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2014


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Nanopropellers and Their Actuation in Complex Viscoelastic Media

Schamel, D., Mark, A. G., Gibbs, J. G., Miksch, C., Morozov, K. I., Leshansky, A. M., Fischer, P.

ACS Nano, 8(9):8794-8801, June 2014, Featured cover article. (article)

Abstract
Tissue and biological fluids are complex viscoelastic media with a nanoporous macromolecular structure. Here, we demonstrate that helical nanopropellers can be controllably steered through such a biological gel. The screw-propellers have a filament diameter of about 70 nm and are smaller than previously reported nanopropellers as well as any swimming microorganism. We show that the nanoscrews will move through high-viscosity solutions with comparable velocities to that of larger micropropellers, even though they are so small that Brownian forces suppress their actuation in pure water. When actuated in viscoelastic hyaluronan gels, the nanopropellers appear to have a significant advantage, as they are of the same size range as the gel’s mesh size. Whereas larger helices will show very low or negligible propulsion in hyaluronan solutions, the nanoscrews actually display significantly enhanced propulsion velocities that exceed the highest measured speeds in Newtonian fluids. The nanopropellers are not only promising for applications in the extracellular environment but small enough to be taken up by cells.

Featured cover article.

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Video - Helical Micro and Nanopropellers for Applications in Biological Fluidic Environments link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Juggling revisited — A voxel based morphometry study with expert jugglers

Gerber, P., Schlaffke, L., Heba, S., Greenlee, M., Schultz, T., Schmidt-Wilcke, T.

NeuroImage, 95, pages: 320-325, 2014 (article)

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Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Assessing attention and cognitive function in completely locked-in state with event-related brain potentials and epidural electrocorticography

Bensch, M., Martens, S., Halder, S., Hill, J., Nijboer, F., Ramos, A., Birbaumer, N., Bodgan, M., Kotchoubey, B., Rosenstiel, W., Schölkopf, B., Gharabaghi, A.

Journal of Neural Engineering, 11(2):026006, 2014 (article)

Abstract
Objective. Patients in the completely locked-in state (CLIS), due to, for example, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), no longer possess voluntary muscle control. Assessing attention and cognitive function in these patients during the course of the disease is a challenging but essential task for both nursing staff and physicians. Approach. An electrophysiological cognition test battery, including auditory and semantic stimuli, was applied in a late-stage ALS patient at four different time points during a six-month epidural electrocorticography (ECoG) recording period. Event-related cortical potentials (ERP), together with changes in the ECoG signal spectrum, were recorded via 128 channels that partially covered the left frontal, temporal and parietal cortex. Main results. Auditory but not semantic stimuli induced significant and reproducible ERP projecting to specific temporal and parietal cortical areas. N1/P2 responses could be detected throughout the whole study period. The highest P3 ERP was measured immediately after the patient's last communication through voluntary muscle control, which was paralleled by low theta and high gamma spectral power. Three months after the patient's last communication, i.e., in the CLIS, P3 responses could no longer be detected. At the same time, increased activity in low-frequency bands and a sharp drop of gamma spectral power were recorded. Significance. Cortical electrophysiological measures indicate at least partially intact attention and cognitive function during sparse volitional motor control for communication. Although the P3 ERP and frequency-specific changes in the ECoG spectrum may serve as indicators for CLIS, a close-meshed monitoring will be required to define the exact time point of the transition.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Identifiability of Gaussian Structural Equation Models with Equal Error Variances

Peters, J., Bühlman, P.

Biometrika, 101(1):219-228, 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]


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Quantifying the effect of intertrial dependence on perceptual decisions

Fründ, I., Wichmann, F., Macke, J.

Journal of Vision, 14(7):1-16, 2014 (article)

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Web PDF link (url) DOI [BibTex]

Web PDF link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Two numerical models designed to reproduce Saturn ring temperatures as measured by Cassini-CIRS

Altobelli, N., Lopez-Paz, D., Pilorz, S., Spilker, L., Morishima, R., Brooks, S., Leyrat, C., Deau, E., Edgington, S., Flandes, A.

