our winning image, and a new contest

The winner of our spring At Large contest is this photo of small craft off the Stone Town district of Zanzibar, an island off the coast of Tanzania. The photo is featured in the Spring 2017 issue of Research|Penn State magazine, which arrives on campus  soon.

For hundreds of years, similar boats carried on extensive trade among ports from India to Oman and Yemen in the Middle East and along the Swahili coast of East Africa. Janet Purdy, a doctoral candidate in History of Art and Architecture, took this shot when she visited Stone Town in 2016 to study the trade routes and the massive, elaborately carved doors commissioned by wealthy Omani merchants who lived there in the 19th century.

Zanzibar was a thriving cultural crossroads where people, goods, languages, religions, and artistic practices met and blended. The doors, bearing symbols and decorative elements from many sources, were so important as the public “face” of their owners that they were often the first part of a new building to be made.

Thank you to all who sent images for consideration.

We now announce the contest to find another superb image for the At Large pages of our Fall 2017 issue. In addition to publication in Research|Penn State, the winner will receive a high-quality print of the At Large spread, suitable for framing.

Here are the contest guidelines:

  • Deadline for submission is Friday, June 30, 2017.
  • Image must relate to research being conducted by someone at Penn State.
  • Image must be a strong horizontal so it can completely fill a two-page spread, and must be visually compelling.
  • Image must be available at high resolution, at least 300 dpi (this is not the same as ppi) at a size of 11” x 17”. Keep this in mind as you shoot photos, especially through microscopes. We have had to eliminate beautiful images from consideration because they were not shot at a high enough resolution to be enlarged to publication size.
  • Image can be a scenic, close-up, or micrograph. It can be realistic or abstract, color or black & white or colorized. Archival shots will also be considered. Previous winners can be seen here, here, here, and here.
  • Although we may use a shot with a person (or people) in it, we do not use portraits.
  • Please provide basic information about the image, such as where it was shot, by whom, and what research it relates to.

Please send your photos to me, Cherie Winner, at clw43@psu.edu. Lo-res versions are fine at this stage. If we select your image, we’ll ask for the hi-res version.  For more information, drop me a line via email or call me at 3-4750.

Books Galore

If you’re looking for a holiday gift—or a special treat for yourself—consider a book by a Penn State author. In addition to their scholarly and technical works, many PSU faculty members also write books with a general audience in mind. Here are a few we’ve heard about in recent months.

Continue reading Books Galore

What is different in the bilingual brain? Part II

By François Grosjean

Editor’s Note: This interview, conducted by François Grosjean, originally appeared on the Psychology Today blog, Life as a Bilingual.

Also worth noting, President Eric Barron recently wrote a piece on the Power of Language, highlighting the Center for Language Science. Ping Li runs the Brain, Language, and Computation Lab at Penn State, which is part of the CLS.

A short while back, Ping Li, professor of psychology and linguistics at Penn State, answered a first series of questions on the bilingual brain (see here). We can now continue the interview, and are grateful to him for the time he has devoted to our questions.

Could we go back to the bilingual experience and the impact it has on neuroplasticity, that is how it can lead to functional and physical changes in the brain?

Yes, another unique aspect of how the bilingual experience impacts the brain is related to the fact that bilingual speakers often have to change the language they are using and have to monitor this, not to mention intertwining their languages in the form of code-switches and borrowings. These processes, it has been suggested, result in positive brain changes in the frontal and subcortical brain regions (due to inhibition of the unwanted language(s)) and in the anterior cingulate cortex (due to monitoring).  Continue reading What is different in the bilingual brain? Part II

Colombia Ho

This week, director of research communications Dave Pacchioli is in northern Colombia to observe and write about an ambitious new project led by Penn State scientists Mark Guiltinan and Siela Maximova. Mark and Siela have the sweet job of studying cacao, the plant that gives us chocolate.

Continue reading Colombia Ho

Photo contest winner, and new contest

The winner of our fall At Large contest is this photo of glittering blue-green damselfish amid coral branches on Australia’s Northern Great Barrier Reef. The photo is featured in the Fall 2016 issue of Research|Penn State magazine, which arrives on campus this week.

This image was shot by F. Joseph Pollock, a postdoctoral scholar working with Penn State biologist Mónica Medina, during a sampling trip to Lizard Island in 2015. Continue reading Photo contest winner, and new contest

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