In April, Horizon looks beyond the hype of smart drugs and brain stimulation to examine less extreme ways for people to sharpen their mental abilities. We find out about the wearable tech that can train police officers to make better decisions, discover how a videogame can stimulate empathy, and learn how meditation changes your brain.
Software that can enhance your cognitive abilities will become as prevalent as physical gyms are today, according to Danny Dankner, the chief executive of Applied Cognitive Engineering, developers of the IntelliGym sports brain-training software.
Intensive bouts of meditation have an immediate and visible impact on practitioners’ sleeping brainwaves, researchers have confirmed, in results that help enlarge the picture of how exactly the mind-training practices can change our brains.
In the heat of the moment, with a thief absconding on your left and a victim screaming to your right, it can be hard for a police official to make the right decision. A new device is helping police train their brains to make better decisions in risky situations, by triggering memories of past events in unprecedented detail.
In the last 30 years gaming has grown from a niche hobby to the world’s most profitable form of entertainment. Now, researchers are investigating how they can be used to increase empathy, reflect on political beliefs, and boost mental health.
The world looks very different from this time last year. The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the centrality of science, research and innovation, accelerated some changes already in the works, but also exposed our weaknesses. In September, Horizon looks at how the pandemic is reshaping Europe in areas including health research, work, tech, transport and food – and how research can contribute to Europe’s recovery over the coming years. We will also be covering the European Research & Innovation Days at the end of the month, which will bring together scientists, policymakers, entrepreneurs and citizens to debate how research and innovation can ensure that the transition to a post-coronavirus society is sustainable, inclusive and resilient.
In August, Horizon looks at one of the features that makes Earth unique and habitable: plate tectonics. We explore what we know – and still don’t know – about how the shifting plates beneath our feet shape our planet. We speak to researcher Dr Kate Rychert, who wants to understand what makes a plate plate-like, and delve into one of the outstanding mysteries in the subject – how and why plate tectonics began. We find out about the link between mountain formation, erosion and climate change, and we look at what moonquakes and marsquakes can reveal about tectonic activity elsewhere.
The ability of certain fish to heal damage to their hearts could lead to new treatments for patients who have suffered heart attacks and may also help to unravel how the lifestyle of our parents and grandparents can affect our own heart health.
A strange species of cavefish is helping to reveal why heart attacks cause permanent damage.
‘Industrial symbiosis’ is encouraging industry byproducts to be used for new purposes.
Dr Kate Rychert studies ocean plate structures.