Icarus, 238(0):205 - 220, 2014 (article)

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Web link (url) DOI [BibTex]

Web link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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CAM: Causal Additive Models, high-dimensional order search and penalized regression

Bühlmann, P., Peters, J., Ernest, J.

Annals of Statistics, 42(6):2526-2556, 2014 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Policy Evaluation with Temporal Differences: A Survey and Comparison

Dann, C., Neumann, G., Peters, J.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 15, pages: 809-883, 2014 (article)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Uncovering the Structure and Temporal Dynamics of Information Propagation

Gomez Rodriguez, M., Leskovec, J., Balduzzi, D., Schölkopf, B.

Network Science, 2(1):26-65, 2014 (article)

Abstract
Time plays an essential role in the diffusion of information, influence, and disease over networks. In many cases we can only observe when a node is activated by a contagion—when a node learns about a piece of information, makes a decision, adopts a new behavior, or becomes infected with a disease. However, the underlying network connectivity and transmission rates between nodes are unknown. Inferring the underlying diffusion dynamics is important because it leads to new insights and enables forecasting, as well as influencing or containing information propagation. In this paper we model diffusion as a continuous temporal process occurring at different rates over a latent, unobserved network that may change over time. Given information diffusion data, we infer the edges and dynamics of the underlying network. Our model naturally imposes sparse solutions and requires no parameter tuning. We develop an efficient inference algorithm that uses stochastic convex optimization to compute online estimates of the edges and transmission rates. We evaluate our method by tracking information diffusion among 3.3 million mainstream media sites and blogs, and experiment with more than 179 million different instances of information spreading over the network in a one-year period. We apply our network inference algorithm to the top 5,000 media sites and blogs and report several interesting observations. First, information pathways for general recurrent topics are more stable across time than for on-going news events. Second, clusters of news media sites and blogs often emerge and vanish in a matter of days for on-going news events. Finally, major events, for example, large scale civil unrest as in the Libyan civil war or Syrian uprising, increase the number of information pathways among blogs, and also increase the network centrality of blogs and social media sites.

ei

DOI [BibTex]


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Causal discovery via reproducing kernel Hilbert space embeddings

Chen, Z., Zhang, K., Chan, L., Schölkopf, B.

Neural Computation, 26(7):1484-1517, 2014 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Impact of Large-Scale Climate Extremes on Biospheric Carbon Fluxes: An Intercomparison Based on MsTMIP Data

Zscheischler, J., Michalak, A., Schwalm, M., Mahecha, M., Huntzinger, D., Reichstein, M., Berthier, G., Ciais, P., Cook, R., El-Masri, B., Huang, M., Ito, A., Jain, A., King, A., Lei, H., Lu, C., Mao, J., Peng, S., Poulter, B., Ricciuto, D., Shi, X., Tao, B., Tian, H., Viovy, N., Wang, W., Wei, Y., Yang, J., Zeng, N.

Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 2014 (article)

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Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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A Brain-Computer Interface Based on Self-Regulation of Gamma-Oscillations in the Superior Parietal Cortex

Grosse-Wentrup, M., Schölkopf, B.

Journal of Neural Engineering, 11(5):056015, 2014 (article)

Abstract
Objective. Brain–computer interface (BCI) systems are often based on motor- and/or sensory processes that are known to be impaired in late stages of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We propose a novel BCI designed for patients in late stages of ALS that only requires high-level cognitive processes to transmit information from the user to the BCI. Approach. We trained subjects via EEG-based neurofeedback to self-regulate the amplitude of gamma-oscillations in the superior parietal cortex (SPC). We argue that parietal gamma-oscillations are likely to be associated with high-level attentional processes, thereby providing a communication channel that does not rely on the integrity of sensory- and/or motor-pathways impaired in late stages of ALS. Main results. Healthy subjects quickly learned to self-regulate gamma-power in the SPC by alternating between states of focused attention and relaxed wakefulness, resulting in an average decoding accuracy of 70.2%. One locked-in ALS patient (ALS-FRS-R score of zero) achieved an average decoding accuracy significantly above chance-level though insufficient for communication (55.8%). Significance. Self-regulation of gamma-power in the SPC is a feasible paradigm for brain–computer interfacing and may be preserved in late stages of ALS. This provides a novel approach to testing whether completely locked-in ALS patients retain the capacity for goal-directed thinking.

