Why do we like some music and not others? Why does music feel right and why does it evoke certain moods? The brain's ability to segment the continual stream of sensory information into perceptual chunks and extract meaning, “event segmentation” functions, have long fascinated researchers.
In a series of experiments, a team led by Vinod Menon of Stanford University School of Medicine asked subjects to listen to symphonies of the English composer William Boyce. The symphonies were chosen because they are relatively short and comprise well-defined movements - changes in tempo, tonality, rhythm, and pitch, and brief silences.
In studies with monkeys, researchers have identified in detail the brain regions responsible for the unique ability of primates, including humans, to process visual 3D shapes to guide their sophisticated manipulation of objects.
Specifically, the researchers delineated regions of the parietal cortex responsible for extracting 3D information by integrating disparities in information from the two eyes. Such integration is critical to perceiving three dimensions, because each eye receives only a two-dimensional projection of an image on the retina.
A woman, whose ovaries had failed due to damage caused by chemotherapy and radiotherapy, has received a successful ovarian transplant from her genetically non-identical sister. The transplant restored her ovarian function, she started to menstruate and, after a year, doctors were able to recover two mature oocytes from her ovaries and fertilise them to produce two embryos.
This first case of a successful transplantation of ovarian tissue between two non-identical sisters is reported today by Professor Jacques Donnez, head of the department of gynecology and professor and chairman at the Catholic University of Louvain in Brussels, Belgium, who led the team that carried out the work.
Engineering pliable, new vocal cord tissue to replace scarred, rigid tissue in these petite, yet powerful organs is the goal of a new University of Delaware research project.
Xinqiao Jia, UD assistant professor of materials science and engineering, is leading the project. Jia's research focuses on developing intelligent biomaterials that closely mimic the molecular composition, mechanical responsiveness and nanoscale organization of natural extracellular matrices--the structural materials that serve as scaffolding for cells. These novel biomaterials, combined with defined biophysical cues and biological factors, are being used for functional tissue regeneration.
An international research team, led by scientists at the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN), has found a way to switch a material’s magnetic properties from ‘hard’ to ‘soft’ and back again – something which could lead to new ways of controlling electromagnetic devices. The research shows how a magnet can be ‘tuned’ by subjecting it to a second magnetic field, perpendicular to the original.
Magnets can be classified by their ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ magnetic properties. Hard magnets, sometimes called ‘permanent’ magnets, have fixed or ‘pinned’ domain walls which mean the material stays magnetised for a long time. Soft magnets have moveable domain walls that can be easily flipped.
How high is Mount Everest exactly?
Recent surveys have come up with heights that differ by more than five meters. An expedition called the Geodetic Journey is making its way through China and Tibet to highlight the importance of geodesy and how an accurate model of the geoid from ESA's GOCE mission will lead to a unified system for measuring heights.
Geodesy is concerned with measuring and mapping the shape of the Earth's surface, to the benefit of all branches of Earth sciences and has many practical applications. Although surveying techniques go back thousands of years, it traditionally involves taking very precise three-dimensional positioning of points.