Comcast to donate $120,000 to Veteran Service Organizations as part of Dash 4 Cash

first_imgPHILADELPHIA, Pa. (April 2, 2019) — With the popular four-race Dash 4 Cash program returning to the NASCAR Xfinity Series this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway (April 6, 1 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Ch. 90), Comcast today announced that $120,000 in grants will be distributed to one Veteran Services Organization (VSO) in each of the four race markets to build an Internet Essentials Digital Rally Point for local veterans.The contribution triples the amount donated during the 2018 Dash 4 Cash, when Comcast introduced the charitable component of the program by providing grants to local organizations on behalf of Internet Essentials, the largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program for low-income households in the U.S.“We had an overwhelmingly positive response to the charitable component of Dash 4 Cash last year, and this year we hope to make an even bigger difference by tripling the contribution and focusing on our local military heroes who have given so much to our country,” said Matt Lederer, Comcast’s Vice President for Brand Partnerships. “Like all of us, the veteran community depends on the internet to succeed and stay connected. These Internet Essentials Digital Rally Points will be technology hubs where veterans can get online to take digital skills classes, apply for health benefits or jobs, file claims, access medical information, or find support networks.”This year’s grantees are focused on helping the veteran community obtain the skills they need to be successful in today’s digital world. Each one is located in a Dash 4 Cash market, near Bristol Motor Speedway, Richmond Raceway, Talladega Superspeedway and Dover International Speedway. The grants will support the creation of a computer lab, expand the availability of online training programs created in partnership with PsychArmor, and fund the ongoing management of the Digital Rally Points over a three-year period. The PsychArmor curriculum includes 10 veteran-specific digital training videos covering a range of topics, including basic digital literacy and VA benefit access.Full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers Michael Annett, Christopher Bell, Chase Briscoe and Tyler Reddick are competing for a bonus $100,000 in prize money this Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway after qualifying in last Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. The highest-finishing Dash 4 Cash eligible driver at Bristol receives the bonus and will move on to have a shot at the prize at Richmond Raceway, along with the top three finishing series regulars from Bristol. This format continues for the races at Talladega Superspeedway (April 27) and Dover International Speedway (May 4).Comcast Internet Essentials has an integrated, research-based, wrap-around design meant to address each of the three major barriers to broadband adoption. These include a lack of digital literacy skills, a lack of a computer, and the absence of a low-cost Internet service. The program is structured as a partnership between Comcast and tens of thousands of school districts, libraries, elected officials and nonprofit community partners. For more information on Internet Essentials, visit www.internetessentials.comlast_img read more

China, India Once Food Aid Recipients, Now Food Donors

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreIn the same year it stopped receiving global food aid, China emerged as the world’s third largest food donor. According to a report by the World Food Programme (WFP) released late last month, China donated 577,000 tons of food in 2005, mainly to neighbor North Korea, placing it only behind the United States and the European Union on the list of global food donors.“With 1.3 billion mouths to feed and a land mass largely unsuited to agriculture (only around 14 per cent of the territory comprises arable land), China’s achievements in vanquishing hunger are all the more impressive,” says Pallavi Aiyar in The Hindu’s online edition…Another success story is India’s transformation as a recipient of food aid in 2000 to becoming the 15th largest donor to WFP last year. (WFP delivered 54 percent of the world’s total food aid that year.)“In the last three years,” United News of India reported, “India has made donations through WFP worth about $52 million to assist children in Afghanistan and Iraq to return to schools benefitting nearly 2 million children.” The distribution of India’s biscuits at educational facilities have persuaded families to allow their daughters to enroll in schools across Afghanistan.So, the lesson is that once we help countries to become developed, they can help still more countries…The Big Picture for Food AidGlobal food aid overall grew by 10 percent to 8.2 million metric tons in 2005. China accounted for more than half of the rise in overall food aid donations in 2005, with a 260 percent increase compared to the previous year. Canada increased its donations by 42 percent, to 275,000 tons. Other relatively new donors, such as the Czech Republic, Greece, Poland, doubled or even tripled their support from 2004 to 2005.Donations from non-governmental organizations, such as the American Red Cross, increased by 64 percent.The U.S. Still Most Generous DonorThe United States remained the world’s most generous food aid donor, providing 4 million tons, or 49 percent of all donations. Overall donations from the European Union totalled 1.5 million tons, with the European Commission, Austria, Denmark, Netherlands and Sweden significantly increasing their support.“Donations of food made the difference between life and death after the tsunami, the Pakistan earthquake and in Sudan, so we are extraordinarily grateful to all who gave last year,” said James T. Morris, Executive Director of WFP.Which Countries Receive the Food For the first time on record, more than half of all food aid was sent to sub-Saharan Africa, which received 4.6 million tons of food aid. Ethiopia again topped the list of countries receiving food aid, with 1.1 million tons of food aid, or 13 percent of all food aid delivered in 2005. Other major recipients in Africa included Sudan, Uganda, Eritrea and Kenya.Food aid to Asia increased by 14 percent, and the Democratic Republic of Korea received the second-highest amount of food aid worldwide, with 1.1 million tons – most of it bilateral aid donated from China and the Republic of Korea. Bangladesh, Indonesia and Sri Lanka were also among the principal recipients.Food aid destined for Latin America and the Caribbean increased 8 percent against 2004, while deliveries to the Middle East and North Africa dropped 53 percent and to Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States fell by 30 percent.“Sadly, there still is not enough food aid to feed everyone who needs it. The number of hungry is rising by more than 4 million people a year in the developing world, even though poverty is declining. We need a food first policy,” added Morris.You can help by donating to the United Nations World Food Programme (which receives no dues or UN contributions).The Hindu- Food Security: China’s Success StoryIndia’s Success AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

