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Academia enthusiasm Environment knowledge Launch research research communication Researcher Researchista

Researchista’s Sparkle

Dear Researchista friend,

Thousands of PhD theses are published every month/year in the world, and thousands and even millions of public money (usually) are invested in the research projects behind the theses, yet only a very-very-very small % of the knowledge shared in these valuable books reach you :/

I started Researchista because I had a dream: I wanted Researchers to be heard and the intellectual effort to be valued. So, I made a board game out of my PhD thesis in hope to inspire other Researchers to connect to the wider audience in a different way.

Budgets on Research communication are usually scarce or most of the times non-existent, simply because after a research study was carried out, the results are used for a certain purpose by policy makers or other parties involved, often forgetting that the general public like you and me can benefit of it greatly also.

I made a game out of my PhD thesis and I hope one day it will reach you as well, online or by paper.

This is not just a game, this is a cause.

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Join Researchista’s cause!

Have a look at the game, share the word, like our page, find us on Instagram.

Homepage

http://www.facebook.com/playyourtaxes.com

http://www.instagram.com/playyourtaxes

The activity of the blog will re-start as soon as possible.

With love for Research,

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Academia anxiety Community enthusiasm happiness Little Research passion research Researchista

(51) Research on MUSIC: an intro.

I remember my dad telling me back in the days that during the Soviet Union times, for the cows to be more productive in giving milk, Mozart would be played in the background, while farmers would collect their milk. Maybe this is not the most romantic way to start this post, but if that is true, at least it gives an idea about the power of (classical) music.

Thank you, wonderful musician! This is Research on MUSIC month and invited Researchers and practitioners from this area will discuss in the upcoming Mondays different perspectives of how music affects our busy, intense, contemporary life and how we can make the best out of it!

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Source: Maastricht Students.

Music in our-days is easy to use at all times… for relaxing our cats, for headaches and migraines, for peaceful eating and breathing.

We can create the ‘sound of music‘ ourselves anywhere we are. I remember when I turned 30 (don’t mention it)), I asked my friends to bring as a present – a performance of whatever they could do, and singing was the most used creative performance we could all enjoy that evening. Learning an instrument might take a while 😀

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Going one step further than singing in the bathroom.

Speaking of that night… with gratitude to my friend Ina, who let me share this video with you, please have a look at this beautiful piece of classical music by Puccini. It is a spontaneous rendition, with the great assistance of her little blue butterfly girl, Nele.

Who knows, maybe it will inspire your next theme house party, you might be surprised on how creative your friends really are! 😉

…. and now… another round of applause go to our Special Guest of next Monday, a Research fellow on EU law and related topics to living and working as musicians and a musician at the same time! drums…

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Eva van Ooij, Musician and Research Fellow at Maastricht University

Music with us more next Monday!

With love for Research,

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enthusiasm future Policy research Special occassion

(50) Special day.

It is 8th of March. I would like to dedicate this post to Kristalina Georgieva, the former Vice-President of the department that is behind financing of all EU programms that exist in the European Union (even behind Horizon2020!;), that is the: DG Budget

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They say that without political will you can not make a change in a country. I would add that without the will of policy makers (to not be confused with politicians), the change will be incomplete. Here is one way for policy makers to support Research among colleagues, see minute 7.15.

EU Budget Focused on Results conference

Happy International Women’s Day to all the female Researchers out there!

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With love for Research,

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(49) Research on HEALTH: do-your-own-little research.

Have you ever watched people walking in and out of a train station or through a metro underground? Have you ever wondered what was on their minds? For example, what did they eat or what did they do that day? In this post, we will learn about a Research method that everybody knows about and uses, called the “observation“. There are more types of observations used in Research, but the one that is easiest to do is simply to observe and record the behaviour of yourself or those around you.

Since this is Research on HEALTH month, let’s talk about how you can use observation to improve your health. This post is inspired by a life story of a Researcher that had a bike accident on a early rainy morning. She got a head concussion and for weeks she could not do much. So, she used observation to go through her pain and social isolation. Here is what she says….

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Observation can be so refreshing.

I was laying in bed for days and nights, without being able to look on the computer screen or telephone much, without watching a movie or reading a book. All I could do was staring at the ceiling and counting the wrinkles it had and different shapes it could draw through its little lines and bubbles.

