Admit it: Your maths could be better. Well, neuroscientist Roi Cohen Kadosh might have just the thing. He is using the gentle currents of tDCS to improve the way people handle numbers. He gave subjects the task of learning a set of numbers. Then half of the subjects got stimulation and half did not. After training, the stimulated subjects responded more automatically than the non-stimulated group, indicating that they were processing them more efficiently. Remarkably, Cohen Kadosh says, “the effect lasted for six months.”
However, the effects of training on their own can go some way to explaining the improvement seen in these studies, Jenny Crinion says. So one lesson the studies can teach us is about the power of putting in the hours. Plus, the stimulation does not work in isolation. “Whatever you’re practicing has to be the right thing and you need to pair this with stimulation in the right bit of the brain,” she says.
What if the brain is not infinitely malleable? “If I improve your ability in one cognitive area, such as memory, could I at the same time be making it worse in another?” Chambers asks.
This has not stopped commercial companies from pricking up their ears. Medical technology firms such as Soterix and Magstim supply researchers with their kit, but do not sell to the general public, though some outfits have sprung up offering DIY versions for US$99.
Since COVID-19 broke out in Taiwan, there has been a fair amount of news regarding discrimination and “witch hunts” against medical personnel, people under self-quarantine and other targets, such as the students of a school where an infection was discovered. Quarantine breakers are almost certainly on the loose and it is only natural for people to be vigilant. One in Chiayi was found by accident at a traffic stop because his helmet was not fastened. However, those who follow the rules by quarantining themselves should be encouraged to keep up the good work in a difficult situation, instead of being
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator-at-large Wu Sz-huai (吳斯懷) has said that there is a huge difference between Chinese military aircraft circling Taiwan along the edges of its airspace and invading Taiwan’s airspace. He also said that whether it is US or Chinese aircraft flying along or encircling Taiwan’s airspace, there is no legal basis to say that such actions imply a clear provocation of Taiwan, and asked the Ministry of National Defense not to mislead the public. People who hear this might think that it is not a very Taiwanese thing to say. US military activity in the vicinity of Taiwan
As the COVID-19 pandemic spins out of control, many parts of the world are experiencing shortages of medical masks and other protective equipment. I am studying in Washington state, which at the time of writing is the US state that has suffered the largest number of deaths from the novel coronavirus. The week before last, UW Medicine — an organization that includes the University of Washington School of Medicine and associated medical centers and clinics — sent its volunteers an e-mail asking the public to make masks and donate them to hospitals. Attached to the message was a mask donation
Among the three core competencies in the 12-Year Basic Education Curriculum Guidelines, “independent action” is perhaps the most important. However, if a teacher’s approach to teaching follows the Nine-Year Educational Program model, independent action and independent learning seem to be a long-term goal and not a top priority. Fortunately, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the start of school was postponed by two weeks, and the government has been pushing for online teaching. Teachers and students are beginning to focus on independent learning, making this a topic of discussion in educational circles. During the two-week delay, teachers and students at a