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]


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On power law distributions in large-scale taxonomies

Babbar, R., Metzig, C., Partalas, I., Gaussier, E., Amini, M.

SIGKDD Explorations, Special Issue on Big Data, 16(1):47-56, 2014 (article)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Predicting Motor Learning Performance from Electroencephalographic Data

Meyer, T., Peters, J., Zander, T., Schölkopf, B., Grosse-Wentrup, M.

Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, 11:24, 2014 (article)

ei

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Special issue on autonomous grasping and manipulation

Ben Amor, H., Saxena, A., Hudson, N., Peters, J.

Autonomous Robots, 36(1-2):1-3, 2014 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Evaluation of Positron Emission Tomographic Tracers for Imaging of Papillomavirus-Induced Tumors in Rabbits

Probst, S., Wiehr, S., Mantlik, F., Schmidt, H., Kolb, A., Münch, P., Delcuratolo, M., Stubenrauch, F., Pichler, B., Iftner, T.

Molecular Imaging, 13(1):1536-0121, 2014 (article)

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Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Extreme events in gross primary production: a characterization across continents

Zscheischler, J., Reichstein, M., Harmeling, S., Rammig, A., Tomelleri, E., Mahecha, M.

Biogeosciences, 11, pages: 2909-2924, 2014 (article)

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PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Single-Source Domain Adaptation with Target and Conditional Shift

Zhang, K., Schölkopf, B., Muandet, K., Wang, Z., Zhou, Z., Persello, C.

In Regularization, Optimization, Kernels, and Support Vector Machines, pages: 427-456, 19, Chapman & Hall/CRC Machine Learning & Pattern Recognition, (Editors: Suykens, J. A. K., Signoretto, M. and Argyriou, A.), Chapman and Hall/CRC, Boca Raton, USA, 2014 (inbook)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Indirect Robot Model Learning for Tracking Control

Bocsi, B., Csató, L., Peters, J.

Advanced Robotics, 28(9):589-599, 2014 (article)

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PDF DOI [BibTex]


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An extended approach for spatiotemporal gapfilling: dealing with large and systematic gaps in geoscientific datasets

v Buttlar, J., Zscheischler, J., Mahecha, M.

Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics, 21(1):203-215, 2014 (article)

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PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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On the Quantification Accuracy, Homogeneity, and Stability of Simultaneous Positron Emission Tomography/Magnetic Resonance Imaging Systems

Schmidt, H., Schwenzer, N., Bezrukov, I., Mantlik, F., Kolb, A., Kupferschläger, J., Pichler, B.

Investigative Radiology, 49(6):373-381, 2014 (article)

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Natural Evolution Strategies

Wierstra, D., Schaul, T., Glasmachers, T., Sun, Y., Peters, J., Schmidhuber, J.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 15, pages: 949-980, 2014 (article)

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Higher-Order Tensors in Diffusion Imaging

Schultz, T., Fuster, A., Ghosh, A., Deriche, R., Florack, L., Lim, L.

In Visualization and Processing of Tensors and Higher Order Descriptors for Multi-Valued Data, pages: 129-161, Mathematics + Visualization, (Editors: Westin, C.-F., Vilanova, A. and Burgeth, B.), Springer, 2014 (inbook)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Factors controlling decomposition rates of fine root litter in temperate forests and grasslands

Solly, E., Schöning, I., Boch, S., Kandeler, E., Marhan, S., Michalzik, B., Müller, J., Zscheischler, J., Trumbore, S., Schrumpf, M.

