Learning with all the senses

The motor system in the brain appears to be especially important: When someone not only hears vocabulary in a foreign language, but expresses it using gestures, they will be more likely to remember it. Also helpful, although to a slightly lesser extent, is learning with images that correspond to the word. Learning methods that involve several senses, and in particular those that use gestures, are therefore superior to those based only on listening or reading.

Forever young: Meditation might slow the age-related loss of gray matter in the brain

The scientists looked specifically at the association between age and gray matter. They compared 50 people who had mediated for years and 50 who didn't. People in both groups showed a loss of gray matter as they aged. But the researchers found among those who meditated, the volume of gray matter did not decline as much as it did among those who didn't.

Add nature, art and religion to life's best anti-inflammatories

Sistine ChapelTaking in such spine-tingling wonders as the Grand Canyon, Sistine Chapel ceiling or Schubert’s “Ave Maria” may give a boost to the body’s defense system, according to new research from UC Berkeley.

Researchers have linked positive emotions – especially the awe we feel when touched by the beauty of nature, art and spirituality – with lower levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are proteins that signal the immune system to work harder.

“Our findings demonstrate that positive emotions are associated with the markers of good health,” said Jennifer Stellar, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Toronto and lead author of the study, which she conducted while at UC Berkeley.

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Lower-cost metal 3-D printing solution available

3D printing of plastic parts to prototype or manufacture goods is becoming commonplace in industry, but there is an urgent need for lower-cost 3D printing technology to produce metal parts. New substrate release solutions that offer easy, less expensive alternatives to aluminum parts removal during gas metal arc weld 3D printing are described in an article in 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.

A team led by Paul Sanders and Joshua Pearce from Michigan Technological University (Houghton, MI), tested several surface treatment methods for releasing 3D-printed aluminum parts from the reusable substrate on which they are deposited. In the article “Substrate Release Mechanisms for Gas Metal Arc Weld 3D Aluminum Metal Printing” the authors compare the printing and parts removal technologies based on cost and need for additional coating steps, warping of the substrate, interlayer adhesion strength, and ease of use. The experiments were all performed on Michigan Tech’s open-source metal 3-D printer.

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Power psychs people up about… themselves

A new paper suggests that what separates such people from the rest of us is their perceived sense of power: Powerful people, researchers found, draw inspiration from themselves rather than others.