In Hinesville and Savannah

first_imgCoastal Georgia’s growth prospects are among the best in the nation. Savannah’s unique ambiance, mild climate and transportation infrastructure make it an attractive place to live and do business. The Port of Savannah, manufacturing, military and the tourism industry are Savannah’s major economic drivers. In 2006, the Savannah Area Convention & Visitors Bureau reported more than 6.85 million visitors to the city during the year. By 2011, the bureau reported that the number of visitors the city attracted increased by nearly double that figure. Lodging, dining, entertainment and visitor-related transportation account for more than $2 billion in visitors’ spending per year and employ over 17,000.In 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ranked Hinesville’s metro area fourth among all the metro areas in the country in job growth in the industrial sector. The accolades continued as the area was then recognized as one of the Top 10 “Shining Examples of Economic Development That’s Working” in Southern Business & Development magazine’s 2013 winter edition. The salute was for being one of only 11 markets in the South that had seen wage growth over the past 24 months.Fort Stewart and the Port of Savannah have long been lures for the retail industry and its accompanying growth, as well as the manufacturing sector. In 1986, it took only a quick glance at the Hinesville area for executives at SNF, a French chemical company, to decide it was the perfect site for its first U.S. manufacturing site. The company is a top employer in Hinesville, third only to Fort Stewart and the Liberty County Board of Education. It’s also interesting to note that the largest workforce pool for SNF employees is among the veterans leaving Fort Stewart in retirement or at the end of their service.Although the area has been listed as one of the Top 10 most affordable places to retire, about one-third of the population in Hinesville and Savannah is under 18. The median age in Hinesville is 26 years and 31 in Savannah, meaning the workforce skews younger. Median household income in Hinesville is $43,807 and $39,386 in Savannah, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.Ports, Planes and HighwaysThree major components of Georgia’s transportation system are vital to the state’s economy — the interstate highway system, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and the deepwater ports of Savannah and Brunswick. Much of Georgia’s transportation infrastructure is based in Atlanta. The state has more than 1,200 miles of interstate highways connecting Georgia to neighboring states and the rest of the nation, connecting Georgia’s major cities, and connecting commuters’ homes to employers in the major cities. Three interstate highways converge in Atlanta, making it (along with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport) the transportation hub of the Southeast. Atlanta is one of only five cities in the nation to be served by three separate interstate highways.Interstate 95 goes along Georgia’s coast, passing near Savannah, while I-16 connects Macon and Savannah. Other interstate highways run through smaller portions of Georgia, while others provide bypasses around major cities or spurs to other areas of Georgia. Combined, all of these interstate highways make moving products and people relatively easy.The deepwater seaports of Savannah and Brunswick are another component of Georgia’s transportation system that are vital to the state’s economy. The Port of Savannah handles approximately 80 percent of the material entering Georgia via ship, and is one of the fastest-growing ports in the nation. The port has historically been important to the Savannah area. In the 19th century, the Port of Savannah became one of the most active in the United States, and the city’s residents had the opportunity to consume some of the world’s finest goods, imported by foreign merchants. The port continues to have a huge impact on the area. In 2014, it was North America’s fourth-largest port for shipping container traffic.Natural ResourcesAgriculture was essential to Georgia’s economy during its first two centuries, beginning with the settlement by English colonists, led by Gen. James E. Oglethorpe, in Savannah in 1733. Silk and indigo production, both in demand in England, were early export commodities. By 1767, almost a ton of silk per year was exported to England. Georgia’s mild climate offered perfect conditions for growing cotton, which became the dominant commodity after the American Revolution. Its production under the plantation system and shipment through the Port of Savannah helped the city’s European immigrants achieve wealth and prosperity. The invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney in 1793 while he was visiting a friend near Savannah revolutionized the cotton industry. Growing cotton almost exclusively proved to have ravaging effects on the soil. That, and the onset of a boll weevil infestation, led to the decline of cotton growth in the state. Cotton is no longer “king” in Georgia, but cotton sales still accounted for more than 18 percent of the total cash receipts for agricultural production in 2012.Today, agriculture still accounts for much of the state’s economy. Many U.S. residents wouldn’t have fruit, meat and nuts if it wasn’t for Georgia’s agriculture. The state is known as the No. 1 pecan producer in the world, and is among the leading producers of blueberries, peaches, peanuts and poultry products. Agribusiness accounts for $72 billion annually of the state’s economy, with 1 in 7 Georgians working in agriculture, forestry or a related field, according to the Georgia Farm Bureau.Fort Stewart and Hunter Army AirfieldFort Stewart is not only the largest military installation east of the Mississippi River, covering nearly 285,000 acres, but, combined with Hunter Army Airfield, is one of the largest employers in Coastal Georgia. The ratio of military to civilian employees is approximately 6 to 1, with 22,422 officers and enlisted military and 3,891 civilians employed at both installations. Fort Stewart accounts for nearly 75 percent of the military employment in the area. Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield are estimated to have an annual economic impact of $4.9 billion, according to the most recent Economic Impact Statement.last_img read more