In time, I was allowed to listen to audio books and then to meditate and then slowly I came back to my senses, but the process itself was long and meticulous.

So, out of boredom I started to observe. I am a Researcher afterall. If I could not do any work, I could at least train my ‘detective muscle’ that is needed if you want to be reflective and smart 🙂

I observed the reaction of my friends and family, the way they reacted to my situation, the perception they have about me, the delayed reactions, the laughter, the physical support. It was so sweet to see them so concerned and as a result trying to pamper me all the time. I observed how compassionate were the people I knew and how I was reacting to their compassion, how I was reacting to the light, how the weather was changing, what shapes the sun was making in the ceiling, what positions were bad for my head, what was making me feel good. Although, at first sight very childish maybe exercises, it helped make a dialogue with myself and see how I recovered day by day.

I ended up observing myself. How was I responding to pain? What was making me feel good again? How much was I complaining?

Observation helped me to feel stronger and more refreshed with the image I had towards the others, the image others had towards me and the image I had towards what was surrounding me.

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Last thing, if you happen to ever have a head concussion and you have long hair, it will not take you long time to Not observe that you need a good hair mask to soften your hair after so much rubbing it by the pillow!!! 😀

p.s. Some deadlines for you to respect if you or your friend has a head concussion, but please always consult a doctor, I am not a doctor.

  1. It is a myth that if you did not vomit or fainted at the place of the accident, you do not have a head concussion. It might be the case, but most probably if you hit your head is really not a good idea to stay STANDING.
  2. In the first 24 hours it is important to have someone next to you that can check on you during the night or take you to the emergency if necessary. Emergency-24-Hour-Service2.png
  3. In the first 2 weeks it is very important to have a good continous rest and if possible, not go to work, otherwise you will regret it for the next 6 month.
  4. Same for the first month, for as long as possible rest.
  5. In the next 6 month, your head will not be the same, it needs time to recover…

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Did you like this story? Are you motivated now to observe more the things and people around you? 

This is ‘do-your-own-little-research‘ moment on Researchista. 

With love for Research,

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Academia enthusiasm Fashion Fashionista first years of PhD Photoshoot research Researchista

fashionista #3: Maaspuntweg & Stenenwal.

So, we went to see the Maas from the other side. Please meet our guest, miss Laurien Nagels-Coune who is also the first intern at Researchista, you probably heard about her before 😉 This story is not so much about a Research topic, since Laurien is in her first year of PhD. This story is a personal story about the start of a junior Researcher. 

For those who are unfamiliar with Researchista-fashionista project, this aims to bring Researchers to model on the streets of Maastricht to bring some light on both, the Researcher and a street (or two) of this serene medieval city. On top of that, Researchista-fashionista is concerned with some aspects of the fashion industry and wishes to promote eco-healthy clothing. So, in this shoot we wear 100% biological and organic materials produced 100% in Europe and provided by the shop, called ‘EcoLinea’ from Platielstraat 10 (Vrijthof), where honestly,  everything you find in that shop, like.. every-single-wool/cotton/allmaterials-thing is organic (and they still have sales on!).

First, a little something about the location of the shoot. Tadam! This is the center of Maastricht. You see on the left, the central train station and then few central locations. I marked with a red and orange line the streets and place of our 3rd shoot at this idyllic river bench. Taking pictures with Mr. Mullenberg Peter and his assistant is always a lot of joy, the atmosphere is relaxed and the jokes are funny. This helps everyone to get in the mood to shoot the story.

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It was December, it was winter and it was cold on Maaspuntweg (from ‘Maas’-the river, ‘punt’ – the point, ‘weg’ – the way, now you also know some Dutch!). We went directly to the back of the Bonnenfanten Museum, in the yard of the cafeteria ‘Ipanema’, where we plan to shelter ourselves for tea. Wrong day, the place was closed 😀 I leave it to yourselves to admire how Laurien is being impervious to cold! She was on the table for almost an hour pretending that winter never happened and here is her story…

PhD life in Maastricht: a first impression.

Dear readers, join me at this delightful location. During my master, I would often bike via this path after crossing the Sint Servaas bridge. Biking to the Randwyck campus was always quite a journey because I lived on Maastricht’s Belgian side, almost close enough to the border to receive the Belgian network on my phone.

