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Light Roundup

August 3, 2012

Researchers develop walls that glow, and stroboscopic eyeglasses improve short-term memory.



Printing light. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Glowing white curtains or wallpaper could be possible thanks to a technique for growing microscopic light emitting threads, developed at Linkopping University in Sweden. Described in the Journal of Material Science, the threads are made of zinc oxide crystals that grow on a thin plastic surface. The researchers also describe how the threads could be jostled loose from the surface to form a light-emitting powder that could printed onto surfaces.

In other light related news, playing sports while wearing stroboscopic eyeglasses that interrupt your vision for fractions of a second can improve short term memory. Duke University researchers found that the rapid black outs train your brain to hold onto each image longer. Volunteers who had worn the glasses were better at remembering long lists of letters and other memory challenges. The work appears in the journal Attention, Perception and Psychophysics. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Stroboscopic glasses help athletes improve their short-term memory. (Duke University)