Bilingualism May Keep Older Brains Nimble

first_imgLiveScience: Older adults who have spoken two languages since childhood are quicker at switching between cognitive tasks than single-language adults, a new study finds.The bilingual seniors also showed distinct patterns of brain activity not seen in monolingual participants, the researchers added.“This study provides some of the first evidence of an association between a particular cognitively stimulating activity, in this case, speaking multiple languages on a daily basis, and brain function,” John Woodard, an aging expert from Wayne State University, who was not involved with the study, said in a statement.Recent research has suggested speaking two languages could keep one’s cognitive flexibility, or the ability to adapt to new, often unfamiliar, situations, from declining, something thought to happen with age.Read the whole story: LiveScience More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

Psychedelic brew called ayahuasca could enhance creative thinking abilities

first_imgShare on Twitter Email Pinterest Share on Facebook A psychedelic brew known as ayahuasca may help people “think outside the box,” according to a new study published in the journal Psychopharmacology. But more research is needed.Ayahuasca has been used in the healing ceremonies of indigenous Amazon tribes for centuries. The psychoactive drink is traditionally prepared using plants which contain beta-carbolines such as harmaline and tryptamines like DMT.Researchers led by K. P. C. Kuypers of Maastricht University visited two spiritual ayahuasca-using groups to investigate the drug’s effect on divergent and convergent thinking. Divergent thinking describes the process of generating many possible solutions to a problem. Convergent thinking, on the other hand, refers to the process of narrowing down potential solutions to find one correct answer.center_img “Creative divergent thinking can enhance and strengthen psychological flexibility by allowing individuals to generate new and effective cognitive, emotional, and behavioral strategies on their own which helps them to adopt adaptive interpretations and coping styles,” the researchers explained.Kuypers and his colleagues recruited 26 participants for their study. These volunteers had all consumed ayahuasca previously.The participants first completed two creativity tasks designed to measure divergent and convergent thinking. About 3 hours later, they consumed ayahuasca in a dimly lit room while music played in the background. After waiting 2 hours for the drug to reach its peak, the participants completed the two creativity tasks again.Only one of the tests, the Picture Concept Task, indicated that ayahuasca produced changes in divergent and convergent thinking. The task required participants to find associations between a number of pictures that were aligned into rows.The researchers found that after consuming ayahuasca, the participants had a harder time finding the one correct association but were better at providing as many alternative answers as possible. Ayahuasca appeared to cause a decrease in conventional convergent thinking but enhance creative divergent thinking.There has been a renewal of interest in the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs. The authors cautioned that their findings were preliminary, but said their study could have some implications for this line of research.“The present study has shown that ayahuasca promotes divergent thinking, an ability which has been shown to be an important aspect in cognitive therapy,” Kuypers and his colleagues concluded. “It can therefore be suggested that ayahuasca possesses qualities that can promote a therapeutic process. However, since convergent thinking is also a critical aspect in therapy, and the current findings show that ayahuasca impairs this facet during the acute phase, future studies have to investigate whether this effect profile changes over time.”They added: “Additional research utilizing a placebo-controlled experimental design, including additional creativity measures, is warranted, before results can be generalized.” Share LinkedInlast_img read more

Topaz secures USD42m financing

first_imgThe profile of the banks provide finance to Topaz is diverse and covers leading, regional commercial and Islamic banks, specialised international shipping banks and global institutions.A leader in the offshore support vessel market, Topaz operates more than 100 modern and high-spec vessels with diverse capabilities such as anchor handling tug supply vessels, platform supply vessels, flotels, ice breakers, crew boats, cable layers, survey vessels and specialised barges.Topaz employs a prudent vessel acquisition strategy that restricts any speculative buying other than in technological or geographical niches. This model has proven very successful and paired with the relatively low counterparty risk related to Topaz’s blue-chip client base, banks have responded positively.Topaz CFO, Pramod Balakrishnan commented on Topaz’s success in securing financing, “Topaz has a strong balance sheet and comfortably meets its bank covenants which makes financing us a compelling case for the banks. Our overall fleet exposure is weighted towards medium and long-term contracts which helps counterbalance any spot market volatility, providing another level of comfort for the banks. The long visibility and consistent cash flows generated enable our bankers to sleep soundly.”Setting the stage for 2010, Topaz has stated its strategic intent to aggressively pursue growth through acquisitions into geographies of strategic importance to the global hydrocarbon markets. Depressed asset valuations and motivated sellers are likely to provide attractive opportunities for Topaz. The OSV-market globally is characterised by smaller operators and in the wake of the global financial crisis, a certain degree of consolidation is expected.last_img read more

