Study shows pigeons like to gamble

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. A bird’s eye view of art Pigeon (PhysOrg.com) — A new study of pigeons shows that, like human gamblers, they love to gamble on the off chance they will win big rather than taking a smaller, but more certain payout. © 2010 PhysOrg.com More information: Maladaptive choice behaviour by pigeons: an animal analogue and possible mechanism for gambling (sub-optimal human decision-making behaviour), Thomas R. Zentall et al., Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Published online before print October 13, 2010, doi:10.1098/rspb.2010.1607 Research by psychologists Thomas Zentall and Jessica Stagner of the University of Kentucky in Lexington found pigeons given a choice of a light that would deliver three pellets of food every time or one that gave them a big “win” of 10 pellets 20 percent of the time consistently chose the latter. When averaged out, these results meant the pigeons were preferring a payout of two pellets for each peck rather than three.Zentall said similar results had been observed in monkeys, and the reason may be that the larger payout is a surprising change from their expectations, and we learn from these departures from the norm. The same motivation could explain why some humans gamble, ignoring their losses and focusing on the less regular, but more surprising big wins.In humans many other factors are involved, such as the atmosphere of the gambling location, with colorful and noisy surroundings, and by the possibility of losing what you already have. By using pigeons Zentall and Stagner could study the phenomenon without at least some of these added complications.The researchers trained eight pigeons to peck at keys that caused a vertical or horizontal light to be displayed on a screen in yellow, blue, red or green colors. In return they received food rewards. If they pecked at the key that presented a horizontal line (yellow or blue) three food pellets were dispensed each time, which therefore represented a non-gambling option. If they pecked on the key for the vertical line, it was one color (say green) 80 percent of the time, in which case no food was delivered. The remaining 20 percent of the time the line was the signal color (say red), in which case 10 pellets were dispensed. The vertical line therefore represented a gambling option. (Color combinations were changed for different birds to avoid any bias.) After Zentall and Stagner had trained the birds to understand what the lines and colors meant they then carried out many trials to see which the birds preferred. The results were that the pigeons chose the riskier 10 pellets or nothing option in over 80 percent of the trials, even though on average they would receive 50 percent more food if they chose the other option.In a later experiment they trained seven new pigeons, but this time both red and green colors triggered the release of 10 pellets 20 percent of the time and nothing the rest of the time. The yellow and blue colors still resulted in three pellets being released. In this case the pigeons chose the yellow/blue option for a sure payout of three pellets. Zentall said the findings suggest the pigeons in the first trials put excess weight on the excitement on the windfall that resulted from a red light, and evening out the odds on red and green detracted from the excitement. He commented that in human gambling watching a winning pattern appear on a slot machine, for example, precedes winning the money, and suggested gamblers would not wager as often if there were no signals for their winning — so slot machine players could not see the wheels, and roulette players could not see the ball.Zentall said if the pigeons were hungry they tended to gamble more than if they were already satisfied, despite having more to lose, and this has parallels in human gambling studies, which have shown that people who are dissatisfied with their lives and have less money tend to gamble more than those who are wealthier and more satisfied. The paper was published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Citation: Study shows pigeons like to gamble (2010, October 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-10-pigeons-gamble.html Explore furtherlast_img read more

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Method to entangle thousands of atoms could lead to record clock stability

