Emotional response to city design could guide urban planning

Neurologists, architects, artists, and epidemiologists are collaborating to design cities that could be used to improve well-being among older people. Image credit - Senior Guidance, licensed under CCby2.0

by Fintan Burke Virtual reality and scenario-testing models are being built to help urban planners and architects get real-time feedback about the impact of their designs on mental health, particularly for older people.   Europe’s cities are getting greyer. The EU’s 2018 ageing report claims that by 2070, more than half of Europeans will be over … Read more

Link between music and speech rhythm in brain could provide language insight

When a piece of music is played at the wrong tempo it is difficult to recognise because our brain uses rhythm to help make sense of sounds. Image credit - flickr/ Brian Richardson, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Neuroscientist Dr Domenica Bueti often plays an altered version of the classic aria La donna è mobile when she gives talks about the importance of time perception. Her friend’s piano rendition of Giuseppe Verdi’s composition uses the same notes but is played at different speeds. Rarely does anyone ever identify the tune. ‘When I play it with … Read more

Schools and media literacy critical for teen refugees’ social wellbeing

A quarter of the refugees who entered Europe in 2018 were children, and 40% of these were unaccompanied by adults. Image credit - Kylo/ Unsplash

by Gareth Willmer For a teenage refugee starting a new life in Europe, going to school and using digital media form a big part of navigating an unfamiliar society. But appropriate interventions at school and online could help them feel more at home in a new country. A quarter of the migrants and refugees who entered Europe … Read more

Can artificial intelligence help end fake news?

Artificial intelligence can be used to create deep fakes - audio, pictures and videos that make people say and do things they never did. Image credit - PxHere

by Tom Cassauwers Fake news has already fanned the flames of distrust towards media, politics and established institutions around the world. And while new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) might make things even worse, it can also be used to combat misinformation. Want to make yourself sound like Obama? In the past, that might have required physically … Read more

In a picture: Hunting down guerrilla tumour cells – Prof. Rolf Bjerkvig

Brain tumours contain many different types of cells, here stained different colours, which makes them complex to treat.

Professor Rolf Bjerkvig, a specialist in brain cancer research, tells us why guerrilla cells make the disease so hard to treat. Brain tumours are hard to treat completely with surgery because they leave behind cells that invade the brain. In this video, which covers 72 hours, you can see cells breaking off from a tumour to invade other … Read more

Why are children so good at learning languages?

Image Credit - Pixabay License

When it comes to learning languages small children beat machines hands down, even though they are exposed to only a fraction of the vocabulary fed into algorithms. So what exactly makes them so good? In 2003, an influential study showed that children from rich families were exposed to around 30 million more words before the age of … Read more