Nucleus Accumbens

I think everybody at this point knows about Dopamine- but did you know the central role of the reward circuit is played by the Nucleus Accumbens? Maybe so, can’t say I had my eye trained on it at least, prior to it coming up in the “Neural substrates of Valuation” videos on the Neuroeconomics coursera course.

The Nucleus accumbens (NAc) as an interface between emotional and motor structures may play a key role in the control of goal-directed actions by rewards. The NAc might be involved in processes guiding behavior according to predictive information on future reward magnitude, NAc activation is correlated with individual differences in self-reported happiness elicited by reward cues. These finding suggest that the NAc may code for expected incentive magnitude.

I find this interesting especially when compared to the concept of hyperbolic discounting in behavioral economics.

From the wiki on hyperbolic discounting:

Given two similar rewards, humans show a preference for one that arrives sooner rather than later. Humans are said to discount the value of the later reward, by a factor that increases with the length of the delay. This process is traditionally modeled in the form of exponential discounting, a time-consistent model of discounting.

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Botany @ Project Gutenberg

 

“Erce, Erce, Erce, Mother of Earth!

May the All-Wielder, Ever Lord grant thee 

Acres a-waxing, upwards a-growing 

Pregnant [with corn] and plenteous in strength;

Hosts of [grain] shafts and of glittering plants!Of broad barley the blossoms

And of white wheat ears waxing,

Of the whole earth the harvest!

Let be guarded the grain against all the ills

That are sown o’er the land by the sorcery men,

Nor let cunning women change it nor a crafty man.”

The Old English Herbals by Eleanour Sinclair Rohde

THE Botanical Magazine; OR, Flower-Garden Displayed  by William Curtis describes itself as presenting “The most Ornamental Foreign Plants, cultivated in the Open Ground, the Green-House, and the Stove, are accurately represented in their natural Colours.”  [another Project Gutenberg find]

The Complete Herbal by Nicholas Culpeper has an occult approach to herbalism and discusses cures at length. However one might feel about the possibility of such things, anyone can probably enjoy the beginning, which contains 10 botanical plates like the below.

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Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure by William Thomas Fernie doesn’t have any pretty pictures, but it does have some awesome poetry about herbs.

“She wrapped it up, and for its tomb did choose
A garden pot, wherein she laid it by,
And covered it with mould, and o’er it set
Sweet Basil, which her tears kept ever wet.”

-Keats

 Herbals, Their Origin and Evolution: A Chapter in the History of Botany by Agnes Arber teaches known botany “until the time of the printed press”, an old book, still kinda neat, and has many botanical illustrations including the below.

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Project Gutenburg on Fungus

Was thinking- hey- wonder what Project Gutenberg has on fungi and mycology.

 

Fungi: Their Nature and Uses by M. C. Cooke looks like a very in depth text. It’s written in a lilted style and looks to be chocked with information and illustrations.

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Fungi: their Nature and Uses 

A beginner-targeted, pop-sci pproach to mycology is promised by Among the Mushrooms: A Guide For Beginners by Burgin and Dallas.

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Führer für Pilzfreunde by Edmund Michael is in german, but it has  39 amazing illustrations of mushrooms, such as the below

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Two books offer a focus on edibility  Student’s Hand-book of Mushrooms of America, Edible and Poisonous by Thomas Taylor and The Mushroom, Edible and Otherwise by Miron Elisha Hard.

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 Student’s Hand-book of Mushrooms of America, Edible and Poisonous

Project Gutenberg e-books are for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with these e-books or online at www.gutenberg.net

Assorted Wikisource

Wikisource is a bit underrated as projects go I think….

Every time I visit though, I collect a ton of things I want to read. I will never be able to read everything I want to. But here is what seemed most interesting to me and we’ll see what I actually end up reading later.

The Subjection of Women John Stuart Mill

Beauty and the Beast Atlantic Monthly

My Bondage and My Freedom Frederick Douglas

A History of the Freedom of Thought

Anarchism and Other Essays by Emma Goldman [This one I actually read in paper form, when I was in college, great to see it for free (myself only paid $1 for the paper copy)]

What is Property? by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

The Science of Rights by Fichte

The Natural History of Chocolate

Earth Worms and their Wonderful Works Popular Science

The Sewing Machine in Political Economy Popular Science

The Purification of Sewer Waters Popular Science

The Sanitation of Air Popular Science

The Allinson Vegetarian Cooking Book

Also just a friendly reminder that you can read HP Lovecraft @ Wikisource 

Old stuff new to me

I’m enjoying the Metadata coursera lectures. He’s pointed us to some interesting sites and information that I was surprised wasn’t on my radar.

First Monday

First Monday is one of the first openly accessible, peer–reviewed journals on the Internet, solely devoted to the Internet. Since its start in May 1996, First Monday has published 1,381 papers in 218 issues; these papers were written by 1,888 different authors. First Monday is indexed in Communication Abstracts, Computer & Communications Security Abstracts, DoIS, eGranary Digital Library, INSPEC, Information Science & Technology Abstracts, LISA, PAIS, and other services.”

Library Thing

“LibraryThing is a cataloging and social networking site for book lovers.

LibraryThing helps you create a library-quality catalog of books: books you own, books you’ve read, books you’d like to read, books you’ve lent out … whatever grouping you’d like.

Since everyone catalogs online, they also catalog together. You can contribute tags, ratings and reviews for a book, and Common Knowledge (facts about a book or author, like character names and awards), as well as participate in member forums or join the Early Reviewers program. Everyone gets the benefit of everyone else’s work. LibraryThing connects people based on the books they share.”

“What is a document?”

Abstract: Ordinarily the word “document” denotes a textual record. Increasingly sophisticated attempts to provide access to the rapidly growing quantity of available documents raised questions about which should be considered a “document”. The answer is important for any definition of the scope of Information Science. Paul Otlet and others developed a functional view of “document” and discussed whether, for example, sculpture, museum objects, and live animals, could be considered “documents”. Suzanne Briet equated “document” with organized physical evidence. These ideas appear to resemble notions of “material culture” in cultural anthropology and “object-as-sign” in semiotics. Others, especially in the USA (e.g. Jesse Shera and Louis Shores) took a narrower view. New digital technology renews old questions and also old confusions between medium, message, and meaning.”

Bird Song Hero

Bird Song Hero

Keep your brain sharp and find a new way to entertain yourself on walks, Bird Song Hero is a simple game that helps you learn 50 unique bird songs by teaching you to read and memorize visual sound diagrams produced by each bird. This method helps you learn quickly, and I look forward to pestering my friends with this knowledge.