first_img The scientists estimate that, if realized, these clocks will have an order of magnitude greater stability than today’s best atomic clocks. Superstable clocks are critical for measuring astronomical effects such as gravitational waves and, potentially, dark matter.The scientists, Peter Kómár et al., have published a paper on the proposed quantum network of atomic clocks in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.Currently, the most accurate atomic clocks have cores that are made of ytterbium or strontium atoms. Their “fractional frequency stability,” which is a measure of the time difference between ticks, is just 10-18. That means that these clocks are stable enough that, if they started ticking at the beginning of the universe (13.8 billion years ago), today they would be off by less than a second.In general, the larger the number of atoms in an atomic clock, the more stable it is. In the new study, the researchers showed that entangling the atoms in a clock further increases the clock’s stability. Their proposed protocol consists of five steps, which involve using single-photon pulses to entangle the atoms within each individual ensemble, and then interfering the pulses from two neighboring ensembles to entangle the ensembles. Eventually, entanglement spreads to all ensembles in the network, resulting in a fully entangled state of many thousands of atoms.”Our work shows that utilizing remote entanglement to improve the accuracy of measuring time is within the reach of current experimental technology,” Kómár, a physicist at Harvard University, told Phys.org. “This result will most certainly encourage further efforts towards constructing a prototype atomic clock quantum network, finding even better implementations and discovering new use cases.”The researchers showed that it should be possible to experimentally realize this network of atomic clocks using neutral ytterbium atoms. Even when accounting for errors and physical imperfections, they predict that the entangled atomic clock network will have significantly better stability than non-entangled clocks, making them capable of measuring relativistic effects in the passage of time. “Superstable atomic clocks allow scientist to measure minuscule changes in the speed of passing time,” Kómár said. “Although local time always passes with the same rate for the local observer, time often passes with slightly different rates at different locations. Many physical phenomena can cause the passage of time to slow down or speed up, all of which are tied to large masses and gravity.”By taking advantage of this relationship between mass, gravity, and time, researchers can use it for practical purposes, such as searching for underground oil reserves or gravitational waves in space.”If the rocks under a particular spot are denser compared to the rocks under another spot, then time passes more slowly at the former location,” Kómár said. “By installing two superstable atomic clocks at the two locations, and comparing their signal, one can measure this small difference in the rate of the passage of time—and, in turn, discover hidden ore or oil deposits beneath the ground. “Gravitational waves is another phenomenon that causes time to pass at different rates at different locations. A formation of satellites, each equipped with superstable atomic clocks, can be used as a very precise ‘space-seismograph.’ As the gravitational wave passes through the region occupied by the satellites, their clocks pick up a tiny time difference with respect to each other. This provides a way to detect gravitational waves through the distortions of time as opposed to distortions of space, the method LIGO relies on, providing complementary means of detection.”In the near future, the researchers plan to pursue some of these applications of the entangled network of atomic clocks.”There are already theoretical proposals and drafts on their way assessing the sensitivity of atomic-clock-based gravitational wave detectors,” Kómár said. “Although these require the network to be constructed in space, near future experiments will most likely focus on lab-based and ground-based implementations. Only when the design is perfected will the clocks go on board of satellites.” More information: P. Kómár et al. “Quantum Network of Atom Clocks: A Possible Implementation with Neutral Atoms.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.060506Also at arXiv:1603.06258 [quant-ph] Theorists propose globally networked entangled atomic clock Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Schematic of two entangled atomic clocks that are part of a larger entangled network of clocks. Each clock here consists of three ensembles, with each ensemble containing hundreds of entangled atoms. Entanglement is generated among atoms within each ensemble, then between ensembles in the same clock, and then between clocks. Credit: Kómár et al. ©2016 American Physical Society Journal information: Physical Review Letters © 2016 Phys.org Physicists have proposed a method for entangling hundreds of atoms, and then entangling a dozen or so groups of these hundreds of atoms, resulting in a quantum network of thousands of entangled atoms. Since small bundles of these entangled groups can function as atomic clocks, this design is the first detailed proposal for a quantum network of atomic clocks. Citation: Method to entangle thousands of atoms could lead to record clock stability (2016, August 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-08-method-entangle-thousands-atoms-clock.htmllast_img read more

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Hard computing problem might be solvable only by quantum computers

first_img Explore further (Phys.org)—Researchers have introduced a new computing problem and shown that it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for a classical computer to solve, but in theory it could be efficiently solved using quantum techniques. The problem, which is called Gaussian boson sampling, is a new version of boson sampling, which is a similar computing problem that was introduced a few years ago with the goal of demonstrating the potential advantages of quantum computers over classical ones. More information: Craig S. Hamilton et al. “Gaussian Boson Sampling.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.170501Also at arXiv:1612.01199 [quant-ph] Citation: Hard computing problem might be solvable only by quantum computers (2017, November 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-11-hard-problem-solvable-quantum.html Scientists pinpoint the singularity for quantum computers Journal information: Physical Review Letterscenter_img © 2017 Phys.org The Gaussian state in the computing problem is characterized by a matrix. Credit: Hamilton et al. ©2017 American Physical Society The researchers of the new study, Craig S. Hamilton et al., from the Czech Technical University in Prague and the University of Paderborn in Germany, have published a paper on Gaussian boson sampling in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.Overall, the Gaussian boson sampling problem is very similar to the original boson sampling problem, which was proposed in 2011 by Scott Aaronson and Alex Arkhipov. In both problems, the task is to find the probability of measuring certain patterns of photons emerging from an optical system, given a certain input configuration of photons. In complexity theory, boson sampling is conjectured to be a #P-hard problem, which makes it extremely unlikely that it could be solved by a classical computer.Although no quantum computer currently exists that is capable of solving the boson sampling problem, several research groups have attempted to implement and solve the problem using quantum optical experiments. One of the biggest challenges for these experiments is generating a large number of single photons. Since perfectly deterministic sources of single photons are not currently available, all of the experiments performed so far have used photon sources that are probabilistic rather than deterministic. The downside of using probabilistic photon sources is that the cost of generating the photons scales exponentially as the number of photons increases. So far, the largest number of photons used is five, which is not enough to demonstrate conclusively the advantage of using quantum computers. (Further emphasizing the difficulty of demonstrating a quantum advantage in this area, a recent study has shown that classical computers can simulate the boson sampling problem using 30 photons, suggesting that the quantum methods have more to prove than previously thought.)In an attempt to make it easier to achieve larger numbers of photons in boson sampling experiments, the researchers in the new study looked specifically at boson sampling using Gaussian states. Although Gaussian states have already been used experiments, their Gaussian nature was never specifically investigated. These states have the advantage of being less costly to produce in experiments. “The single biggest advantage of our protocol is the ability to use more of the generated photons from our input states,” Hamilton told Phys.org. “This means, if photon number is the main obstacle for experimentalists, it should be easier to demonstrate a quantum advantage using Gaussian states.”One of the main results of the new study is that, despite being easier to implement experimentally, Gaussian boson sampling is still a #P-hard problem and so, like boson sampling, also has the potential to serve as a platform illustrating the advantages of quantum computing. Specifically, the researchers show that Gaussian boson sampling is related to a matrix function called the Hafnian, a problem so difficult that currently no classical computer can efficiently approximate a solution.Overall, the results suggest that Gaussian boson sampling may have several experimental and theoretical advantages over general boson sampling, and will likely provide researchers with another tool to investigate where to draw the line between quantum and classical computing. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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An artist in the making