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Don’t get me wrong though, I did not mind the bike ride at all. My favorite part was this path. I am fond of watching the water from the Maas. When thinking about it, it might be all the fun times at the Belgian seaside that installed this love of water in me. Nevertheless, three years ago I started riding my bike via this path all the way to Randwyck. I was over the moon with getting accepted in one of the neuroscience programs at the faculty of psychology and neuroscience.

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The courses were immensely interesting and intense, resulting in a flow like state most of the time. Admittedly, there were also some times that it got too intense for me. I had to get used to problem-based learning (PBL) for starters. Coming from the University of Leuven, PBL was quite the opposite of what I was used to. A wonderful advantage was that I had to keep up with the material. The perfectionistic procrastinator in me had to get on with it. A downside – that was especially hard to adjust to – was the compulsory attendance. I used to travel a lot during my studies in Leuven, as I was in a long-distance relationship. During those trips, I studied the manuals and the course materials. Sometimes I would ask friends to record an important lecture. This more introverted type of learning also worked for me.

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Nevertheless, PBL made me keep up with the work, and perhaps that was just what I needed to push me into a flow state. When left on my own, I often want to fully understand all the material that is given to me. That might sound like a positive trait, but in all fairness, dissecting an entire methods section meticulously is not very efficient in every course. Maastricht’s educational system forced me to step back regularly and look at the big picture…… and then step back in and read another article.

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After this Master my cravings for neuroscience grew stronger and I decided to apply for a PhD grant together with my mentor. At the time of the grant application I was doing an internship in California, so I had to fly back to defend my project. I felt like a million dollars when getting on that plane. The mere thought that someone else thought I was important enough to fly me back to Europe was thrilling. Even more thrilling was actually getting this grant of course.

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What makes neuroscience such a good match for me is its interdisciplinary nature. Neuroscience is the biology of psychology, the biology behind our mind… In cognitive neuroscience we often measure the brain activity during specific tasks or mental activities. These psychological experiments are elegantly designed and intensely piloted to answer very complex – and sometimes even philosophical – questions that touch the core of our human mind. As a neuroscientist, you can delve into psychology, biology, mathematics and computer science all at the same time.

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The first year of my PhD has passed now.  I am sure that many other PhD students would agree with this statement: time flies by so fast. The past year has been a small success for me as I got to experience the thrill of data collection in living human beings and I presented a poster at my first conference. I often ruminate about what I could have done better or about slow progress, but I force myself to ban those thoughts and be content. I learned a lot and developed quite some skills, and that is all that really matters in the end. In addition, I am trying this mantra ‘I did my best and that is good enough’.

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One personal tendency that helped me in the past year is systematic organization. My need for agenda’s, planning and to do lists is never satisfied. Notebooks and cute folders clutter my desk. I note everything down and I date every note. Paper beats not only rock but also technology. A fountain pen and a blank page do the trick infinitely better than an empty word document in my world. When it comes to creative experimental design or writing that is, of course. I could not miss my computer when it comes to data analysis.

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But hej, I am for sure not the archetype boring office mouse. Next to my OCD-like organization attempts, I also enjoy socializing with my colleagues. I feel blessed to have a few of my former classmates as colleagues because it made the transition from student to PhD-er so much easier.

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I have always been a talkative person over a good coffee. Time spent enjoying lunch or coffee with my colleagues is an energy boost for me. Also it is time spent exchanging ideas, supporting each other and having a good laugh.

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In conclusion, the past few years here in Maastricht have been wonderful, a challenging but also quite a rewarding adventure. I am looking forward to the next few years of my PhD …..

Laurien

When we went to EcoLinea to choose the clothes for the shoot, we got this combination…. it felt like we were mirroring each other, myself as a graduated PhD and Laurien as a first year PhD who is really in her very first months of a hopefully not very long journey. I felt very inspired and wrote these verses that do not rhyme 🙂 but who cares, I just wanted to pass on a message. It is for you, Laurien! and all other starters in the PhD/Research world.

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Photo credit: Photostique, Peter Mullenberg

Models: Laurien and Researchista

Clothing: Ecolinea, Maastricht.

