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Study on Taipei 101 frequency could help Taiwan on building safety

Researchers have concluded a study on how weather conditions and human activity influence Taipei 101's frequencies and vibrations, and feel that it will enhance methods of monitoring building safety in Taiwan.

Aha! That's it! How insight happens in the mechanism of brain operation

The Aha! experience is the reaction that humans may have during the problem-solving process when they suddenly discover the solution to a problem. The restructuring of the initial problem representation is the key to solving insight problems. However, while solving insight problems, not all individuals reach an impasse or need to restructure the problem. Only problems that cannot be solved without representational changes can be regarded as pure insight problems; others are classified as pseudo-insight problems. Based on the homonymy of Chinese characters, we developed two sets of Chinese remote associates tests (CRATs) for this study. By comparing the brain activity of adults during pure and pseudo-insight problem solving, we analysed the commonality and uniqueness of brain activation while solving these two types of insight problems. The results show that these two types of insight problem solving share the same brain activation area but different operating areas, with the ventral precuneus connected to pure and pseudo-insight problem solving, and the left thalamus showing significant activation when only semantic search and conceptual integration are required. This study initiates the exploration of the brain activity of insight problem solving, and enhances our understanding of how representational change generates insight.

An arduous journey back home for Formosan Landlocked Salmon

The Formosan landlocked salmon is a critically endangered species also known as the Taiwanese ‘national treasure fish.’ In recent years, the fish was stocked into Rahaw Creek (upper Yusheng Creek, Yilan), where a sustainable group had been successfully rehabilitated. Lately, however, frequent stream fragmentation events in Yusheng Creek have prevented the fish from expanding their habitat, killing many as a result. To understand the reasons for the fragmentation and to improve rehabilitation, the research team installed six monitoring wells across a 500-meter fragmented reach to record temperatures and groundwater levels, which allowed them to understand surface water-groundwater interactions over different periods. The findings showed that compared to the perennial ones, the fragmented reach is of significantly higher streambed vertical hydraulic conductivity, causing the water to infiltrate the streambed at higher speeds. The findings also indicated that the vertical hydraulic conductivity was influenced by discharge, rainfall changes and the remains of dead diatoms. Most fragmentation studies focus on streams in semi-arid climates. This paper not only demonstrates the uniqueness of how mountain stream discharge in humid subtropical climates is affected by hydrological conditions and bioactivities, but also sheds light on the complexity of surface water-groundwater interactions by examining temporal variations in hydraulic conductivity.

Physics Professor Hung-Yi Pu Joins GMVA International Research Team to Unravel Black Hole Mysteries

In collaboration with the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA) and several international research teams, Assistant Professor Hung-Yi Pu of the Department of Physics at National Taiwan Normal University participated in a multinational research project. The project successfully obtained images using a new millimeter-wavelength observation to confirm for the first time ever the connection between accretion and jet formation near supermassive black holes at the center of galaxies. The results were published in the April issue of Nature, a leading international journal, helping to raise Taiwan's profile internationally.

Visit from Ecole du Louvre Forges Academic Exchange and Cooperation between France and Taiwan

The Director of the Ecole du Louvre, Claire Barbillon, visited National Taiwan Normal University on 27 April. During her visit, she not only led students in exploring the beauty of classical sculptures, but also established with NTNU a channel for greater academic exchange and cooperation between France and Taiwan as the Ecole du Louvre and NTNU reached a consensus to sign a memorandum of understanding for academic cooperation as well as an agreement for student exchange.