Odds & Ends: Angela Lansbury Tips Hat to Stephen Sondheim & More

first_imgAngela Lansbury(Photo: Bruce Glikas) View Comments Date Is Set for BroadwayCon 2018Mark your calendar for the third-annual BroadwayCon, happening January 26-28, 2018 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. Cocreator and original Rent star Anthony Rapp will participate, along with Alex Brightman, Andrea Burns, Carolee Carmello, Andrew Chappelle, Lilli Cooper, Janet Dacal, Ben Fankhauser, Annie Golden, Derek Klena, Joe Mantello, Lesli Margherita, Ruthie Ann Miles, Donna Murphy, Kelli O’Hara and James Snyder. More guests will be announced at a future date.Will Barbra Streisand Reopen Broadway’s Palace Theatre?Stage and music legend Barbra Streisand could be headed back to Broadway, according to the New York Daily News. Her longtime manager, Marty Erlichman, wrote a note in the program for the memorial service of James Nederlander inferring that was the case. Prior to Nederlander’s passing, they’d been at work on a deal that would make a Streisand concert the Palace Theatre’s opening engagement following its renovation. We certainly wouldn’t be against seeing the great Miss Streisand back on Broadway. Her two appearances on the Great White Way were in the 1962 play I Can Get It for You Wholesale and her star-making performance in 1964’s Funny Girl.center_img Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today.Angela Lansbury to Pay Tribute to Stephen SondheimAngela Lansbury will take part in Irish Rep’s gala benefit production Sondheim at Seven. The five-time Tony winner who originated the role of Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd will offer the introduction to a revue that will feature Broadway stars singing from the legendary songwriters’ many musicals, including Follies, Into The Woods, Assassins and Gypsy. The gala performance will take place June 13 at 7:00pm at the Town Hall in New York City. Participating performers will be announced at a later date.Cass Morgan, Jennifer Sanchez to Test Out New Play PaulettePhantom of the Opera veteran Jeremy Hays is behind the reading of Mary Adkins’ new play Paulette. Hays is producing the reading on April 17 in Manhattan with a cast of New York stage veterans including Cass Morgan, Jennifer Allen, Vivien Bailey, Allyce Beasley, Rebecca Eichenberger, Aleisha Force, Kathleen Hays, Margaret Loesser Robinson and Jennifer Sanchez. Paulette focuses on a North Carolina mother (Morgan) coming to terms with her adult daughter’s life choices and a son-in-law in transition.Andrew Rannells, Patti Murin & More to Sing Music of Lysistrata Jones ComposerGive it up for Andrew Rannells and Patti Murin who will be part of an evening of music by Lewis Flinn on May at 7:00pm and 9:30pm at Feinstein’s/54 Below. Flinn wrote the score for the Broadway musical Lysistrata Jones, which featured Murin in the title role. The out-of-town tryout of that musical costarred Rannells. Joining Murin and Rannells for the concert will be Santino Fontana, Ashley Park, Alysha Umphress and more. In addition to songs from Lysistrata Jones, the concert will preview songs from Flinn’s upcoming musical Hood, which he cowrote with Tony-nommed Lyssie J. collaborator Douglas Carter Beane.Cynthia Erivo Set for CBS’ Bee Gees Tribute ShowCynthia Erivo is among the stars who will perform the music of the Bee Gees on a tribute concert set for April 16 at 8:00pm EST on CBS. The Tony-winning Color Purple star will be joined by Broadway veteran and Saturday Night Fever star John Travolta, Smash veteran Katharine McPhee, members of Panic! at the Disco and more. Stayin’ Alive: A Grammy Salute to the Music of the Bee Gees will be a star-studded tribute concert celebrating the iconic pop trio’s career. Among the many songs recorded by the group are “To Love Somebody,” “How Deep Is Your Love” and “Stayin’ Alive.”last_img read more

