Help dogs deal with separation anxiety with this AI trainer

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The CompanionPro trainer looks like a Soviet-era space heater but contains image sensors, a Google
Edge TPU AI processor, wireless connectivity, lights, a speaker and a proprietary “treat launcher” that delivers all-important training rewards.

Computer vision is key to how the machine works, detecting a dog’s comportment in real time to tune its delivery of rewards to reinforce desired behavior. It remains to be seen how well it can approximate the experience of a skilled human trainer, though SF SPCA says it will soon release a peer-reviewed case study on how the machine worked with one dog suffering from separation anxiety which, by definition, manifests itself when no trainer is around to address it.

Generally, Companion promises the machine will “excel at performing repetitive tasks with perfect consistency and infinite patience,” according to a TensorFlow blog post by the company. That suggests it has an eye on scaling not just

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Children and adolescents more likely to experience higher rates of depression and anxiety during and after enforced isolation ends — ScienceDaily

The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated widespread social isolation, affecting all ages of global society. A new rapid review in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP), published by Elsevier, reports on the available evidence about children and young people specifically, stating that loneliness is associated with mental health problems, including depression and anxiety-potentially affecting them years later.

The review, which synthesizes over 60 pre-existing, peer-reviewed studies on topics spanning isolation, loneliness and mental health for young people aged between 4 and 21 years of age, found extensive evidence of an association between loneliness and an increased risk of mental health problems for children and young people.

“As school closures continue, indoor play facilities remain closed and at best, young people can meet outdoors in small groups only, chances are that many are lonely (and continue to be so over time),” said lead author, Maria Loades,

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Chronic alcohol use reshapes the brain’s immune landscape, driving anxiety and addiction — ScienceDaily

Deep within the brain, a small almond-shaped region called the amygdala plays a vital role in how we exhibit emotion, behavior and motivation. Understandably, it’s also strongly implicated in alcohol abuse, making it a long-running focus of Marisa Roberto, PhD, professor in Scripps Research’s Department of Molecular Medicine.

Now, for the first time, Roberto and her team have identified important changes to anti-inflammatory mechanisms and cellular activity in the amygdala that drive alcohol addiction. By countering this process in mice, they were able to stop excessive alcohol consumption — revealing a potential treatment path for alcohol use disorder. The study is published in Progress in Neurobiology.

“We found that chronic alcohol exposure compromises brain immune cells, which are important for maintaining healthy neurons,” says Reesha Patel, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in Roberto’s lab and first author of the study. “The resulting damage fuels anxiety and alcohol drinking that may

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Feeling More Stress and Anxiety? Your Smartphone May Be to Blame

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Being constantly connected to a steady stream of updates, messages, and news through our smartphones can leave us feeling even more stressed out and anxious at the end of the day. Cavan Images/Getty Images
  • Experts say the barrage of text alerts and our constant social media engagement on our smartphones can take a toll on our mental and emotional health.
  • From the COVID-19 pandemic to the 2020 election, our cellphones can act as a direct conduit to anxiety with a stream of upsetting information at a very stressful time.
  • They suggest adopting practices in our daily routine to put our phones away and take a breather.

It’s late at night, you should be getting ready to fall asleep, but instead you’re up, phone in hand, doomscrolling through your social media feeds.

Or, take this one: You’re heading out for a midday walk, and instead of taking a

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Study finds association between stress and anxiety, and negative body image — ScienceDaily

A new study has found that anxiety and stress directly linked to COVID-19 could be causing a number of body image issues amongst women and men.

The research, led by Professor Viren Swami of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, involved 506 UK adults with an average age of 34.

Amongst women, the study found that feelings of anxiety and stress caused by COVID-19 were associated with a greater desire for thinness. It also found that anxiety was significantly associated with body dissatisfaction.

Amongst the male participants, the study found that COVID-19-related anxiety and stress was associated with greater desire for muscularity, with anxiety also associated with body fat dissatisfaction.

Negative body image is one of the main causes of eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, and this new study adds to recent research indicating that fears around COVID-19, and the consequences

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