World rail market May 2014

first_imgFrance: SNCF has awarded Armor-Lux a contract to supply new uniforms for 33000 customer-facing personnel. Netherlands: Thales is to install and maintain 153 ticket gates and 45 ticket vending machines on Amsterdam’s North-South metro line. The gates will feature a 3D camera instead of beam sensors, which Thales says will improve passenger flow and security. Turkey: Tenders have been called for the construction of a railway test facility at Alpu near Eskiehir. USA: Transport agency TriMet has awarded INIT a contract to implement smart card ticketing for light rail, commuter rail and bus services in Portland, Oregon. As part of an regenerated energy recovery project, EPX is installing Ioxus ultracapacitors in 20 ft shipping containers on the Long Island Rail Road network.last_img

Video | John Calipari talks after beating Albany

first_imgPlay VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 0:00Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%0:00 Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1ChaptersChaptersdescriptions off, selectedDescriptionssubtitles off, selectedSubtitlescaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedCaptionsAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window. The Video Cloud video was not found. Error Code: VIDEO_CLOUD_ERR_VIDEO_NOT_FOUND Session ID: 2020-09-18:225db4f2ec0eaf9de73cdd3d Player ID: videojs-brightcove-player-185932-4611990234001 OK Close Modal DialogCaption Settings DialogBeginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsDefaultsDoneClose Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Starting off with comments about the terrorist attack in France, Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari went on to say that his team continues to be a work in progress early in the season despite what appeared to be a convincing win.last_img read more

Fear and stress ruled run-up, says rugby World Cup champion

first_imgTOKYO,  (Reuters) – A Japanese voice thunders out of a megaphone and political slogans drown out the voices on a Tokyo nightclub roof garden. Will Greenwood holds his head in his hands. “You hear the Tannoy now, right?” the rugby World Cup winner asked during a break in the cacophony.“That Tannoy is relevant, because that volume was the level of fear and self-doubt I had in my head.”Greenwood played a key role in England’s last, and only, Rugby World Cup triumph in 2003 when they beat Australia in a dramatic extra-time final in Sydney. This weekend Eddie Jones’s England team will seek to replicate that feat when they face South Africa in Tokyo, and the 47-year-old reached back into his memory to tell Reuters what the current crop will be going through right now.“I had this the whole time: ‘Oh my god, oh my god, don’t lose… Oh my god, oh my god don’t make the error’. (People think) ‘No, no, you were all serene and calm… (but) that’s like a front in press conferences,” he said at an event hosted by Rugby World Cup partner Land Rover. “My perspective was Monday, Tuesday, ‘We’re in a World Cup final, baby, this is why we play’… Wednesday, Thursday, ‘Oh my god, do not mess this up’.“Left on my own, demons, thoughts, total and utter fear… just slept, just slept… The only way I could quieten the Tannoy is if I am sleeping or in the cinema, which I then end up sleeping in. “Friday, pushing the food round the plate feeling physically sick, going ‘I can’t do this, I can’t do this, I can’t do this…’ emotional energy spent…“Saturday morning, ‘Whoah, game day’. Saturday afternoon I’m back in it, I’m alright. So, they’ll all have their stories to tell. They’ll all have their inner demons to struggle with… some may not, and they are the most blessed people or they have listened to the psychologists and haven’t completely ignored them like I always did, which is possibly part of the problem,” he smiled.Ultimately, key for Greenwood was routine and familiarity, which, he said, helped slay the demons. “You know people go to work and they put a suit on and they’re a lawyer, or they have an outfit and they’re a plumber or they’re a builder, or they’re an engineer. They go to work; they’re in work mode.“For me, sticking the England tracksuit on on a Saturday was work mode, and I could just release (the demons) and go through the processes.”ENGLAND BY 10 OR 12 Greenwood said that before this World Cup he had cooled on the seemingly invincible All Blacks, saying he felt they had shown signs of weakness.England beat the three-times and defending champions in a breathtaking semi-final on Saturday.The 2003 champion has instead been mentally backing England’s opponents from 12 months back – until that sensational 19-7 England win over New Zealand.“To ignore last Saturday, and what England did, would be like blind faith in what I said 12 months ago,” Greenwood said. “Just because you voted Remain or Brexit (in Britain’s EU referendum of 2016), actually you might then listen to the arguments, and the point of democracy is you can change your mind and then go ‘actually I have now listened to all the arguments, and I think sport is like that.“You can’t just say because of what you saw 12 months ago… I go much more form horse, short-term, quality I’ve seen, and I think England will win this by 10 or 12 points and will shut out the Springboks.“The defensive press will be too much, it will force South Africa to do something they don’t want to do. You might go, ‘Look at those blooming rose-tinted spectacles he’s wearing’, but I’m going on what I saw, and have seen the past few weeks. “I think they’ve got to stay true to what they did, which is keep the tempo high, keep the pace high, get those pullback balls going around the corner having All Black defenders guessing – I mean guessing – who’s getting the ball, and if they do that then England will put themselves in very good shape to do something that hasn’t been done for 15 years and 345 days.”last_img read more