Hayley Tamaddon & More to Join Layton Williams in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

first_img A new slate of stars has been announced to join the Olivier-nominated West End musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. The fresh group of cast members will begin in the tuner at the Apollo Theatre on January 28.Newly announced stars include Hayley Tamaddon (Coronation Street) as Miss Hedge, Sejal Keshwala (Bend It Like Beckham) as Ray and Sabrina Sandhu (East Is East) as Pritti Pasha. They will succeed Michelle Visage, Shobna Gulati and Lucie Shorthouse, respectively, who will exit the production on January 26.New cast members also include Marlon G. Day (Bouncers) as Dad, Zahra Jones (Cinderella) as Becca, Luke Latchman (Dick Whittington) as Sayid and Ziggy Tyler Taylor (Hairspray) as Levi, replacing Ken Christiansen, Lauran Rae, Jordan Cunningham and Daniel Davids, respectively.Also joining the company will be a new group of production swings, including Momar Diagne, Rachel Price, Biancha Szynal and Adam Taylor.They will join the previously announced Layton Williams who takes over the role of Jamie New and Shane Richie who will play Hugo/Loco Chanelle, replacing John McCrea and Lee Ross.Continuing with the show are current cast members Alex Anstey as Laika Virgin, Luke Baker as Dean Paxton, Courtney Bowman as Fatimah, James Gillan as Tray Sophisticay, Ryan Hughes as Mickey, Daniel Jacob as Sandra Bollock, Emily Kenwright as Vicki, Jordan Laviniere as Cy, Rebecca McKinnis as Margaret New and Harriet Payne as Bex, with Marvyn Charles and Melissa Jacques.Everybody’s Talking About Jamie follows the title character who, after receiving pushback when he announces he will wear a dress to prom, overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps out of the darkness and into the spotlight. Directed by Jonathan Butterell, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie features a book and lyrics by Tom MacRae and music by Dan Gillespie Sells. The musical celebrated its first birthday at the Apollo Theatre in the West End on November 6, 2018.As previously announced, a screen adaptation of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is currently in development. Hayley Tamaddon in a promo shot for “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie”(Provided by Jo Allan PR) View Commentslast_img read more

Kuwait triathlon off to a flying start

first_img Related Hot on the heels of the high profile Abu Dhabi International Triathlon, Kuwait’s triathlon scene is now off to a flying start. A local tri club, The 3 Club, is organising what it claims is the first official triathlon in Kuwait this month – dubbed The Flying Start Triathlon.The event comes in Super Sprint (400m swim / 10K bike / 2.5K run) and Sprint (750m swim / 20K bike / 5K run) formats.Registration is free to club members, while non members will have to pay Kuwait Dinars (KWD) 25 (€65 / US$85) to participate. A relay option is priced at KWD 35 per non-member.www.the3club.comlast_img