With love for Research,

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“Bonefun!

So, here we are sister,
Passing on the (PhD) flag with care,
In the little heaven of Maastrich.

Not much rhymes with what you are about to face.
And I do not mean to dramatize,
Neither to remind you of the sleepless nights,
But no matter how smart and strong you are,
Get ready to face it.
Hard work, discipline, dissapointment and again.

It might brake you down,
But you have passion and compassion to glue yourself back.
It might cover you in that extra layer of glorious pride,
But you have kindness to remind yourself of who you are.

It might take you down to unvisited inside depressive places,
It might take you up to ego heavens,
It might be the biggest dissapointment,
It might be the best thing you have done in your life,
It might be your worse decision.
One thing is certain, in time all struggles remain aloof,
The skills you will acquired, your hard work and the Dr. in front of your surname,
will undust your memory from time to time,
and will remain with you for(ever?) a long time.

It will stay part of you, Research & you.
Even if you change the colour of your hair,
The surname in your passport.

And one day,
When you are done,
The world is yours.
Till you become unemployed.

Ah, Maastricht, you keep on surprising us all,
You little bubble of heaven,
Placed at the river bench,
Embracing us at the Bonnenfanten wander place.

White verses,
Researchista’s muse”

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Business enthusiasm Researchista

(45) 1 year of Researchista: facts & feelings

2016: January Irina decides, it’s now or never ever ever will she take this courage to start her journey in entrepreneurship and makes visible to the public her Facebook page, called Researchistaraising immediately her deep concern about: “Does more knowledge create more happiness? Or rather, more unhappiness?To perceive (understand) is to suffer” said Aristotle. More you learn, more you understand that you need to learn more about it.. Socrates famous quote: “”I know that I know nothing”. So, does more knowledge create more unhappiness? At the same time, can more happiness create more knowledge?”

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Having recently graduated, all she wanted  was to help other PhD students by sharing her ideas, her stories or by inviting others to speak on her blog.

2016: 14 February The blog goes on-air! http://www.researchista.com is officially launched with its first post on.. Love during PhD.

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2016: March Researchista hosts her first Special Guest Dr. Jimmie Leppink, who writes for PhD students about: My first paper,  Tips on improving your writing, Writing and Research design, Guest writer preview.

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Dr. Jimmie Leppink, First Special Guest at Researchista

Twitter account – check.
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2016: April From her genuine concern about the health of PhD students, Researchista invites over the life Coach Danielle Branje, to discuss about anxiety in professional life (see: “Trust more, stress less“, “Prevention is the key“, “Tips to trick anxiety in your professional life”).

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Coach Danielle Branje, upcoming support to PhD students in 2017 on PhD Helpbox section

2016: May Researchista’s first media appearance in the Maastricht University newspaper, “The Observant”. And she wants to let the world know, Research does not exist only in the academia and it was not made only for PhD students to struggle!

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Photo by http://www.manorlux.com for the “Magic 3 and the Earth” story (types of Researchers)

2016: June Researchista participates at the TEDx Pitch Night event in Maastricht and here is what she said:

It is in this month that an entire month (during Mondays), our Special Guest Hasmik Matevosyan tells us based on her Research finding what’s happening in fashion industry.

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Special Guest, Hasmik Matevosyan

SoundCloud account – check.

2016: July When everyone went for holidays, Researchista picked a moment to hope that it will pass unnoticed, (but for some this became the only thing Researchista ever did?) and did her first Researchista-fashionista photoshoot. Her name has a fashionista touch, remember? 

It was the moment when many Researchers from my academic environment think I am doing it all wrong, the month of double-face self-palming from colleagues I know wondering to themselves of what I did I do. I wonder, is it because of this picture? 😀

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First Photostique photoshoot for Researchista fashionista

Ever since, I am asked if I am trying to sell Research with my body or if I am trying to become a modeler. It did not matter what I wrote in that post, because those who gave me such feedback clearly haven’t read it 😛 carefully. Research on FASHION is just one of the multiple topics Researchista will approach.. so get ready to not get bored 🙂

2016: August Our Special Guest tells PhD students and others alike what are the secrets of high performance, how to generate brilliant ideas and on public speaking.

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Paul Rulkens, http://www.agripacci.com

2016: 9th of September Researchista is launching her first product.