Plant and Soil, 2014 (article)

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PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Causal Discovery with Continuous Additive Noise Models

Peters, J., Mooij, J., Janzing, D., Schölkopf, B.

Journal of Machine Learning Research, 15, pages: 2009-2053, 2014 (article)

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Fuzzy Fibers: Uncertainty in dMRI Tractography

Schultz, T., Vilanova, A., Brecheisen, R., Kindlmann, G.

In Scientific Visualization: Uncertainty, Multifield, Biomedical, and Scalable Visualization, pages: 79-92, 8, Mathematics + Visualization, (Editors: Hansen, C. D., Chen, M., Johnson, C. R., Kaufman, A. E. and Hagen, H.), Springer, 2014 (inbook)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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A few extreme events dominate global interannual variability in gross primary production

Zscheischler, J., Mahecha, M., v Buttlar, J., Harmeling, S., Jung, M., Rammig, A., Randerson, J., Schölkopf, B., Seneviratne, S., Tomelleri, E., Zaehle, S., Reichstein, M.

Environmental Research Letters, 9(3):035001, 2014 (article)

ei

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Kernel methods in system identification, machine learning and function estimation: A survey

Pillonetto, G., Dinuzzo, F., Chen, T., De Nicolao, G., Ljung, L.

Automatica, 50(3):657-682, 2014 (article)

ei

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Development of a novel depth of interaction PET detector using highly multiplexed G-APD cross-strip encoding

Kolb, A., Parl, C., Mantlik, F., Liu, C., Lorenz, E., Renker, D., Pichler, B.

Medical Physics, 41(8), 2014 (article)

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Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Circular polarization interferometry: circularly polarized modes of cholesteric liquid crystals

Sanchez-Castillo, A., Eslami, S., Giesselmann, F., Fischer, P.

OPTICS EXPRESS, 22(25):31227-31236, 2014 (article)

Abstract
We describe a novel polarization interferometer which permits the determination of the refractive indices for circularly-polarized light. It is based on a Jamin-Lebedeff interferometer, modified with waveplates, and permits us to experimentally determine the refractive indices n(L) and n(R) of the respectively left- and right-circularly polarized modes in a cholesteric liquid crystal. Whereas optical rotation measurements only determine the circular birefringence, i.e. the difference (n(L) - n(R)), the interferometer also permits the determination of their absolute values. We report refractive indices of a cholesteric liquid crystal in the region of selective (Bragg) reflection as a function of temperature. (C) 2014 Optical Society of America

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Self-Propelling Nanomotors in the Presence of Strong Brownian Forces

Lee, T., Alarcon-Correa, M., Miksch, C., Hahn, K., Gibbs, J. G., Fischer, P.

NANO LETTERS, 14(5):2407-2412, 2014 (article)

Abstract
Motility in living systems is due to an array of complex molecular nanomotors that are essential for the function and survival of cells. These protein nanomotors operate not only despite of but also because of stochastic forces. Artificial means of realizing motility rely on local concentration or temperature gradients that are established across a particle, resulting in slip velocities at the particle surface and thus motion of the particle relative to the fluid. However, it remains unclear if these artificial motors can function at the smallest of scales, where Brownian motion dominates and no actively propelled living organisms can be found. Recently, the first reports have appeared suggesting that the swimming mechanisms of artificial structures may also apply to enzymes that are catalytically active. Here we report a scheme to realize artificial Janus nanoparticles (JNPs) with an overall size that is comparable to that of some enzymes similar to 30 nm. Our JNPs can catalyze the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen and thus actively move by self-electrophoresis. Geometric anisotropy of the Pt-Au Janus nanoparticles permits the simultaneous observation of their translational and rotational motion by dynamic light scattering. While their dynamics is strongly influenced by Brownian rotation, the artificial Janus nanomotors show bursts of linear ballistic motion resulting in enhanced diffusion.