first_imgHer dainty hands were putting strokes of color on paper, when kids her age dawdle at learning alphabet. By 4, she had made friends with paintbrush and canvas. With leaps like that, feats are accomplished early on in life. It is Ahaana’s moment of limelight as she holds her first art exhibition, ‘Ahaana at 5’ in All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society.This week long exhibition showcases 30 paintings made by Ahaana over the past one and a half year. She has put her art forward through an eclectic range of mediums using water colors, oil pastels, acrylics, and mixed media in a variety of pictures. As a student at Art Kendra, she explored her inherent talent by working on her paintings rigorously, at such a nascent age. Her parents exclaim with pride that their daughter loves to draw and paint all the time. The little artist wants to dwell in painting but dreams of becoming a doctor when she grows up. Those big dreams have to wait for a few years; for now, it is time for her step into Class 1.DETAILWhere: AIFACS (All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society), Rafi MargWhen: 1 April to 7 Aprillast_img read more

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Master of the winds

first_imgIf you like instrumental music or have an inclination towards performing arts then Sangeet Natak Akademi is the place for you to be. Hosting an array of plays and music recitals to mark their annual dance and drama festival, Sangeet Natak Akademi also has a treat for instrumental music lovers in the Capital. Every year the festival is organised to celebrate various genres of performing arts. This year, the musical treat comes in the form of renowned flute artist Srinivas Satapathy, who will be performing accompanied by other artists.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Trained by veteran flute artist Mohini Mohan Patnik, Srinivas has performed in various music festivals in country like Sangeet Pratibha in Patna and Bhubneshwar Music Circle among others. On the international stage he has wooed music lovers in Belgium, Spain, Holland and the USA. He has accompanied various eminent dancers like Sujata Mohapatra and Aruna Mohanty on their performances. He was also awarded by Sangeet Natak Akademi, Ustad Bismilla Khan Yuva Puraskar in the year 2011. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe Akademi is determined to work towards building up structure of support for the practice of music, dance and drama in country. The dance and drama festival is another innitiative to support budding artists and acknowledging the veterans. The support encompasses traditional and modern forms of art in urban as well as rural environments. The Akademi functions as the body of the performing arts in the country to preserve and promote the vast cultural heritage of India expressed in music, dance and drama. The festivals of music, dance and drama presented by the Akademi are held all over India. Don’t miss it!last_img read more

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Shilpa to pen book on nutrition and health

first_imgThe book, which Shilpa has been working on for the past 7 months, will highlight everything that the 39-year-old actress has learnt so far about fitness and living a healthy life.‘I am writing a book on nutrition and health. All what I have learnt so far, I am going to put that in the book. It’s all in the mind. You have to train your mind to loose weight. You have to make a lifestyle modification. With a positive approach you can achieve anything,’ Shilpa said. Also Read – A fresh blend of fameThe Baazigar star said she also makes sure that her two-year-old son Viaan, who she has with husband Raj Kundra, maintains a healthy lifestyle.‘There are a lot of people who don’t understand the meaning of nutrition. I have seen mothers who force their kids to eat more and more. I am also writing the book as a mother.My son is very lean but he eats healthy. Me and my son both take ghee in our meals. I don’t believe in dieting and fasting,’ Shilpa said.last_img read more

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You dont mess with Sonakshi Sinha

first_imgThe ongoing row over the controversial AIB Roast show saw another twist with filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt first questioning why actress Sonakshi Sinha’s name didn’t surface in the FIR and then expressing admiration for her ‘sane’ and ‘mature’ reaction to his statement.Dabangg actress Sonakshi, who appeared to be calm and not flustered by the allegations, responded with a series of tweets. ‘I don’t remember my father questioning them as to how or why so. I do agree with u however, if these FIR’s Are filed on 2-3 members of the audience, why not the other 3,998. Lets not give these ppl the attention they so desperately seek And as far as my memeory serves me, nobody EVER went to jail for laughing. (sic),’ she tweeted.last_img read more

