Family News

Family News
Using mechanical tools improves our language skills

Our ability to understand the syntax of complex sentences is one of the most difficult language skills to acquire. In 2019, research had revealed a correlation between being particularly proficient in tool use and having good syntactic ability.

A new study, by researchers from Inserm, CNRS, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 and Université Lumière Lyon 2 in collaboration with Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, has now shown that both skills rely on the same neurological resources, which are located in the same brain region.

Furthermore, motor training using a tool improves our ability to understand the syntax of complex sentences and – vice-versa – syntactic training improves our proficiency in using tools. These findings could be applied clinically to support the rehabilitation of patients having lost some of their language skills.


Volcanic eruptions ‘Linked to dynastic collapse in China’s past

Volcanic eruptions may have triggered abrupt climate changes contributing to the repeated collapse of Chinese dynasties over the past 2,000 years, according to new research published recently.

The study also illustrates how volcanic eruptions can profoundly impact vulnerable or unstable regions and highlights the need to prepare for future eruptions.

The research, which combines historical evidence with polar ice-core records of volcanic eruptions, was led jointly by historians and environmental scientists from Trinity College Dublin and Zhejiang University, China. It was recently published in Communications Earth & Environment, a new high-profile journal from Nature Portfolio.

Scientists have identified explosive volcanic eruptions as one of the most important drivers of dramatic changes in climate, often triggering sudden cooling and drying that can cause livestock death and crop damage. However, our understanding of the role played by such abrupt climate shocks in state or societal collapse has been limited by the precision and accuracy of dating of available historical and climate evidence.


KIDS who eat fruit and vegetables have better mental health

Children who eat a better diet, packed with fruit and vegetables, have better mental wellbeing – according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

A new study is the first to investigate the association between fruit and vegetable intakes, breakfast and lunch choices, and mental wellbeing in UK school children.

It shows how eating more fruit and vegetables is linked with better wellbeing among secondary school pupils in particular. Children who consumed five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day had the highest scores for mental wellbeing.

The study was led by UEA Health and Social Care Partners in collaboration with Norfolk County Council.