ramen and pickles

science, technology, and medicine served up with some tasty noodles

Monthly Archives: April 2012

Top Soccer Players Are Seen to Have Superior Brain Function – NYTimes.com


Brawny athletes are rarely brainy, or so the stereotype goes. But a new study reports that soccer players actually have superior executive functions, the brain processes responsible for planning and abstract thinking. And the more elite the player, the better these functions.
Chris Gash

The ability is called game intelligence, and it???s ???very, very fundamental to the way we make decisions,??? said an author of the new study, Predrag Petrovic, a neuroscientist at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. ???It???s a way of quickly working with information and making decisions about the environment.???

Dr. Petrovic and his colleagues discuss their findings in the journal PLoS One.

The researchers measured executive function using a standardized test called D-KEFS, which assesses skills in problem solving, creativity and rule making. The highest scores went to soccer players from Sweden???s most elite league, followed by players from a lower division. Nonplayers who were tested finished behind both groups of players. The differences were significant, Dr. Petrovic said. Elite players performed in the top 2 percent when compared with the general population.

The researchers tracked some of the players for two seasons, and found that those with higher test scores had more goals and assists.

It isn???t clear whether athletes acquire these functions over time, or whether they are inherited.

???Our hypothesis is that it???s both,??? Dr. Petrovic said. ???You can???t become a good player if you don???t have strong executive functions, but at the same time you can always improve executive function if you train.???

Ramen Adventures: Ramen America

What We Regret Most ??? and Why



Which domains in life produce the greatest potential for regret, and what features of those life domains explain why? Using archival and laboratory evidence, the authors show that greater perceived opportunity within life domains evokes more intense regret. This pattern is consistent with previous publications demonstrating greater regret stemming from high rather than low opportunity or choice. A meta-analysis of 11 regret ranking studies revealed that the top six biggest regrets in life center on (in descending order) education, career, romance, parenting, the self, and leisure. Study Set 2 provided new laboratory evidence that directly linked the regret ranking to perceived opportunity. Study Set 3 ruled out an alternative interpretation involving framing effects. Overall, these findings show that people???s biggest regrets are a reflection of where in life they see their largest opportunities; that is, where they see tangible prospects for change, growth, and renewal.

Are thinking caps going to become a reality?

Richard Chi and Allan Snyder of the University of Sydney have used external brain stimulation to induce people to solve the notoriously hard 9 dots problem.

Here is the problem:  Put your pen down on one of the dots.  “The goal of the puzzle is to link all 9 dots using four straight lines or fewer, without lifting the pen and without tracing the same line more than once.”

If you can’t solve this problem, maybe you need an electrical thinking cap, so read the paper to see what that might entail.


Resampling Hierarchically Structured Data Recursively

A lot of data has rich hierarchical and correlative structure.  When you do bootstrapping naively in such data, you can get biased results.

This is a discussion of how to do multi-stage bootstrapping in R:


Korean Vegetable Ramen Review

The broth has a strong flavor of both red and black pepper. The packet of dried veggie bits was a nice touch. The noodles has a bit of an earthy flavor and texture, a bit loose texture.


How R Searches and Finds Stuff

Go down the rabbit hole and understand environments, namespaces, exports, imports, frames, enclosures, parents and function evaluation: