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OCD: Scientists identify neural signals linked to the disorder

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For the first time, researchers have identified neural electrical signals related to the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in patients diagnosed with the disorder. The study authors, published in the journal Nature Medicine in December 2021, say that the identification of these signs can contribute to the improvement of the technique of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), currently used in the treatment of the disorder.

The research was carried out with five adult patients diagnosed with OCD, and three of them were monitored in clinical consultations and while performing daily tasks at their homes. Each of the participants underwent ECP surgery, a technique that uses electrodes to send tiny electrical signals to patients’ brains to regulate neurological activity.

By comparing more than 1,000 hours of collected neural electrical activity records with facial expressions, biometrics and patient reports of noticing OCD symptoms, the researchers were able to identify certain neural patterns that may be related to the disorder.

“Our goal is to understand what these records are showing us and train the device to recognize certain patterns associated with specific symptoms,” Sameer Sheth, an associate professor at the Baylor School of Medicine and one of the study’s collaborators, said in a statement. For him, the better the understanding of these neurological signatures, “the better the chances of us using ECP to effectively treat challenging brain disorders like OCD.”

Improvement in current treatment

Study may contribute to improve current treatment.  (Source: Robina Weermeijer/Unsplash)Study may contribute to improve current treatment. (Source: Robina Weermeijer/Unsplash)Source: unsplash

OCD is a psychological disorder that causes a person to have uncontrollable and recurring thoughts and behaviors. According to the Nature Medicine study, this disorder manifests itself in different ways in each individual and its symptoms can vary over time, making treatment difficult.

Currently, according to the authors, the ECP technique may have benefits in the treatment of OCD as it is able to adjust the intensity of electrical stimuli according to symptoms. However, this adjustment can only be done by a specialist, which ends up delaying this adaptation.

By identifying the neural patterns activated during OCD symptoms, the authors hope to contribute to the development of new ECP devices that are able to recognize symptoms and automatically adjust the intensity of electrical stimuli, without the need to visit a specialist.

In a statement, Wayne Goodman, one of the study’s collaborators and also a professor at the Baylor School of Medicine, says that in addition to contributing to a possible improvement in current treatment, it is expected that the study has been able to improve the understanding of neurological functioning. of OCD, which can help to find treatments that are less invasive than ECP.

ARTICLE Nature Medicine: doi.org/10.1038/s41591-021-01550-z

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90 Hz, 50 MP OIS, 4500 mAh and Dimensity 920. Realme 9 Pro + will compete with Redmi Note 11 Pro + and Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge

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High-quality renderings and detailed specifications of the Realme 9 Pro + smartphone have been published on the Web. This mid-range model is based on the MediaTek Dimensity 920 5G SoC, the same one that powers the Redmi Note 11 Pro+ and its recently introduced Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge twin. Thus, subject to equality of prices, Realme and Redmi will compete with each other for the consumer.

90 Hz, 50 MP OIS, 4500 mAh and Dimensity 920. Realme 9 Pro + will compete with Redmi Note 11 Pro + and Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge

A feature of Redmi and Xiaomi smartphones is support for 120W ultra-fast charging. There is no data on how fast the Realme 9 Pro + will charge, but the battery capacity is indicated – it is 4500 mAh.

The smartphone is also assigned a 6.43-inch AMOLED display with Full HD + resolution, a frame rate of 90 Hz and a sub-screen fingerprint scanner, a main camera with sensors with a resolution of 50, 8 and 2 megapixels. Here it can be argued that Redmi and Xiaomi use a sensor twice the resolution, but Realme has the advantage of having an optical stabilization system. Moreover, some modified Sony sensor is promised. It is possible that we are talking about the Sony IMX766 – the same one that, for example, is used in Xiaomi 12. The resolution of the front camera is 16 megapixels. In terms of memory, the maximum configuration of Realme 9 Pro + is 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of flash memory.

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Electric Cars

Word of mouth in action: Tesla does not spend money on advertising, car owners do it for her

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Tesla has posted on Chinese social media that its ad spend is almost zero. Customers are asked to remember the last time they saw a Tesla ad on billboards, in banner ads on websites, or on television.

Tesla claims that it deliberately does not advertise its vehicles, relying only on word of mouth. We are talking about the free and voluntary distribution of information about Tesla cars from satisfied users to their friends, acquaintances and Internet users around the world.

Earlier, Elon Musk said: “We will focus on improving the performance and quality of Tesla products. We believe that the best way to sell products is to allow users themselves to spread the word about them.”

Word of mouth in action: Tesla does not spend money on advertising, car owners do it for her

In addition, Tesla noted that the cost of most vehicles on the market is made up of manufacturing costs, component costs, research and development costs, and quite a lot of marketing costs. At the same time, Tesla considers it unreasonable that car owners should pay for their advertising.

According to Tesla, when a product is really good, people themselves will actively recommend it. Therefore, the company focused on research and development, as well as increasing the pace of production.

The direct selling model allows for interaction with customers, allowing consumers to learn more about a car from Tesla product experts before making a decision to buy a car.

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Software

WhatsApp improves voice notes with this novelty

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Voice or audio messages on WhatsApp are increasingly used by everyone. They are the ideal alternative if you are in a hurry and you can’t start writing at that moment or the perfect solution for those who have difficulties when typing with the mobile keyboard. However, sometimes those audio messages are endless and WhatsApp is improving the features available for the audio notes that we send through the instant messaging app.

With the arrival of WhatsApp audios came a new world of possibilities. Many people no longer write messages and respond at all times by audio, to the point that it was becoming hell for many. There are those who hate sending audios on WhatsApp and those who tell you their life in verse with endless messages that exceed ten minutes or more. To solve this inconvenience, WhatsApp enabled the possibility of speed up audio to save time and be able to listen to messages faster. Options are 1x normal speed, 1.5x speed increased by 50%, and 2x double playback speed. Now WhatsApp is implementing another very useful feature related to voice recordings.

Pause and resume WhatsApp audios

WhatsApp is implementing a very useful feature for users of the app in its web/desktop version: the possibility of pausing and resuming the audios that they send us. When the instant messaging app launched the download option for the official WhatsApp Desktop beta program, it also included the possibility of listen to the voice audios before sending them. Users will now also be able to pause and resume voice recordings.

whatsapp audio pause button

As you can see in the screenshot, there is a new pause button (in the previous version there was a stop icon) that allows you to pause the voice memo. Audio can now be heard before sending, deleting, or resuming recording.

An improvement that is already available in WhatsApp for iOS, WhatsApp Desktop beta 2.2201.2 and that will soon be available in WhatsApp beta for Android. Since this new feature has been rolled out to some beta users, it may take some time before it can be enabled on your WhatsApp account. On the other hand, WhatsApp continues to work on improving voice notes by developing a new feature that will allow you to listen to the audio, even if you are not in the conversation. In this case we still do not know the exact date on which it will be available. What do you think of this new improvement of the voice notes that WhatsApp has added?

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