neuroscientists. How the continuous rebuilding of neurons' "parts" takes place without affecting our ability to think, remember, learn or otherwise experience the world is one of neuroscience's biggest questions.

Pitch-detection secrets of the inner ear revealed by research

Posted: 20 May 2014 08:55 AM PDT

The ability to discern pitch – to hear the difference between "cat," "bat" and "hat," for example – hinges on remarkable gradations in specialized cells within the inner ear. New research has explained, for the first time, what controls these cells' development and patterning – findings crucial to efforts to reverse hearing loss caused by age, loud sounds or other factors.

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