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Topics - anirban

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Science Discussion Forum / Autistic Brain
« on: August 03, 2013, 12:32:28 PM »
Autism is a pervasive development disorder, which is a neurological disorder that affects language, communication, social and cognitive skills. Autism research indicates that autism may be a disorder of the cortex area of the brain which controls reasoning, problem-solving, memory, voluntary movement and sensation. Research results include the following findings:

•    Brain growth: The brain of some children with autism grows larger and develops faster than children experiencing normal brain development at around 12 months. The accelerated growth during this developmental period can negatively affect language and cognitive skills. 
•      Brain structure: The sizes of certain areas of the brain, such as the corpus callosum and amygdale, are different in people with autism than in unaffected people. The corpus callosum has smaller middle and back lobes and the amygdale is larger than the same brain areas in people with typical brain development. People with autism may have multiple brain structure differences.
•    Brain function: The autistic brain functions differently than an average brain. The structural differences in the brain, such as minicolumns with numerous small brain cells, cause a person with autism to think, perceive and react to things differently than a person with typical brain development.

Reference: Y. Paulignan, M. Jeannerod, “Prehension Movements - The Visuomotor Channels Hypothesis Revisited”, Hand and Brain, Issue: 13, pp. 265-282, 1996.

Career Advice / Three Words That Will Transform Your Career
« on: June 03, 2013, 11:18:59 AM »
Every time you encounter another person, think: help this person. It's not altruistic. Nothing else can so quickly supercharge your career and improve the quality of your life.

When you walk into Starbucks for a coffee, think help this person about the barista who serves you. Instead of being frustrated that he isn't moving fast enough, see if you can make him smile. Better yet, tell him to keep the change.

When the phone rings on a busy day, don't get frustrated by the interruption. Think help this person while you answer the phone. Doing so will change your demeanor, your thought process, and the entire interaction.

If you have a subordinate who isn't pulling her weight, instead of criticizing her, every time you see her think help this person. This doesn't mean let her slide, or ignore her shortcomings. It means help her either improve her skills or find a position better suited to her strengths. But don't just brush her aside; really help her.

But wait a minute – I know what some of you are thinking. What about the people who take credit for other people's work? What about the rich and powerful who have gotten that way by crushing others? Doesn't their success prove me wrong?

Not at all. Sure, there are some people who take the exact opposite strategy. But it takes real skill and focus to succeed by being evil, and most of us just don't have the fortitude to pull it off. For those of us with a soul and a heart, the only real choice is to succeed by helping others.

By first thinking help this person, you will change the ways that others perceive you. There is no faster or more effective way to change your interactions and relationships. You will be viewed as a positive, constructive, helpful and dependable person. People will think you are more perceptive, attentive and understanding.

That's why this way of thinking is not altruistic; it is selfish, in the best sense of the word. The single best way to help yourself is to always be looking for ways to help other people. Sure, you'll be making the world a better place, and in the course of your life you will help many thousands of people. But don't do it because you ought to, or because it's the "right" thing to do.

Think help this person because you're selfish, and proud of it.

Reference: Bruce Kasanoff, Entrepreneur. Writer. Speaker.

Life Style / 12 Non-caffeinated Ways to Wake Up at Work
« on: June 02, 2013, 04:28:31 PM »
1. Go Outside

All those florescent lights, computer screens, and conditioned air can take their toll. Go and spend 15 minutes walking around outside. Rain or shine, cold or hot, the fresh air and change of scenery will help you break the monotony of a sterile environment.

2. Get Physical

People might think you strange to start exercising in the middle of the office, but elevating that heartbeat will pump some oxygen through your body and right to your brain. Try jumping jacks, skipping rope or a little yoga. You can even go run up and down the office stairs. Just go until you break a little sweat.

3. Be a Brainiac

If you can't stimulate your body, stimulate your brain. Try a crossword or play Sudoku. Better yet, grab a co-worker for a quick bout of Battleship so you get those competitive juices flowing.

4. Just Chill

Give yourself a brisk awakening. Try drinking super-cold ice water; add lemon. The more you drink the better. Splash a little on your face. You can also put ice against your wrists and temples, or suck on an ice cube.

5. Chow Down

A little mastication can actually wake you up, so have a snack. Avoid a heavy, carb-filled, sugary snack. Instead, choose an aromatic protein and a fruit. Try spicy beef jerky and some cucumbers with chili powder, or watermelon with a little cayenne pepper.

6. Pump Some Adrenaline

Nothing like a good fright to keep you alert and attentive. Watch some horror or action movie trailers to give you a nerve-shattering boost.

7. Move That Body

Perhaps the position in which you are sitting is a bit too relaxed. Reposition your chair. You can change it, sit in it backwards, cross your legs in the seat, or just remove it and stand up while you work.