Extron Announces Interactive Wayfinding Interface for Real-Time Meeting Space Availability

first_imgExtron announced the availability of the TLSI 201, an interactive wayfinding interface that provides real-time meeting space availability, status and location information using a centralized display. Designed to connect directly with Extron Room Scheduling panels, the interactive wayfinding interface enables users to locate and book meeting spaces easily and make ad hoc meeting reservations. Configure the TLSI 201 interface using free Extron Room Agent software to view and book meeting spaces for the current day or week. Easy-to-navigate room information can be viewed in list or map view layouts, allowing users to see and book meeting spaces quickly.The interactive wayfinding interface offers several customization options, including logo branding and personalized messaging and light and dark color themes. Flexible, distinct information fields can be turned on or off as needed. The scaled output supports signal resolutions up to 1080p, making it ideal for 40-inch or larger touch screen displays. The TLSI 201 features the convenience of PoE.The TLSI 201 interactive wayfinding interface is here: https://www.extron.com/article/roomschedulingadlast_img read more

Internet Use Affects Memory, Study Finds

first_imgThe New York Times:The widespread use of search engines and online databases has affected the way people remember information, researchers are reporting.The scientists, led by  Betsy Sparrow, an assistant professor of psychology at Columbia, wondered whether  people were more likely to remember information that could be easily retrieved from a computer, just as students are more likely to recall facts they believe will be on a test.Dr. Sparrow and her collaborators, Daniel M. Wegner of Harvard and Jenny Liu of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, staged four different memory experiments. In one, participants typed 40 bits of trivia — for example, “an ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain” — into a computer. Half of the subjects believed the information would be saved in the computer; the other half believed the items they typed would be erased.The subjects were significantly more likely to remember information if they thought they would not be able to find it later. “Participants did not make the effort to remember when they thought they could later look up the trivia statement they had read,” the authors write.Read the whole story: The New York Times More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

Real crisis in psychology isn’t that studies don’t replicate, but that we usually don’t even try

first_imgLinkedIn Share on Twitter Psychology is still digesting the implications of a large study published last month, in which a team led by University of Virginia’s Brian Nosek repeated 100 psychological experiments and found that only 36% of originally “significant” (in the statistical sense) results were replicated.Commentators are divided over how much to worry about the news. Some psychologists have suggested that the field is in “crisis,” a claim that others (such as Northeastern University psychology professor Lisa Feldman Barrett) have flatly denied.What can we make of such divergence of opinion? Is the discipline in crisis or not? Not in the way that some seemed to suggest, but that doesn’t mean substantial changes aren’t needed. Pinterest Mixing up what the study really tells usCertainly the fact that 64% of the findings were found unstable is surprising and disconcerting. But some of the more sensational press response has been disappointing.Over at The Guardian, a headline writer implied the study delivered a “bleak verdict on validity of psychology experiment results.” Meanwhile an article in The Independent claimed that much of “psychology research really is just psycho-babble.”And everywhere there was the term “failure to replicate,” a subtly sinister phrasing that makes nonreplication sound necessarily like a bad thing, as though “success” in replication were the goal of science. “Psychology can’t be trusted,” runs the implicit narrative here, “the people conducting these experiments have been wasting their time.”Reactions like this tied themselves up in a logical confusion; to believe that nonreplication demonstrated the failure of psychology is incoherent, as it entails a privileging of this latest set of results over the earlier ones. This can’t be right: it makes no sense to put stock in a new set of experimental results if you think their main lesson is to cast doubt on all experimental findings.Experiments should be considered in the aggregate, with conclusions most safely drawn from multiple demonstrations of any given finding.Running experiments is like flipping a coin to establish whether it is biased. Flipping it 20 times, and finding it comes up heads for 17 of them, might start to raise your suspicions. But extreme results like this are actually more likely when the number of flips is lower. You would want to try that coin many more times before feeling confident enough to wager that something funny is going on. Failure to replicate your majority of heads in a sample of 100 flips would indicate just that you hadn’t flipped the coin enough to make a safe conclusion the first time around.This need for aggregation is the basis of an argument advanced by Stanford’s John Ioannidis, a medical researcher who proposed 10 years ago that most published research findings (not just those in psychology) are false. Ioannidis highlights the positive side of facing up to something he and many other people have suspected for a while. He also points out that psychology is almost certainly not alone among scientific disciplines.Real crisis is we don’t try to replicate enoughThe fact is, psychology has long been aware that replication is a good idea. Its importance is evident in the longstanding practice of researchers creating systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses (statistical aggregations of existing published findings) to give one another broader understandings of the field. Researchers just haven’t been abiding by best practice. As psychologist Vaughan Bell pointed out, a big part of Nosek’s achievement was in the logistical challenge of getting such a huge study done with so many cooperating researchers.This brings us to the actual nature of the crisis revealed by the Science study; what Nosek and his colleagues showed is that psychologists need to be doing more to try to replicate their work if they want a better understanding of how much of it is reliable. Unfortunately, as journalist Ed Yong pointed out in his Atlantic coverage of the Nosek study (and in a reply to Barrett’s op-ed) there are several powerful professional disincentives to actually running the same experiments again. In a nutshell, the profession rewards publications and journals publish results which are new and counter-intuitive. The problem is compounded by the media, which tend to disseminate experimental findings as unquestionable “discoveries” or even God-given truths.So though psychology (and very likely not only psychology) most certainly has something of a crisis on its hands, it is not a crisis of the discipline’s methodology or rules. Two of the study’s authors made some suggestions for improvement on The Conversation, including incentives for more open research practices and even obligatory openness with data and preregistration of experiments. These recommendations reiterate what methods specialists have said for years. Hopefully the discussion stirred up by Nosek and colleagues’ efforts will also inspire others.In essence, everyone agrees that experimental coin flipping is a reasonable way to proceed. This study exposed a flaw of the discipline’s sociology, of what people actually do and why they do it. Put another way, psychologists have already developed a perfectly effective system for conducting research; the problem is that so few of them really use it.Huw Green, PhD Student and Trainee Clinical Psychologist at the Graduate Center, City University of New YorkThis article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.center_img Share Share on Facebook Emaillast_img read more