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http://www.facebook.com/playourtaxes A Board Game made out of Researchista’s PhD thesis.

It was a special experience!

2016: October is Research on FOOD month… and here a wild month unleashes, because the posts were so interesting and we’ve got a lot of feeback. It starts with the transition of a civilization  and vertical farming by Michelle Jongen from Botanica Innovare and continues with the first Special Guest from abroad, Dr. Beatrice D’Ippolito, York University

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Dr. Beatrice D’Ippolito, York University

Even more, together with my friend, Diana Z. from Busy Avocado, we embark in a little Research journey on our own, here is what my friend says about food labels.

This month, Dr.-to-become Carolin Hoffman is telling her story on 2nd Researchista fashionista shoot.

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Dr.-to-become Carolin Hoffman, Maastricht University

2016: November is the Research on BRAIN month, hosting a series of very nice Guests from Maastricht University and abroad. We start with Dr. Joao Correia on brain & language, we continue with Dr. Gojko Žarić on brain & reading and almost ends with the post on brain & hearing problems from Laurien.

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Dr. Joao Correia, Maastricht University

2016: December As an extention to Research on BRAIN month, Researchista pays a particular attention to a less researched topic, called “MISOPHONIA“, suggested by Dr. Mercede Erfanian, Amsterdam. This month we host our first guest from the USA, Dr. Jennifer Jo Brout!

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Dr. Jennifer Jo Brout

Also, Researchista was nominated in the Business Development and Knowledge Transfer  contest, event organized by the School of Business and Economics at the University of Maastricht. Thank you!

Indubitably, the year had to end with one more Researchista-fashionista photoshoot! This is the story of Laurien, upcoming on first Monday of 2017. Subscribe to the blog 😉

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I learned this year that marketing speaks in mysterious ways, 2016 was the year of social media and marketing exercises.

Have a happy 2017! Everything will be ok…

With love for Research,

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(42) Research on BRAIN: do-your-own-little Research.

This post of Researchista’s fantastic experience of using Research to learn Dutch faster has been erased by mistake and it awaits one day for it to be reproduced.

It was one very good of a post…

Until the inspiration comes again!

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With love for Research,

R.

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Academia count enthusiasm health knowledge neuroscience research Researcher Special Guest

(39) Research on Brain: language.

This is Research on Brain month on Researchista and this is our guest of the week, I would normally say, but this is not just an usual introduction. This is such a genuinely nice person and friend, I wish to transmit at least a little bit from the inspiration and huge support that Joao has been giving to research communication. I would like to thank him for accepting to break the ice on Research and BRAIN month – with its related topics that are included in one field, called ‘Neuroscience’. It start with how brain helps us express clearly and use language to solve our problems and grow. Welcome to our Special Guest Dr. Joao Correia, originally from Portugal, Experienced Researcher at Maastricht University.

LANGUAGE: YOUR KEY TO THE WORLD.

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Dr. Joao Correia

We all have the impression that the brain is vast, and that vastness allows us to perform a long list of human functions. One of the unique functions that humans have is by far the ability to communicate. Human communication is direct and self-motivated. We do not only express ourselves to others, but we do it with the intention to change the behavior and knowledge of others.

My research dives into the unknown neural circuits of the communicating brains via speech and language. I try to understand how we speak and how we understand the speech of others, and in addition how these seemingly natural capacities serve the memory and thoughts and above all, shape the advanced societies of our world. Imagine, a car crash test.

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A car at high speed drives against a brick wall. This is – figuratively – what happens in the tympanic membrane of our ears when you hear something. Sound waves (travelling at 340 meters per second) bring auditory information into our ears, which transforms this mechanical energy into electric signals that can be interpreted by our brains.

Without this basic physical and neural capacity to receive sound information, for example from speech, infants wouldn’t develop normal speech and linguistic capabilities. Our ability to speak or to read owes much to this initial training of speech sound perception, such as our parents voice.

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As the auditory cortices in the left and right hemispheres, receive signals from spoken language, they start to link to others brain areas that are being coherently stimulated. For example, we hear different melodic tunnes (also called ‘signatures’ or ‘prosodies’) when our parents want to provide us a positive or negative feedback for education. Or we hear the word ‘water’ coherently together with the experience of drinking water. In sum, our senses start becoming linked, originating richer memory representations (auditory, visual, tactile, olfactory or emotional). How exactly these links are created and used in everyday life remains largely unknown.

