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Greater working memory capacity benefits analytic, but not creative, problem-solving

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TechAndComputer (Aug. 7, 2012) — Anyone who has tried to remember a ten-digit phone number or a nine-item grocery list knows that we can only hold so much information in mind at a given time. Our working memory capacity is decidedly finite -- it reflects our ability to focus and control attention and strongly influences our ability to solve problems. Share This: See Also: Mind & BrainMemoryBehaviorDementiaComputers & MathMathematicsComputer ScienceMobile ComputingLiving Well Reference Lateral thinkingProblem solvingMemory biasAmnesia

In a new article in the August issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science...

How to avoid traps in plastic electronics

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TechAndComputer (July 30, 2012) — Plastic electronics hold the promise of cheap, mass-produced devices. But plastic semiconductors have an important flaw: the electronic current is influenced by "charge traps" in the material. These traps, which have a negative impact on plastic light-emitting diodes and solar cells, are poorly understood.

However, a new study by a team of researchers from the University of Groningen and the Georgia Institute of Technology reveals a common...

Bio-inspired nanoantennas for light emission

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TechAndComputer (July 27, 2012) — Just as radio antennas amplify the signals of our mobile phones and televisions, the same principle can apply to light. For the first time, researchers from CNRS and Aix Marseille Université have succeeded in producing a nanoantenna from short strands of DNA, two gold nanoparticles and a small fluorescent molecule that captures and emits light. This easy-to-handle optical antenna is described in an article published in Nature Communications on 17 July...

Highly conductive and elastic conductors created using silver nanowires

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TechAndComputer (July 12, 2012) — Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed highly conductive and elastic conductors made from silver nanoscale wires (nanowires). These elastic conductors can be used to develop stretchable electronic devices.

Stretchable circuitry would be able to do many things that its rigid counterpart cannot. For example, an electronic "skin" could help robots pick up delicate objects without breaking them, and stretchable displays and...

Physicists invent 'spintronic' LED

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TechAndComputer (July 12, 2012) — University of Utah physicists invented a new "spintronic" organic light-emitting diode or OLED that promises to be brighter, cheaper and more environmentally friendly than the kinds of LEDs now used in television and computer displays, lighting, traffic lights and numerous electronic devices.

"It's a completely different technology," says Z. Valy Vardeny, University of Utah distinguished professor of physics and senior author of a study of the...