what's the buzz

what's the buzz

‘Enactive Torch’ to aid visually impaired 

A research conducted in University of Cincinnati has come up with an advanced device called the Enactive Torch that could help the visually impaired better navigate everyday life with the help of infra-red sensors to “see” objects in front of it.

The device could help all the aging baby boomers, injured veterans, diabetics and white-cane-wielding pedestrians navigate the blurred edges of everyday life.

Luis Favela, a graduate student in psychology, has found that the torch allows the visually impaired to judge their ability to comfortably pass through narrow passages, as good as if they were actually seeing such pathways themselves.

When the torch detects an object, it emits a vibration which is similar to a cellphone alert through an attached wristband. The gentle buzz increases in intensity as the torch nears the object, that enables the user make judgments about where to move based on a virtual touch.

Favela  said that when one compared the participants’ judgments with vision, cane and Enactive Torch, there was not a significant difference, meaning that they made the same judgments and the three modalities were functionally equivalent.   
Testosterone helps foster ‘flight or fright’ response

Researchers at the Nipissing University in Canada have found that increasing the levels of  “male hormone” testosterone can have a profound effect on our brain's response to threat. 

To unravel this, they recruited 16 young male volunteers who received either testosterone or placebo. They focused their attention on brain structures that mediate threat processing and aggressive behaviour including the amygdala, hypothalamus and periaqueductal gray. 

The analyses revealed that testosterone increased reactivity of the amygdala, hypothalamus and periaqueductal grey when viewing angry facial expressions.”We were able to show for the first time that increasing levels of testosterone within the normal physiological range can have a profound effect on brain circuits that are involved in threat-processing and human aggression,” said Justin Carre, an assistant professor. 

Understanding testosterone's effects on the brain activity patterns associated with threat and aggression may help scientists better understand the “fight or flight” response in males. Expanding the knowledge of exactly how testosterone affects the male brain is important, as testosterone augmentation has become increasingly promoted and aggressively marketed as a solution to reduced virility in ageing men.“Further work is indeed continuing,” Carre said. Prior studies found that the administration of a single dose of testosterone influenced brain circuit function. Surprisingly, however, these studies were conducted exclusively on women.
Adults need to double fruit,veggies consumption

A new study has revealed that majority of adults worldwide need to increase their fruits and vegetables intake in order to get vital nutrition benefits. 

It found that 60 to 87 percent of adults across 13 geographic diet regions, would have to at least double their current consumption of fruits and vegetables to meet the World Health Organization’s minimum recommendation of five servings (400 grams) per day. 

The gap between the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables and what adults are actually eating also indicates that most adults are not receiving the  variety of phytonutrients, organic compounds found in fruits and vegetables, potentially needed to support their health and wellness.

Keith Randolph, acknowledged that busy lives, cost, seasonal and geographic availability, as well as perceptions of the value of fruits and vegetables as a food source, could all influence people’s consumption of fruits and vegetables, and ultimately phytonutrients.

He further explained that this was why it’s important for adults to eat whole foods, whenever possible but when availability would be limited or diet was not enough, dietary supplementation might be an option for individuals looking to increase their phytonutrient consumption.