Brain waves may be spread by weak electrical field

first_imgShare on Facebook Researchers at Case Western Reserve University may have found a new way information is communicated throughout the brain.Their discovery could lead to identifying possible new targets to investigate brain waves associated with memory and epilepsy and better understand healthy physiology.They recorded neural spikes traveling at a speed too slow for known mechanisms to circulate throughout the brain. The only explanation, the scientists say, is the wave is spread by a mild electrical field they could detect. Computer modeling and in-vitro testing support their theory. “Others have been working on such phenomena for decades, but no one has ever made these connections,” said Steven J. Schiff, director of the Center for Neural Engineering at Penn State University, who was not involved in the study. “The implications are that such directed fields can be used to modulate both pathological activities, such as seizures, and to interact with cognitive rhythms that help regulate a variety of processes in the brain.”Scientists Dominique Durand, Elmer Lincoln Lindseth Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Case School of Engineering and leader of the research, former graduate student Chen Sui and current PhD students Rajat Shivacharan and Mingming Zhang, report their findings in The Journal of Neuroscience.“Researchers have thought that the brain’s endogenous electrical fields are too weak to propagate wave transmission,” Durand said. “But it appears the brain may be using the fields to communicate without synaptic transmissions, gap junctions or diffusion.”How the fields may workComputer modeling and testing on mouse hippocampi (the central part of the brain associated with memory and spatial navigation) in the lab indicate the field begins in one cell or group of cells.Although the electrical field is of low amplitude, the field excites and activates immediate neighbors, which, in turn, excite and activate immediate neighbors, and so on across the brain at a rate of about 0.1 meter per second.Blocking the endogenous electrical field in the mouse hippocampus and increasing the distance between cells in the computer model and in-vitro both slowed the speed of the wave.These results, the researchers say, confirm that the propagation mechanism for the activity is consistent with the electrical field.Because sleep waves and theta waves–which are associated with forming memories during sleep–and epileptic seizure waves travel at about 1 meter per second, the researchers are now investigating whether the electrical fields play a role in normal physiology and in epilepsy.If so, they will try to discern what information the fields may be carrying. Durand’s lab is also investigating where the endogenous spikes come from. LinkedIn Share on Twittercenter_img Email Share Pinterestlast_img read more