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DOI [BibTex]


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Epidural electrocorticography for monitoring of arousal in locked-in state

Martens, S., Bensch, M., Halder, S., Hill, J., Nijboer, F., Ramos-Murguialday, A., Schölkopf, B., Birbaumer, N., Gharabaghi, A.

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8(861), 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Nonconvex Proximal Splitting with Computational Errors

Sra, S.

In Regularization, Optimization, Kernels, and Support Vector Machines, pages: 83-102, 4, (Editors: Suykens, J. A. K., Signoretto, M. and Argyriou, A.), CRC Press, 2014 (inbook)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Simultaneous Whole-Body PET/MR Imaging in Comparison to PET/CT in Pediatric Oncology: Initial Results

Schäfer, J. F., Gatidis, S., Schmidt, H., Gückel, B., Bezrukov, I., Pfannenberg, C. A., Reimold, M., M., E., Fuchs, J., Claussen, C. D., Schwenzer, N. F.

Radiology, 273(1):220-231, 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Shape control in wafer-based aperiodic 3D nanostructures

Hyeon-Ho, J., Mark, A. G., Gibbs, J. G., Reindl, T., Waizmann, U., Weis, J., Fischer, P.

NANOTECHNOLOGY, 25(23), 2014, Cover article. (article)

Abstract
Controlled local fabrication of three-dimensional (3D) nanostructures is important to explore and enhance the function of single nanodevices, but is experimentally challenging. We present a scheme based on e-beam lithography (EBL) written seeds, and glancing angle deposition (GLAD) grown structures to create nanoscale objects with defined shapes but in aperiodic arrangements. By using a continuous sacrificial corral surrounding the features of interest we grow isolated 3D nanostructures that have complex cross-sections and sidewall morphology that are surrounded by zones of clean substrate.

Cover article.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Cost-Sensitive Active Learning With Lookahead: Optimizing Field Surveys for Remote Sensing Data Classification

Persello, C., Boularias, A., Dalponte, M., Gobakken, T., Naesset, E., Schölkopf, B.

IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 10(52):6652 - 6664, 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Principles of PET/MR Imaging

Disselhorst, J. A., Bezrukov, I., Kolb, A., Parl, C., Pichler, B. J.

Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 55(6, Supplement 2):2S-10S, 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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IM3SHAPE: Maximum likelihood galaxy shear measurement code for cosmic gravitational lensing

Zuntz, J., Kacprzak, T., Voigt, L., Hirsch, M., Rowe, B., Bridle, S.

Astrophysics Source Code Library, 1, pages: 09013, 2014 (article)

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link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


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Efficient nearest neighbors via robust sparse hashing

Cherian, A., Sra, S., Morellas, V., Papanikolopoulos, N.

IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, 23(8):3646-3655, 2014 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Sérsic galaxy models in weak lensing shape measurement: model bias, noise bias and their interaction

Kacprzak, T., Bridle, S., Rowe, B., Voigt, L., Zuntz, J., Hirsch, M., MacCrann, N.

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 441(3):2528-2538, Oxford University Press, 2014 (article)

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Swimming by reciprocal motion at low Reynolds number

Qiu, T., Lee, T., Mark, A. G., Morozov, K. I., Muenster, R., Mierka, O., Turek, S., Leshansky, A. M., Fischer, P.

NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 5, 2014, Max Planck Press Release. (article)

Abstract
Biological microorganisms swim with flagella and cilia that execute nonreciprocal motions for low Reynolds number (Re) propulsion in viscous fluids. This symmetry requirement is a consequence of Purcell's scallop theorem, which complicates the actuation scheme needed by microswimmers. However, most biomedically important fluids are non-Newtonian where the scallop theorem no longer holds. It should therefore be possible to realize a microswimmer that moves with reciprocal periodic body-shape changes in non-Newtonian fluids. Here we report a symmetric `micro-scallop', a single-hinge microswimmer that can propel in shear thickening and shear thinning (non-Newtonian) fluids by reciprocal motion at low Re. Excellent agreement between our measurements and both numerical and analytical theoretical predictions indicates that the net propulsion is caused by modulation of the fluid viscosity upon varying the shear rate. This reciprocal swimming mechanism opens new possibilities in designing biomedical microdevices that can propel by a simple actuation scheme in non-Newtonian biological fluids.

