So what if some female Olympians have high testosterone?

By Jaime Schultz

On August 12, Dutee Chand became just the second female sprinter to represent India at the Olympic Games. Her road to Rio has been anything but easy.

In 2014, the International Association of Athletic Federations banned her from competition on the grounds that her body naturally produced too much testosterone, a condition called hyperandrogenism. It wasn’t her fault, the organization explained. But her condition gave her an unfair edge over other female athletes, according to the IAAF policy.

Chand appealed the ruling, and in July 2015, the Court of Arbitration for Sport determined that the IAAF:

“was unable to conclude that hyperandrogenic female athletes may benefit from such a significant performance advantage that it is necessary to exclude them from competing in the female category.”

Continue reading So what if some female Olympians have high testosterone?

The neuroscience of getting “in the zone”

By Jordan Gaines Lewis

Social media exploded earlier this week with a bevy of tweets and memes featuring a rather unimpressed Olympian – and this time, it wasn’t McKayla Maroney.

On Monday night, cameras captured a hooded Michael Phelps appearing to brood and snarl in the direction of South African swimmer Chad le Clos, who was shadowboxing in preparation for the 200-meter butterfly semifinal.

 JeffAuriemma via Imgur
#PhelpsFace gif by JeffAuriemma via Imgur

Thus, #PhelpsFace was born.

Continue reading The neuroscience of getting “in the zone”

Talking back to terrorists

terrorist_recruitment_border
To view a larger version of this graphic, please click on the graphic or here.

Countering terrorist recruitment messages requires systematic analysis of the message using communication theory as a guide.

In the example above, Kurt Braddock, lecturer in communication arts and sciences at Penn State, and John Horgan, professor of psychology at the Global Studies Institute, Georgia State University, examine the recruitment narrative of Andre Poulin.

Continue reading Talking back to terrorists

Focus on research: Emotional abuse can affect growing children, like Harry Potter

By Jordan Gaines Lewis

Editor’s note: The following article originally appeared on The Conversation. “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” was released on July 31, 2016.

Perhaps it had something to do with living in a dark cupboard, but Harry had always been small and skinny for his age … [he] had a thin face, knobbly knees … and wore round glasses held together with a lot of Scotch tape because of all the times Dudley had punched him on the nose.

And so we are introduced to our protagonist, The Boy Who Lived, the Chosen One: Harry Potter. The seven books about the young wizard and his time at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry have been translated into 73 different languages and sold over 450m copies worldwide. And readers wouldn’t guess, after author J K Rowling’s introduction of Harry, that the orphaned boy would be the one to defeat the powerful and devastating Dark Lord Voldemort.

Harry’s home life wasn’t as exciting as his rising wizardry: he was snubbed by his only remaining family, bullied by his cousin and classmates, and resided in that dark cupboard under the stairs. His uncle Vernon, aunt Petunia, and cousin Dudley Dursley — to whom he was passed as an infant after the death of his parents — ensure that he’s properly malnourished at all times. After spending a day cleaning the Dursleys’ entire house and working outside in the blazing July heat (on his 12th birthday, no less), Aunt Petunia prepares for Harry “two slices of bread and a lump of cheese” before sending him off to hide during their dinner party with the Masons. It’s no wonder he was so small for his age.

Continue reading Focus on research: Emotional abuse can affect growing children, like Harry Potter

Is reality getting really augmented?

The number of headlines — and Facebook memes — about Pokémon  Go suggest that the game has reached craze status, but could it be more than just a fad? As one of the first augmented reality applications to make it to the mainstream, Pokémon  Go may mean more for the virtual and augmented reality industries than a bunch of people wandering around the park trying to find Pikachus. It could be the birth of a brand new industry.

To help us look at the game craze in context, as well as offer some predictions about the future of Pokémon  Go, AR, and VR, we brought in S. Shyam Sundar, Distinguished Professor of Communications and co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory, to offer his insights on this now global phenomenon.

Matt Swayne: What’s the difference between augmented reality — AR — and virtual reality — VR?

S. Shyam Sundar: The difference lies in the degree to which they incorporate the real world. In VR, the entire environment is artificially created, while in AR, artificial elements are superimposed on the real world, creating a mixed reality. In VR, the user enters a virtual world whereas in AR, objects from the virtual world enter the real world.

Continue reading Is reality getting really augmented?

Skip to toolbar