8. Oil It Up

Keep a lotion or essential oil on your desk. Make sure it has a strong, bright scent like citrus, peppermint, or jasmine. Rub it on your hands and temples. If it's real strong, put a little on your upper lip to awaken your senses and keep it from disturbing your neighbors. Stay away from lavender, though; it's known to make you sleepy.

9. Dance! Dance! Dance!

Put on your headphones, punch up your favorite dance tunes and dance hard for five to 10 minutes. Sure some people may laugh at you, but the embarrassment will also help you wake up.

10.  Make 'em Laugh!

Grab a co-worker and trade jokes for five minutes. The laughter releases endorphins and will get your body moving. If you don't know any jokes, watch some funny videos to get things going.

11. Go Online Shopping

The rush of buying something new is always good for a perk up. Make an early birthday or Xmas list, or better yet, buy someone you like a gift. Thinking about doing something nice for someone else is sure to get your blood flowing.

12. Call Your Mom

It sounds strange, but a conversation with your mother is bound to wake you up. Possibly it's the deep emotional connection to the woman who woke you for years. Regardless of your current relationship, either the stress or the charm of calling her will get you going. Besides, she probably thinks you don't call her enough anyway, so it couldn't hurt.


Science Discussion Forum / Different areas of brain
« on: February 26, 2013, 05:32:13 PM »
The cerebral cortex of the brain can be further classified into different brain regions. German anatomist Korbinian Brodmann defined and numbered 52 different regions of the cerebral cortex based on the cytoarchitectural organization of its neurons. These 52 areas are known as Brodmann areas of brain.

In 1861, a French neurosurgeon Paul Broca identified for the first time, the existence of a “language centre” in the posterior portion of the frontal lobe of left hemisphere. Now this area is known as Broca’s area. This was in fact the first area of the brain to be associated with a specific function—in this case, language.

Ten years later, a German neurologist Carl Wernicke, discovered another part of the brain in the posterior portion of the left temporal lobe. This one known as Wernicke's area involved in understanding language. People who had a lesion at this location could speak, but their speech was often incoherent and made no sense.

Neuroscientists now agree in the left hemisphere of the brain, there is a sort of neural loop that is involved both in understanding and in producing spoken language. At the frontal end of this loop lies Broca's area, which is usually associated with the production of language, or language outputs. At the other end (more specifically, in the superior posterior temporal lobe), lies Wernicke's area, which is associated with the processing of words that we hear being spoken, or language inputs. Broca's area and Wernicke's area are connected by a large bundle of nerve fibers called the arcuate fasciculus.

Brodmann area 44 “Pars opercularis” and area 45 “pars triangularis” are parts of Broca's area. Brodmann area 22 “Superior temporal gyrus” is usually considered to contain the Wernicke's area. Brodmann area 39 “Angular gyrus” and area 40 “Supramarginal gyrus” are considered by some to be part of Wernicke's area.

Fig 1: Lateral surface of the brain with Brodmann's areas numbered
Fig 2: Medial surface of the brain with Brodmann's areas numbered
Fig 3: The Broca's and Wernicke's area of Brain.

Science Discussion Forum / The Human Brain
« on: February 26, 2013, 05:27:28 PM »
The nervous system is the human body’s decision and communication center. The central nervous system (CNS) is made of the brain and the spinal cord. The brain is made of three main parts: the forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain. The forebrain consists of the cerebrum, thalamus, and hypothalamus (part of the limbic system). The midbrain consists of the tectum and tegmentum. The hindbrain is made of the cerebellum, pons and medulla.

The cerebrum or cortex is the largest part of the human brain, associated with higher brain function such as thought and action. The cerebral cortex is nearly symmetric in outward form, with left and right hemispheres. Each of these hemispheres is divided into four sections, called "lobes": the frontal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe, and temporal lobe.

Frontal lobe is associated with reasoning, planning, parts of speech, movement, emotions, and problem solving. Parietal lobe is associated with movement, orientation, recognition, perception of stimuli. Occipital lobe is associated with visual processing. And temporal lobe is associated with perception and recognition of auditory stimuli, memory, and speach.

The cerebral cortex of the human brain contains roughly 15–33 billion neurons, perhaps more, depending on age and sex, linked with up to 10,000 synaptic connections each. Each cubic millimeter of the cerebral cortex contains roughly one billion synapses. These neurons communicate with one another by means of long protoplasmic fibers called axons, which carry trains of signal pulses called action potentials to distant parts of the brain or body and target them to specific recipient cells.