Max Planck Press Release.

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Video - A Swimming Micro-Scallop Video - Winner of the Micro-robotic Design Challenge in Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics DOI [BibTex]

Video - A Swimming Micro-Scallop Video - Winner of the Micro-robotic Design Challenge in Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics DOI [BibTex]


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Nanohelices by shadow growth

Gibbs, J. G., Mark, A. G., Lee, T., Eslami, S., Schamel, D., Fischer, P.

NANOSCALE, 6(16):9457-9466, 2014 (article)

Abstract
The helix has remarkable qualities and is prevalent in many fields including mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology. This shape, which is chiral by nature, is ubiquitous in biology with perhaps the most famous example being DNA. Other naturally occurring helices are common at the nanoscale in the form of protein secondary structures and in various macromolecules. Nanoscale helices exhibit a wide range of interesting mechanical, optical, and electrical properties which can be intentionally engineered into the structure by choosing the correct morphology and material. As technology advances, these fabrication parameters can be fine-tuned and matched to the application of interest. Herein, we focus on the fabrication and properties of nanohelices grown by a dynamic shadowing growth method combined with fast wafer-scale substrate patterning which has a number of distinct advantages. We review the fabrication methodology and provide several examples that illustrate the generality and utility of nanohelices shadow-grown on nanopatterns.

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Video - Fabrication of Designer Nanostructures DOI [BibTex]


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Diminished White Matter Integrity in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Schmidt-Wilcke, T., Cagnoli, P., Wang, P., Schultz, T., Lotz, A., Mccune, W. J., Sundgren, P. C.

NeuroImage: Clinical, 5, pages: 291-297, 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Chiral Nanomagnets

Eslami, S., Gibbs, J. G., Rechkemmer, Y., van Slageren, J., Alarcon-Correa, M., Lee, T., Mark, A. G., Rikken, G. L. J. A., Fischer, P.

ACS PHOTONICS, 1(11):1231-1236, 2014 (article)

Abstract
We report on the enhanced optical properties of chiral magnetic nanohelices with critical dimensions comparable to the ferromagnetic domain size. They are shown to be ferromagnetic at room temperature, have defined chirality, and exhibit large optical activity in the visible as verified by electron microscopy, superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) magnetometry, natural circular dichroism (NCD), and magnetic circular dichroism (MCD) measurements. The structures exhibit magneto-chiral dichroism (MChD), which directly demonstrates coupling between their structural chirality and magnetism. A chiral nickel (Ni) film consisting of an array of nanohelices similar to 100 nm in length exhibits an MChD anisotropy factor g(MChD) approximate to 10(-4) T-1 at room temperature in a saturation field of similar to 0.2 T, permitting polarization-independent control of the film's absorption properties through magnetic field modulation. This is also the first report of MChD in a material with structural chirality on the order of the wavelength of light, and therefore the Ni nanohelix array is a metamaterial with magnetochiral properties that can be tailored through a dynamic deposition process.

pf

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Wireless powering of e-swimmers

Roche, J., Carrara, S., Sanchez, J., Lannelongue, J., Loget, G., Bouffier, L., Fischer, P., Kuhn, A.

SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 4, 2014 (article)

Abstract
Miniaturized structures that can move in a controlled way in solution and integrate various functionalities are attracting considerable attention due to the potential applications in fields ranging from autonomous micromotors to roving sensors. Here we introduce a concept which allows, depending on their specific design, the controlled directional motion of objects in water, combined with electronic functionalities such as the emission of light, sensing, signal conversion, treatment and transmission. The approach is based on electric field-induced polarization, which triggers different chemical reactions at the surface of the object and thereby its propulsion. This results in a localized electric current that can power in a wireless way electronic devices in water, leading to a new class of electronic swimmers (e-swimmers).

pf

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Swelling and shrinking behaviour of photoresponsive phosphonium-based ionogel microstructures

Czugala, M., O’Connell, C., Blin, C., Fischer, P., Fraser, K. J., Benito-Lopez, F., Diamond, D.

SENSORS AND ACTUATORS B-CHEMICAL, 194, pages: 105-113, 2014 (article)

Abstract
Photoresponsive N-isopropylacrylamide ionogel microstructures are presented in this study. These ionogels are synthesised using phosphonium based room temperature ionic liquids, together with the photochromic compound benzospiropyran. The microstructures can be actuated using light irradiation, facilitating non-contact and non-invasive operation. For the first time, the characterisation of the swelling and shrinking behaviour of several photopatterned ionogel microstructures is presented and the influence of surface-area-to-volume ratio on the swelling kinetics is evaluated. It was found that the swelling and shrinking behaviour of the ionogels is strongly dependent on the nature of the ionic liquid. In particular, the {[}P-6,P-6,P-6,P-14]{[}NTf2] ionogel exhibits the greatest degree of swelling, reaching up to 180\% of its initial size, and the fastest shrinkage rate (k(sh) = 29 +/- 4 x 10(-2) s(-1)). (C) 2014 Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Information-Theoretic Bounded Rationality and ϵ-Optimality

Braun, DA, Ortega, PA

Entropy, 16(8):4662-4676, August 2014 (article)

Abstract
Bounded rationality concerns the study of decision makers with limited information processing resources. Previously, the free energy difference functional has been suggested to model bounded rational decision making, as it provides a natural trade-off between an energy or utility function that is to be optimized and information processing costs that are measured by entropic search costs. The main question of this article is how the information-theoretic free energy model relates to simple \(\epsilon\)-optimality models of bounded rational decision making, where the decision maker is satisfied with any action in an \(\epsilon\)-neighborhood of the optimal utility. We find that the stochastic policies that optimize the free energy trade-off comply with the notion of \(\epsilon\)-optimality. Moreover, this optimality criterion even holds when the environment is adversarial. We conclude that the study of bounded rationality based on \(\epsilon\)-optimality criteria that abstract away from the particulars of the information processing constraints is compatible with the information-theoretic free energy model of bounded rationality.

ei

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Occam’s Razor in sensorimotor learning

Genewein, T, Braun, D

Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 281(1783):1-7, May 2014 (article)

Abstract
A large number of recent studies suggest that the sensorimotor system uses probabilistic models to predict its environment and makes inferences about unobserved variables in line with Bayesian statistics. One of the important features of Bayesian statistics is Occam's Razor—an inbuilt preference for simpler models when comparing competing models that explain some observed data equally well. Here, we test directly for Occam's Razor in sensorimotor control. We designed a sensorimotor task in which participants had to draw lines through clouds of noisy samples of an unobserved curve generated by one of two possible probabilistic models—a simple model with a large length scale, leading to smooth curves, and a complex model with a short length scale, leading to more wiggly curves. In training trials, participants were informed about the model that generated the stimulus so that they could learn the statistics of each model. In probe trials, participants were then exposed to ambiguous stimuli. In probe trials where the ambiguous stimulus could be fitted equally well by both models, we found that participants showed a clear preference for the simpler model. Moreover, we found that participants’ choice behaviour was quantitatively consistent with Bayesian Occam's Razor. We also show that participants’ drawn trajectories were similar to samples from the Bayesian predictive distribution over trajectories and significantly different from two non-probabilistic heuristics. In two control experiments, we show that the preference of the simpler model cannot be simply explained by a difference in physical effort or by a preference for curve smoothness. Our results suggest that Occam's Razor is a general behavioural principle already present during sensorimotor processing.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]