Another linguistic faculty that is poorly understood is how we speak. Remember how swimming is a super exercise because it uses so many muscles of our body? Well, speaking uses more than 100 muscles, from the diaphragm and costal muscles – to create air flow – to multiple muscles of the larynx – to create the necessary pressure – to transform air flow onto sound waves – and finally – muscles of the vocal tract like the lips and tongue – to shape those sound waves onto concrete speech sounds. Due to our highly linked brain, we are capable to develop speaking abilities purely from hearing other people speaking, as well as, experiencing our own attempts to speak.

This link between auditory and motoric brain systems is often referred to as sensorimotor integration, because it provides a platform to integrate sensory and motor components. Sensorimotor integration is a key aspect of speech development, everyday speaking and comprehension. In a nutshell, we speak in a certain way because of how we hear and we hear in a certain way because of how we speak.

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Source: internet.

I am deeply in love with the versatility and complexity of sensorimotor integration, as it has the potential to explain multiple mysteries of the communicating brains, how comprehension and speaking develop normally and abnormally or how the brain learns to read.

Until recently, to ask these questions would necessarily lead to difficult philosophic and psychological discussions for which my engineering background wouldn’t be ready. However, in addition to these critical points in science, today we can image the human brain safely and with unprecedented detail, which allows directly to test and create hypothesis for how humans communicate…

Functional MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) allows taking magnetic pictures of the brain as people execute scientific experiments, including speaking or listening to speech. The pictures,

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reflect oxygen consumption within each small 3D pixel (or voxel) and are extremely rich in detail. However, such a complex capability is not present in one or two voxels, but distributed among the vast neural circuitry of the brain. Thousands of voxels per second must be analyzed during a single act of hearing, speaking or reading.

This screams for computational tools, able to handle such large amount of data. In my work, I use tools that have been developed for statistical learning, like predicting the weather, to learn how voxels behave for language. By investigating how voxels encode linguistic units, I hope to help formulate models of spoken communication that can have a direct impact to understand the neural circuitry for speech and language and to help unravel how these circuits fail during speech and language disorders. There is a long road to walk, but with the help of parallel technological development, this road may now be driven in a fast sport car rather than by foot. In 2010, I counted on voxels of 42 cubic millimeters, in 2014 of 8 cubic millimeters, and now in 2016 of 1 cubic millimeter. This increase in spatial resolution has a huge impact on our research, that goes hand in hand with innovation. Together, the vastness of the human brain is becoming increasingly understood.

Post written by Joao Correia, M-BIC, Maastricht University

With love for Research,

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(38) Research on Food: make-your-own-little-Research.

Every Monday, during a month on Researchista’s Blog you will find a new subject in which we invite one or more Researchers to talk about it. They are called “Special Guests” (because they are special and because they are guests). At the end of every subject (4th week of each month), Researchista is inviting anyone willing to explore how that topic affects their daily life. This section is called “Make-your-own-little-Research” and is encouraging everyone to make their Research (it’s called little, because is our own private investigation 😉 ), by giving an example of how to use different Research concepts and methods to investigate that subject. As a results we hope to help changing our own behaviour about a topic in selected area. This is Research on Food (industry) month on Researchista, so our little Research is going to be on this subject.

Say hello to Irina B. aka Researchista and Diana Z. aka Social activist, i-care-about-the-environment-lets-do-it-together friend! This is our little Research. What would yours be like? m?

Little Research: “How to Read Food Labels”.

How to know which ingredients are not good for your health? Research is your best friend. Let’s start by making it clear: we love food. So much. You can not imagine.

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Irina B. aka Researchista

At the same time, we wonder what is healthy to eat and what is not? When we go shopping for food, are we actually buying the healthy food? This is our ‘Research question’ (a r.q. is usually stands for the aim/goal/purpose/objective of a scientific study): to what extent the food we buy is healthy? In other words, how to understand what it says on the package of content we buy.

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Diana Z. aka Busy Avocado

And here we start our journey, with the help of food blogger to become and corporate activist in this area, Diana and Irina ‘willing-to-learn how to read the labels’. Let’s figure this out.

