6,848 research outputs found

    Optimality-based Analysis of XCSF Compaction in Discrete Reinforcement Learning

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    Learning classifier systems (LCSs) are population-based predictive systems that were originally envisioned as agents to act in reinforcement learning (RL) environments. These systems can suffer from population bloat and so are amenable to compaction techniques that try to strike a balance between population size and performance. A well-studied LCS architecture is XCSF, which in the RL setting acts as a Q-function approximator. We apply XCSF to a deterministic and stochastic variant of the FrozenLake8x8 environment from OpenAI Gym, with its performance compared in terms of function approximation error and policy accuracy to the optimal Q-functions and policies produced by solving the environments via dynamic programming. We then introduce a novel compaction algorithm (Greedy Niche Mass Compaction - GNMC) and study its operation on XCSF's trained populations. Results show that given a suitable parametrisation, GNMC preserves or even slightly improves function approximation error while yielding a significant reduction in population size. Reasonable preservation of policy accuracy also occurs, and we link this metric to the commonly used steps-to-goal metric in maze-like environments, illustrating how the metrics are complementary rather than competitive

    Descriptions of the Adult Genitalia and Immatures of the Asian Planthopper Ricania speculum Recently Introduced to Italy (Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea: Ricaniidae).

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    The ricaniid planthopper Ricania speculum (Walker) (Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea) was recently introduced to Italy, apparently from southeast Asia. This species has the potential to become a significant agricultural pest, as it feeds on > 60 species of plants, some of which are of economic importance. Here we describe and illustrate the adult male and female genitalia and the first- through fifth-instar nymphs

    Novel hypophysiotropic AgRP2 neurons and pineal cells revealed by BAC transgenesis in zebrafish

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    The neuropeptide agouti-related protein (AgRP) is expressed in the arcuate nucleus of the mammalian hypothalamus and plays a key role in regulating food consumption and energy homeostasis. Fish express two agrp genes in the brain: agrp1, considered functionally homologous with the mammalian AgRP, and agrp2. The role of agrp2 and its relationship to agrp1 are not fully understood. Utilizing BAC transgenesis, we generated transgenic zebrafish in which agrp1- and agrp2-expressing cells can be visualized and manipulated. By characterizing these transgenic lines, we showed that agrp1-expressing neurons are located in the ventral periventricular hypothalamus (the equivalent of the mammalian arcuate nucleus), projecting throughout the hypothalamus and towards the preoptic area. The agrp2 gene was expressed in the pineal gland in a previously uncharacterized subgroup of cells. Additionally, agrp2 was expressed in a small group of neurons in the preoptic area that project directly towards the pituitary and form an interface with the pituitary vasculature, suggesting that preoptic AgRP2 neurons are hypophysiotropic. We showed that direct synaptic connection can exist between AgRP1 and AgRP2 neurons in the hypothalamus, suggesting communication and coordination between AgRP1 and AgRP2 neurons and, therefore, probably also between the processes they regulate

    New Fathers' Perinatal Depression and Anxiety-Treatment Options: An Integrative Review.

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    More than 10% of fathers experience depression and anxiety during the perinatal period, but paternal perinatal depression (PPND) and anxiety have received less attention than maternal perinatal mental health problems. Few mainstream treatment options are available for men with PPND and anxiety. The aim of this literature review was to summarize the current understanding of PPND and the treatment programs specifically designed for fathers with perinatal depression. Eight electronic databases were searched using a predefined strategy, and reference lists were also hand searched. PPND and anxiety were identified to have a negative impact on family relationships, as well as the health of mothers and children. Evidence suggests a lack of support and tailored treatment options for men having trouble adjusting to the transition to fatherhood. Of the limited options available, cognitive behavioral therapy, group work, and blended delivery programs, including e-support approaches appear to be most effective in helping fathers with perinatal depression and anxiety. The review findings have important implications for the understanding of PPND and anxiety. Future research is needed to address the adoption of father-inclusive and father-specific models of care to encourage fathers' help-seeking behavior. Inclusion of male-specific requirements into support and treatment options can improve the ability of services to engage new fathers. Psychotherapeutic intervention could assist to address the cognitive differences and dissonance for men adjusting to the role of father, including male identity and role expectations

    Eph/Ephrin signalling maintains eye field segregation from adjacent neural plate territories during forebrain morphogenesis

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    During forebrain morphogenesis, there is extensive reorganisation of the cells destined to form the eyes, telencephalon and diencephalon. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms that regulate region-specific behaviours and that maintain the coherence of cell populations undergoing specific morphogenetic processes. In this study, we show that the activity of the Eph/Ephrin signalling pathway maintains segregation between the prospective eyes and adjacent regions of the anterior neural plate during the early stages of forebrain morphogenesis in zebrafish. Several Ephrins and Ephs are expressed in complementary domains in the prospective forebrain and combinatorial abrogation of their activity results in incomplete segregation of the eyes and telencephalon and in defective evagination of the optic vesicles. Conversely, expression of exogenous Ephs or Ephrins in regions of the prospective forebrain where they are not usually expressed changes the adhesion properties of the cells, resulting in segregation to the wrong domain without changing their regional fate. The failure of eye morphogenesis in rx3 mutants is accompanied by a loss of complementary expression of Ephs and Ephrins, suggesting that this pathway is activated downstream of the regional fate specification machinery to establish boundaries between domains undergoing different programmes of morphogenesis