Science Discussion Forum / Mirror Neuron System (MNS) in human brain
« on: February 26, 2013, 05:17:29 PM »
A mirror neuron is a neuron which fires both when one observes someone to act some action and also when he acts that action

These mirror neurons may be important for understanding the actions of other people, and for learning new skills by imitation

Some researchers also contemplate that mirror systems may simulate observed actions

While others relate mirror neurons to language abilities

It has also been proposed that problems with the mirror system may underlie cognitive disorders, particularly autism

The brain imaging study using fMRI has shown that the human inferior frontal cortex and superior parietal lobe is active when a person has seen someone to perform an action and also when the person performs that action

It has been suggested that these regions of the human brain contain the mirror neurons and they have been defined as the human mirror neuron system (MNS)

Science Discussion Forum / What causes Autism?
« on: July 09, 2012, 05:28:35 PM »

Autism is called idiopathic which means the cause of autism is unknown. As there are different levels of severity and combinations of symptoms in autism, there are probably multiple causes.
The best scientific evidence available today points toward a potential for various combinations of factors causing autism – multiple genetic components that may cause autism on their own or possibly when combined with exposure to as yet undetermined environmental factors. Timing of exposure during the child's development (before, during or after birth) may also play a role in the development or final presentation of the disorder.
A small number of cases can be linked to genetic disorders such as Fragile X, Tuberous Sclerosis, and Angelman's Syndrome, as well as exposure to environmental agents such as infectious ones (maternal rubella or cytomegalovirus) or chemical ones (thalidomide or valproate) during pregnancy.
There is a growing interest among researchers about the role of the functions and regulation of the immune system in autism – both within the body and the brain. Piecemeal evidence over the past 30 years suggests that autism may involve inflammation in the central nervous system. There is also emerging evidence from animal studies that illustrates how the immune system can influence behaviors related to autism. Autism Speaks is working to extend awareness and investigation of potential immunological issues to researchers outside the field of autism as well as those within the autism research community.
While the definitive cause (or causes) of autism is not yet clear, it is clear that it is not caused by bad parenting. Dr. Leo Kanner, the psychiatrist who first described autism as a unique condition in 1943, believed that it was caused by cold, unloving mothers. Bruno Bettelheim, a renowned professor of child development perpetuated this misinterpretation of autism. Their promotion of the idea that unloving mothers caused their children's autism created a generation of parents who carried the tremendous burden of guilt for their children's disability.

Reference:   The Autism Speaks website. [Online]. Available:

Science Discussion Forum / What is Autism?
« on: April 26, 2012, 04:32:33 PM »

Autism is a neural developmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior [1]. Autism affects information processing in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize; how this occurs is not well understood [2].

Autism is a severe developmental disability that generally begins at birth or within the first three years of life. It is a neurological disorder that makes difficulties in the way of brain functionality- causing delays or problems in many different skills from infancy to adulthood. For example, both children and adults with autism usually exhibit difficulties in social interaction as well as in verbal and non-verbal communication. They also tend to be interested in odd, repetitive, or restricted activities. While the majority of autistic children look completely normal, they differ from other children by engaging in perplexing and distressing behaviors.

Autism belongs to a collection of developmental disorders known as the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). A spectrum disorder is a group of disorders with similar features. While one person may have mild symptoms, another might have more severe ones. There are differences in the nature of the symptoms of different person.

The three different types of autism spectrum disorders are:

•   Autistic disorder (also known as "classic" autism): This is the most common condition among the ASDs. It causes difficulties with social interactions, delays in language and also results some unusual behaviors. Some people with autistic disorder also have impaired intellectual abilities.

•   Asperger syndrome: People with this syndrome display some of the milder symptoms of autistic disorder -- such as social challenges and unusual behaviors. They generally do not have any delays in language or impaired intellectual abilities.

•   Pervasive Developmental Disorder: They typically have milder and fewer symptoms than those with autistic disorder. Symptoms may be limited to problems with language and social interaction [3].

The discussion about autism cannot be limited in a small article. It is a vast area. Hope to continue in future with a series of articles...... :)


[1]    “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders”, 4th ed., text revision (DSM-IV-TR), ISBN 0-89042-025-4: American Psychiatric Association, 2000.
[2]   Levy SE, Mandell DS, Schultz RT, “Autism”, The Lancet, vol. 374(9701), pp. 1627–38, 7-13 Nov. 2009.
[3]   (Sep. 2009) The My Child without Limits website. [Online]. Available:

In many software organization it is a practice that they spent most of the time of Software development lifecycle (SDLC) in development phase that is in coding. But what should be the exact percentage of time to spent on coding? The percentage should be 20 -25 percent. The rest of the time should be spent on the other phase of SDLC. A good percentage should be spent on collecting requirements as this is the basement of total software. A very good percentage should be spent on design and a good percentage should be on testing. Most of us neglect the testing phase because of spending lots of time in development phase. Which can bring a disaster in any software development.

Based on studies reported in the general industry literature, the distribution of effort across the software development life cycle is typically along the lines of the following:

    Requirements: 15-20 percent,
    Analysis and Design: 15-20 percent,
    Construction (code and unit testing): 25-30 percent,
    System Testing: 15-20 percent,
    Implementation: 5-10 percent.

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