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in Park & Shop, Dubai (United Arab Emirates)

First, determine what package of food you consume often and wish to know if it contains any chemicals or unhealthy products.

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in HEMA, Maastricht (Netherlands)

Food labeling is required by law and should be clear, accurate and easy to understand and protect the consumer. It should help the consumers to know what they are buying. It is regulated by different bodies in different countries. Information required to be displayed: ingredients, weight, name of food, storage instructions, use-by-date, clear preparation and cooking instructions, name and address of manufacturer, place of origin, batch number, any genetically modified ingredients, beverages which contain >1.2% alcohol. Nutritional information is only required if there is a nutritional claim made.

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Fats and sugars are contents that need extra research. If most of the fat content comes from healthy unsaturated fat, then it is a green light. If the fat is mainly saturated and/or the product has any trans-fat, it is definitely a no. Also watch out for Vegetable Oil.

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Source: internet

Vegetable oils are manufactured in a factory, usually from genetically modified crops that have been heavily treated with pesticides. Sugar, another “watch out!”,  has many names, 56 to be precise. If we notice these ingredients, besides sugar and if they come as first or second ingredient, better place this product back on the shelf.

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Source: thetruthaboutcancer.com

Once we are clear on the nutrition facts, we can continue with the individual ingredients research. Unfortunately, majority of manufacturers use various sickening ingredients that we cannot even pronounce their names. I have a general rule regarding this, if I cannot read and understand it, I don’t buy it. Watch out for the sickening ingredients: growth hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, artificial sweeteners, BPA, artificial flavors and sweeteners, dyes and conditioners, carrageenan and others.

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Source: simpleobtainablesolutions.com

In conclusion, Researching food products’ labels can be an overwhelming task and maybe sometimes we can end up thinking there is nothing safe left to eat, but eventually the label understanding skills become habits and the process of identifying the good food is becoming as easy as ABC.

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Source: Pinterest, Mariasea

 

Happy Shopping!

Literature review with the courtesy of Busy Avocado and

With love for Research,

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Note from Diana:

“As people are becoming more health conscious, the demands for ethical food is on the rise. By ethical we mean not only sustainable, but also ethically grown, processed, packaged and marketed. Unfortunately, we witness that many large corporations are taking ethics for granted and only care about their profit, thus maximizing production, while neglecting the nutritional value of food. Many products already enter the food chain filled with chemicals and substances that can damage our health. Later on they are processed with additives, dyes, preservatives and thickeners, and eventually packaged in materials that are also hazardous for health. But the worst part is that companies spend thousands to promote these products, create beautiful packages, advertisements and incentives. Moreover, many of them go to the extreme to portray these products as healthy and suitable for children. Stopping these companies from producing and marketing products that contain harmful ingredients is not easy. In many countries corporations have a lot of power in the food industry. But there is another way to combat them. Learn to read and understand labels and avoid products that are clearly damaging your health.

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(33) Public speaking and you.

Be it at conferences, seminars or a public x talk, public speaking is not so easy as it seems from aside when the speakers flow their speech, but neither it is so impossible and difficult to succeed, as our Special Guest, Mr. Paul Rulkes suggests, enjoy his tips!

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The power of know-feel-do

Some time ago I was asked whether I do motivational speeches. I answered that being motivational is the minimum requirement for any speaker. What really matters, however, is how the audience will be better off after I’m gone.

Your job as a presenter is to improve the condition of the audience. All else is just commentary.

A great presentation is therefore never about you, your ideas or your project. Instead, a great presentation is about the people listening to you. If you really want to present with impact, start your preparation with this one magic question: “how will the audience be better off once I have left the room?”

Then design your talk using the power of know-feel-do:

  • This is what I want the audience to know.
  • This is how I want the audience to feel.
  • This is what I want the audience to do.

If you ignore these objectives, you become just an empty entertainer or a droning bore. Both are equally bad.

Motivation is overrated. It is the conversation afterwards that counts.

by Paul Rulkensan expert in high performance: the art and science of achieving bold goals with the least amount of effort. More successful ideas, including his popular TEDx talks, can be found on www.agrippaci.com

 

With love for Research,

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