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South Bengal to get rain respite heavy downpour to continue across North

first_imgKolkata: The intensity of rainfall in the city and South Bengal districts will reduce, while North Bengal districts will continue to receive heavy to very heavy showers in the next 24 hours.The Regional Meteorological Centre at Alipore predicted that the rain condition will improve in South Bengal districts in the next 24 hours. Meanwhile, there will be continuous heavy downpour in North Bengal. A moderate rainfall lashed the city and its adjoining parts on Sunday afternoon resulting in the slow movement of traffic in some thoroughfare. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe Met office said that various North Bengal districts including Cooch Behar and Alipurduar may witness heavy to very heavy rainfall. According to the weather office, a low pressure trough currently hovering over Eastern part of Uttar Pradesh is bringing more rain in North Bengal.North Bengal districts have been receiving heavy rainfall for the past two days. Due to heavy rain, many important roads and other areas in various North Bengal districts have gone under water. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedSouth Bengal districts like North & South 24-Parganas, Nadia, Murshidabad and Hooghly received a huge amount of rainfall on Saturday. The condition has marginally improved on Sunday. The Met office said that the districts like Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore also recorded heavy rainfall in past few days, while East Burdwan, West Burdwan and Jhargram have recorded moderate to heavy rainfall in last couple of days.The Alipore Met office also predicted that people in South Bengal may experience hot and humid condition in next few days after it stops raining. The discomfort level may go up in the city and also in some of the South Bengal districts. The city on Sunday got its share of scattered rainfall. The temperature has remained normal in the city and some South Bengal districts in the past few days due to continued rainfall.A cyclonic circulation over North Bay of Bengal and its neighbouring areas turned into a low pressuretrough bringing heavy downpour in the state.The situation was further aggravated as a low pressure trough formed over North Odisha and adjoining parts of Bengal gained strength, contributing to more rainfall in North Bengal and also in some North East states as well.last_img read more

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Savour handcrafted winter menu

first_img‘Antipasti’ At san gimignanoExplore the flavors of Italy as our chefs at San Gimignano present exotic Antipasti delicacies in a specially curated menu. Pair up your selection with cured meats, sausages and fine wines to indulge in a sumptuous fare.When: November 9 – 18 Lunch and Dinner: 12:30pm – 2:45pm | 7:00pm – 11:45pmMeal for Two: without alcohol: Rs 5000 plus taxes‘Royal rajasthan’ At daniell’s tavernExplore authentic flavours of Rajasthani cuisine with Royal Rajasthan as our traditional menu takes you on a culinary sojourn to the state of Royalty with its aromas and spices, at Daniell’s Tavern. Feel satiated with the divine Dal Bati Churma or dwell in the essence of Tangy Gatte Ki Sabzi while the zest and tenderness of all time favourite Laal Maans leave you asking for more. Finish with delicious Malai Ghevar to experience the true culture of Rajputs and Rajwadas. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’When: November 15 – 25 Timings: 6:30pm – 11:45pm  ONLY FOR DINNER Meal for Two: without alcohol: Rs 4000 plus taxes‘Winter collection menu’ At the spice routeIt’s Seafood time again this winter with Chef Veena Arora! The maverick Chef De Cuisine at The Spice Route invites you to indulge in the most awaited, healthy and globally acclaimed Winter Collection menu featuring delicate flavours of King Prawns, Squid, Lobster and hand-picked variety of fish, to keep you cosy this winter.When: November 16 – December 31 Lunch and Dinner: 12:30pm – 2:45pm | 7:00pm – 11:45pm Meal for Two: Rs 10000 plus taxeslast_img read more

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Smartphone usage raises webdependence anxiety

first_imgSmartphones have given us unlimited access to the internet, but also made people over-dependent on it, to the extent that loss of connection while travelling may lead to irritation and anxiety.According to a new study, a greater dependence on internet leads to the development of web-dependence anxiety. Young people and the better educated, or simply the more information literate, tend to have a greater “smartphone web-dependence,” which can significantly increase without reliable and fast access to the internet, says Hui-Jen Yang from National Chin-Yi University of Technology, in Taichung, Taiwan.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’They also relate to attachment theory, which proposes that a person or a group of people have the psychological tendency to gain safety by seeking closeness to another person. They feel safe when the other person is present but anxious when the person is absent. For instance, children and parents alike become anxious when they lose sight of each other in a crowded place, the researchers noted. The study suggests that separation anxiety is just as real for people and their smartphones, although the problem is obviously a one-sided issue.last_img read more

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