Scientific Publications for Steven Erat

Alanna Watt, Mark van Rossum, Sacha Nelson, Gina Turrigiano

Activity Coregulates Quantal AMPA and NMDA Currents at Neocortical Synapses.
Neuron, Vol. 26, 659-670, June, 2000

AMPA and NMDA are coexpressed at many central synapses, but the factors that control the ratio of these two receptors are not well understood. We recorded mixed miniature or evoked synaptic currents arising from coactivation of AMPA and NMDAP receptors and found that the long-lasting changes in activity scaled both currents up and down proportianally through changes in the number of postsynaptic receptors. The ratio of AMPA and NMDA current was similar at different synapses onto the same neuron, and this relationship was preserved following activity-dependent synaptic scaling. These data show that AMPA and NMDA receptors are tightly corregulated by activity at synapses at which they are both expressed and suggest that a mechanism exists to actively maintain a constant receptor ratio across a neuron's synapses. We thank Steven Erat for the preparation of cultures.

Rabin BM, Joseph JA, Erat S.

Effects of exposure to different types of radiation on behaviors mediated by peripheral or central systems.
Advances in Space Research 1998;22(2):217-25. PMID: 11541399 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
The effects of exposure to ionizing radiation on behavior may result from effects on peripheral or on central systems. For behavioral endpoints that are mediated by peripheral systems (e.g., radiation-induced conditioned taste aversion or vomiting), the behavioral effects of exposure to heavy particles (56Fe, 600MeV/n) are qualitatively similar to the effects of exposure to gamma radiation (60Co) and to fission spectrum neutrons. For these endpoints, the only differences between the different types of radiation are in terms of relative behavioral effectiveness. For behavioral endpoints that are mediated by central systems (e.g., amphetamine-induced taste aversion learning), the effects of exposure to 56Fe particles are not seen following exposure to lower LET gamma rays or fission spectrum neutrons. These results indicate that the effects of exposure to heavy particles on behavioral endpoints cannot necessarily be extrapolated from studies using gamma rays, but require the use of heavy particles.


How does Java see your system?

Here's a snippet of code that will help you determine how the JVM under CFMX sees your system. By dumping the System Properties this could be useful for debugging locale and timezone issues, file encoding issues, and more.

[cfobject type="JAVA" name="foo" class="java.lang.System" action="CREATE">

[cfdump var="#foo.getProperties()#">


On July 4, 2003 Mercedes (originally from Barcelona, Spain) and Steven (originally from Baltimore, MD) officially announced their engagement. Below are some pictures taken of the happy couple and the engagement ring.

Marriage Ceremony at Town House in Concord, MA, 2003

Wedding Reception Photos from our wedding in Benasque Spain, 2005

Special Announcement

On Friday, July 4, 2003. during a vacation in Maryland and Virginia, Steven and Merecedes officially announced their engagement!


Webcam: Concord, MA; USA

WebCam in Concord, Massachusetts For anyone interested in the current weather in Concord, Massachusetts, or for anyone just plain bored to tears, I've set up a webcam pointing out my home office window onto the street.

I don't actually work from home during the week, but if I stare hard enough at my monitor at work I might just fool my weary brain into thinking I'm somewhere other than this stale, monochromatic cattle stall they call a cubical.


CFCONTENT for display of LDAP images

Although broken in CFMX 6.0, the following code will work in CFMX 6.1 and up: This example demonstrates how to display images that are stored in LDAP when served from ColdFusion over CFCONTENT.


CFMX Sandbox Security

Related to my earlier blog referencing Sam and Aaron's demonstration of file access in ColdFusion MX without the use of CFFILE, CFOBJECT, or CreateObject(), there has been a recent discussion on a ColdFusion mailing list that was concerned with potential security breaches as a result of that type of code.

Jochem van Dieten, another very knowledgeable and frequent contributor to ColdFusion lists and forums, has confirmed in his testing that a properly configured server can still restrict file access through this alternate means. Jochem writes:

Even if somebody can bypass CF MX Sandbox Security (and I am not saying they can), they are still bound by the OS ACLs. So as long as the CF MX Service runs under an account that does not have access to these files there is no way they can be compromised.
As long as I don't configure a Sandbox, that code works. As soon as I configure a Sandbox, that code breaks with the following message:
" access denied"
So apparently a correctly configured Sandbox will not allow the filesystem to be compromised.
A follow-up from Macromedia included:

It is possible, even with createObject and CFObject disallowed to get access to Java. But, if you have file access and network access restrictions configured in SBS then you will be protected from unauthorized file/network access via Java or CF. Basically, SBS(SandBox Security) creates the same in-memory policy objects that the appserver creates when it loads the java.policy file. When SBS is enabled we start the java.lang.SecurityManager with an unrestricted policy and then using the CF Admin end users can configure these on the fly - I think the CF Admin is much easier to deal with than a Java policy file.

Update 1/28/2004: A Security Patch has been released for this potential vulnerability.

SuperBlogs: RewindLife and

At the recent CFUN03 I had the opporunity to meet Samuel Neff, of Team Macromedia fame. I'm always amazed at Sam's responsiveness to the ColdFusion forums users, as well as his extraordinary range and depth of knowledge in both ColdFusion and Java.

I highly recommend reading Sam's Blog at Case in point, take a look at this script for a Java alternative for CFFILE that can be implemented in CFSCRIPT.

On a related note, another valuable resource is Aaron Johnson's blog. Aaron works for Mind's Eye, and his posts are frequent and insightful. Here is Aaron's version of Sam's code, which has been shortened considerably while making use of the init() method.

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