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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

suicide related news, schizophrenic computer to help understanhuman brain, all humans are liarsd

Husband booked for abetting wife's suicide
May 5, 2011, 06.08am IST

NAGPUR: Yashodhara Nagar police have booked a man for abetting his wife to commit suicide. The accused husband has been identified as Narendra Dhanraj Nimje (35), a resident of Vinoba Bhave Nagar.

Police said on April 28, Archana (30) had committed suicide by setting herself ablaze following mental and physical torture by her husband. She was admitted to Mayo hospital with serious burns and on May 2, Archana succumbed to her burns. On the basis of her statement, the police have booked Narendra.


May 5th 2011

80 year old man from chennai commits suicide in Kerala bhavan, vashi, navi mumbai.


47% of young Indian women marry before age 18

47% of young Indian women marry before 18
Anahita Mukherji, May 10, 2011, 03.18am IST

Population Reference Bureau

MUMBAI: That India marries off its daughters in such a hurry that they have little time to grow out of their teens is a fact that no longer raises eyebrows. But what should come as a shock to a country that preens itself over its growing economic prowess is that we fare worse than sub-Saharan Africa, or for that matter, all of Africa put together, when it comes to child marriage.

If that's not bad enough, sample this. The degree to which child marriage is practised in India is more than double the figure for Pakistan, a country we don't quite look up to as a role model. While India would like to believe that it will one day break into the league of countries such as the US and UK, we can take solace from the fact that a worldwide scorecard on child marriage shows that we're better off than Bangladesh, Mali and Burkina Faso. The US and UK dont even figure on the list.
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A 2011 data sheet called `The World's Women and Girls', released by the Washington-based Population Reference Bureau, shows that 47% of women in India between the ages of 20 and 24 were married by 18. This is higher than the average for South Central Asia (45%), of which India is a part. The average for Africa as a continent works out to 34%. Most African countries fare better than India, including Ghana, Sudan and Nigeria. While Pakistan's score works out to 24%, even Afghanistan, with a pathetic score of 43%, does a better job than India when it comes to curbing child marriage.

Vibhuti Patel, director, post graduate studies and research (PGSR) and head of the PG economics department at SNDT University, who was an early advocate of India's feminist movement, points to the rather strange link between child marriage and the success of some of India's welfare schemes such as the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).

SSA helps schoolgirls till Class IV, after which there are a large number of dropouts and ICDS children in the age group of 0-6. As a result adolescent girls, who mostly drop out after Class VII as they can't cope up with math, science and English, don't have to look after their younger siblings. ``In the absence of any programmes targeting adolescent girls in terms of vocational training or life-skill development by the state or by civil society groups, many parents are worried that these girls, who are now free of responsibility and have a lot of time on their hands, may end up in premarital relationships and turn unwed mothers,'' she said.

‘Schizophrenic’ computer to help understand our brain
May 9, 2011, 07.40am IST

Yale University|
University of Texas

WASHINGTON: In a unique experiment, scientists in the US claim to have afflicted computers with virtual schizophrenia to better understand the human brain with the condition. A team from University of Texas and Yale University has used a virtual computer model or "neural network" to simulate the excessive release of dopamine in the brain.

The findings, published in the 'Biological Psychiatry' journal, revealed that the network recalled memories in a distinctly schizophrenic-like fashion . "The hypothesis is that dopamine encodes the importance the salience of experience. When there's too much dopamine, it leads to exaggerated salience, and the brain ends up learning from things that it shouldn't be learning from," said team member Uli Grasemann.

The results bolster a hypothesis known in schizophrenia circles as the hyperlearning hypothesis, which posits that people suffering from schizophrenia have brains that lose the ability to forget or ignore as much as they normally would.
Without forgetting, they lose the ability to extract what's meaningful out of the immensity of stimuli the brain encounters. They start making connections that aren't real, or drowning in a sea of so many connections they lose the ability to stitch together any kind of coherent story.

The neural network used by Grasemann and his adviser, Professor Risto Miikkulainen, is called DISCERN . Designed by Miikkulainen, DISCERN is able to learn natural language . In this research, it was used to simulate what happens to language as result of eight different types of neurological dysfunction. The results of the simulations were compared by Ralph Hoffman, professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, to what he saw when studying human schizophrenics.

"With neural networks, you basically train them by showing them examples, over and over and over again. Every time you show it an example, you say, if this is the input, then this should be your output, and if this is the input, then that should be your output. "You do it again and again thousands of times, and every time it adjusts a little bit more towards doing what you want. In the end, if you do it enough, the network has learned," Grasemann said.

In order to model hyperlearning, Grasemann and Miikkulainen ran the system through its paces again, but with one key parameter altered. They simulated an excessive release of dopamine by increasing the system's learning rate-essentially telling it to stop forgetting so much.


All humans are born liars
All humans are born liars, & we are not fibbing
May 9, 2011, 07.41am IST

LONDON: If your child lies at three, be delighted, if they lie at seven, be very afraid but please don't fret about telling fibs — it's what that makes us human, says a new book. According to the book, 'Born Liars', penned by Ian Leslie, people are "all born liars" . Between the ages of two and four, children's lies are usually told to avoid punishment. Very young children tend not to be good at lying. Then, at around the age of four something changes, it says.

The book claims that somewhere between the ages of three-and-a-half and four and-a-half, children learn how to lie with much greater skill and enthusiasm. According to the book, lying is hard and children who lie well must be able to recognize the truth, conceive of an alternative, false but coherent story and juggle those two versions in their mind, while selling the alternative reality to someone else — all the time bearing in mind what the other person is likely to be thinking and feeling.
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It is wondrous that a child of four should be able to do this — if you catch your three-year-old in a well-told lie, be impressed — but don't congratulate them, it says.

However, the number of lies told by children tends to spike among those aged four as they exercise their amazing new powers, but it usually declines during their first school years, as the child receives social feedback.

Kids learn that the benefits of lying come at a hefty price. They find that if they lie too much, teachers and friends lose faith in their credibility and they become unpopular, says the author.

The majority of children learn not to lie instinctively, but a few remain impervious to it. Persistent lying in older children is usually the sign of a deeper malaise, according to the book. If a child is lying habitually after the age of seven, they may continue to do so for years to come, even into adulthood.
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