    Eph/Ephrin signalling maintains eye field segregation from adjacent neural plate territories during forebrain morphogenesis

    Get PDF
    During forebrain morphogenesis, there is extensive reorganisation of the cells destined to form the eyes, telencephalon and diencephalon. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms that regulate region-specific behaviours and that maintain the coherence of cell populations undergoing specific morphogenetic processes. In this study, we show that the activity of the Eph/Ephrin signalling pathway maintains segregation between the prospective eyes and adjacent regions of the anterior neural plate during the early stages of forebrain morphogenesis in zebrafish. Several Ephrins and Ephs are expressed in complementary domains in the prospective forebrain and combinatorial abrogation of their activity results in incomplete segregation of the eyes and telencephalon and in defective evagination of the optic vesicles. Conversely, expression of exogenous Ephs or Ephrins in regions of the prospective forebrain where they are not usually expressed changes the adhesion properties of the cells, resulting in segregation to the wrong domain without changing their regional fate. The failure of eye morphogenesis in rx3 mutants is accompanied by a loss of complementary expression of Ephs and Ephrins, suggesting that this pathway is activated downstream of the regional fate specification machinery to establish boundaries between domains undergoing different programmes of morphogenesis

    Qunatification of Metabolites in MR Spectroscopic Imaging using Machine Learning

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    Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging (MRSI) is a clinical imaging modality for measuring tissue metabolite levels in-vivo. An accurate estimation of spectral parameters allows for better assessment of spectral quality and metabolite concentration levels. The current gold standard quantification method is the LCModel - a commercial fitting tool. However, this fails for spectra having poor signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) or a large number of artifacts. This paper introduces a framework based on random forest regression for accurate estimation of the output parameters of a model based analysis of MR spectroscopy data. The goal of our proposed framework is to learn the spectral features from a training set comprising of different variations of both simulated and in-vivo brain spectra and then use this learning for the subsequent metabolite quantification. Experiments involve training and testing on simulated and in-vivo human brain spectra. We estimate parameters such as concentration of metabolites and compare our results with that from the LCModel

    Development of social behaviour in young zebrafish

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    Adult zebrafish are robustly social animals whereas larva is not. We designed an assay to determine at what stage of development zebrafish begin to interact with and prefer other fish. One week old zebrafish do not show significant social preference whereas most 3 weeks old zebrafish strongly prefer to remain in a compartment where they can view conspecifics. However, for some individuals, the presence of conspecifics drives avoidance instead of attraction. Social preference is dependent on vision and requires viewing fish of a similar age/size. In addition, over the same 1-3 weeks period larval zebrafish increasingly tend to coordinate their movements, a simple form of social interaction. Finally, social preference and coupled interactions are differentially modified by an NMDAR antagonist and acute exposure to ethanol, both of which are known to alter social behavior in adult zebrafish

    Discrete and fuzzy dynamical genetic programming in the XCSF learning classifier system

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    A number of representation schemes have been presented for use within learning classifier systems, ranging from binary encodings to neural networks. This paper presents results from an investigation into using discrete and fuzzy dynamical system representations within the XCSF learning classifier system. In particular, asynchronous random Boolean networks are used to represent the traditional condition-action production system rules in the discrete case and asynchronous fuzzy logic networks in the continuous-valued case. It is shown possible to use self-adaptive, open-ended evolution to design an ensemble of such dynamical systems within XCSF to solve a number of well-known test problems

    Monorail/Foxa2 regulates floorplate differentiation and specification of oligodendrocytes, serotonergic raphe neurones and cranial motoneurones

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    In this study, we elucidate the roles of the winged-helix transcription factor Foxa2 in ventral CNS development in zebrafish. Through cloning of monorail (mol), which we find encodes the transcription factor Foxa2, and phenotypic analysis of mol(-/-) embryos, we show that floorplate is induced in the absence of Foxa2 function but fails to further differentiate. In mol(-/-) mutants, expression of Foxa and Hh family genes is not maintained in floorplate cells and lateral expansion of the floorplate fails to occur. Our results suggest that this is due to defects both in the regulation of Hh activity in medial floorplate cells as well as cell-autonomous requirements for Foxa2 in the prospective laterally positioned floorplate cells themselves. Foxa2 is also required for induction and/or patterning of several distinct cell types in the ventral CNS. Serotonergic neurones of the raphe nucleus and the trochlear motor nucleus are absent in mol(-/-) embryos, and oculomotor and facial motoneurones ectopically occupy ventral CNS midline positions in the midbrain and hindbrain. There is also a severe reduction of prospective oligodendrocytes in the midbrain and hindbrain. Finally, in the absence of Foxa2, at least two likely Hh pathway target genes are ectopically expressed in more dorsal regions of the midbrain and hindbrain ventricular neuroepithelium, raising the possibility that Foxa2 activity may normally be required to limit the range of action of secreted Hh proteins
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