Conceptual Design

What does the product do?

On “Singing ‘Rewires’ Damaged Brain”

Gill, V. (2010). “Singing ‘Rewires’ Damaged Brain.” BBC World News. Visited on 24 June 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8526699.stm Summary: This article discusses how singing can teach stroke patients to recover their speech abilities. Singing uses a different part of the brain than the areas that involve speech. The idea is that if the “speech center” of the brain is damaged patients can use their “singing center.” Already established as a medical technique, “melodic intonation therapy” was further studied by the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School with the findings presented to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Using medical technology to scan the brain doctors were able to deduce that most speech took place on the left side of the brain, but melody and singing took place on the right side. This study is one of many larger studies examining the general effects of music and the brain. Dr Nina Kraus, a neuroscientist from Northwestern University, has concluded that musical training is an important part of children’s education. This article is important because many people have experienced or know someone who has experienced a stroke. Reading this article may prompt further investigation for those affected to seek…

Men are bigger liars than women, says poll

BBC News Staff, (2008). “Men are bigger liars than women, says poll.” BBC News Channel, Visited June 23 2001. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8689010.stm Summary: The article discusses a survey that was conducted in Britain, pertaining to lies told by men and women. The survey, which was conducted by The Science Museum using 3000 participants, suggests that in general, men tell more lies than women and feel less guilty about it. While the average British man is likely to tell three lies each day, the average British women is likely to tell only two. As a group, it is ‘mothers’ who are most likely to be lied to. The top lie told by men is ‘I didn’t have that much to drink’, while the top lie told by women is ‘nothing’s wrong, I’m fine’ – which happened to be the second most popular lie among men. So while men tend to lie about drinking habits, it is both genders who seek to hide their true feelings. Both sexes shared a common tenth most popular lie, being, ‘it’s what I’ve always wanted.’ Certainly, this fib is relevant when we consider who gifts are received by each sex. Women generally feel more guilty about lying, with…

Response to ‘Young More Lonely Than the Old’

Murphy, C. (2010). “Young More Lonely Than The Old,” BBC News. Retrieved on 2010/05/25. http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/health/8701763.stm Summary: Clare Murphy suggests the young tend to feel lonelier than the old in the UK. What does the article mean by ‘lonely,’ and what are the factors that contribute to Britain’s youth to feel such an emotion? England’s elderly and youth feel two different types of loneliness. Elderly loneliness derives from the isolation caused by the decomposition of the nuclear family, as well as long life expectancy. Youth loneliness is caused by modern day living. Today, more focus is placed on careers rather than on the public community. Thus, individuals exert more energy into their work than into building community ties. Social network sites, a technology invention of the youth’s era, incredibly connect hundreds and thousands of people across the globe. Communication through these sites, however, does not produce the same satisfaction of face to face interaction. Thus, one may find they have a plethora of friends on their social network site, but very few that they can have a person to person contact with. Lastly, urban planning greatly affects how social is a community. The urban planning of London encourages a far lesser…

On ‘Feeling Grumpy Is “Good for You”‘

BBC Staff (November 5th, 2009). “Feeling Grumpy Is «Good for You»” Retrieved 26th June, 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8339647.stm Summary: Being grumpy can enable us to access an entirely different range of skills apparently. According to Professor Joe Forgas, an Australian researcher at the University of New South Wales, «Negative moods trigger more attentive, careful thinking, paying greater attention to the external world». He conducted a series of experiments with a random group of people, asking them to watch a random collection of movies while simultaneously imagining an instance in their life that made them happy or sad, hence affecting their mood. He then ran a series of tests on the subjects, ranging from simple observational skills to judging the truth of myths and urban legends to see what effect the mood would have on their performance. The results supported Forgas’s theory:- those in a bad mood were able to communicate better and made fewer mistakes than those in a good mood. Test results also showed that sad people were better able to state their cases through written arguments, supporting the Professor’s theory that «whereas positive mood seems to promote creativity, flexibility, co-operation and reliance on mental shortcuts, negative moods trigger more attentive,…

On “‘Ringtone Therapy’ Sweeping Mobile Phone-Mad Japan” by Buerk

Buerk, R. (2010). “Ringtone Therapy Sweeping Mobile Phone-Mad Japan.” Retrieved 23. August, 2010: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/8591845.stmhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/8591845.stm Summary: Buerk lets the world in on a new craze sweeping across Japan—a country known for being on the frontier of technological innovation. What’s the craze? Ring-tone therapy! The Japan Ring Tone Laboratory run by Matsumi Suzuki is producing ring-tones which they claim have therapeutic uses. One such tone touts the ability to dislodge pollen from a user’s nose by holding the handset to the nose while the ring-tone plays, another can help one lose weight, and another helps insomniacs fall asleep. Index, Japan’s mobile phone content provider acknowledges there is no proof that these therapeutic ring-tones actually work, but they note that people must believe in their effectiveness due to the large amount of downloads. The therapeutic ring-tone works by playing a tone emitted from the handset of the cell-phone. Depending on the ring-tone the therapeutic effect is different. If one has allergy problems, they can download and play a ring tone, place it up to their nose and it will in principle dislodge the pollen from the nose, reducing allergy symptoms. If one is having sleeping problems, another ring-tone once downloaded onto the cell…

Study: Long Road to Adulthood Is Growing Even Longer

Cohen, P. (2010). “Long Road to Adulthood Is Growing Even Longer.” The New York Times.  Retrieved on 23 June, 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/13/us/13generations.html Summary: Recent studies and surveys reveal the shift to adulthood in the United States is occurring later in life and that traditional markers of such a transition are also being reconsidered.  Finishing one’s education, becoming financially independent – these milestones are still associated with people in their late teens and early twenties.  However this article suggests these milestones, for many people, are now not being met even in their 20s or 30s.  Marriage and having children are happening much later in life on average or are not happening at all.   While getting married or having children is now more commonly viewed as a lifestyle choice, pursuing higher education is more common than ever before.  Pursuing more education and professional opportunities are cited as factors in causing this shift.  As the average age for one’s first marriage has shot up across all ethnic and income groups, the number of children born outside of marriage is at 40 percent, up from 28 percent in 1990 showing that this shift is broad and it’s redefining adulthood not only in terms of when…

On “The Sweet Smell of Morality”

Humphries, C. (2010). “The Sweet Smell of Morality.” Boston Globe Online, Boston.com. Retrieved on 23 June 2010: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/02/14/the_sweet_smell_of_morality/ Summary: Scientist and Marketers are paying closer attention to the sense of smell.  It appears that while once believed subpar to other human senses, the power of smell is being reevaluated.  Some studies suggest smell has the power to influence social and moral behavior.  Recent findings have found that clean smells perpetuate favorable behavior in instances where someone is in need of help or assistance. This suggests that smells, known for their influence on emotion and memory, might also have an effect on thought.  Additional studies have shown that consumers shopping habits, such as where to shop and how much to buy, are influenced by smell, having more to do with choice than mood.  Using smell as a lure might sound manipulative, yet some researchers claim we are aware of scents and are not deceived by them. Marketers are currently looking into ways to incorporate smells into brand recognition. It’s possible for humans to undergo training to perfect their sense of smell.  As more knowledge comes about regarding smell, and the complexities of this sense are realized, consumers can expect to be…