Jody Victor: Honda To Build Advanced Wind Tunnel at OSU

Honda has partnered with the Ohio State University to build and staff an advanced wind tunnel facility. Honda is investing $24 million to build the facility. OSU will provide faculty, staff and students to work with Honda researchers at the East Liberty Transportation Research Facility where the tunnel will be built.

The new wind tunnel facility is intended to help solidify Honda’s commitment to fuel efficiency technology. The new facility will feature the ability to test both production vehicles and race cars. Wind speeds of up to 192MPH can be produced in this type of tunnel.
Honda also hopes to advance the acoustic design of future cars to reduce wind noise.

The TRC was purchased by Honda of America Mfg. in 1988 and the proceeds went to the College of Engineering at OSU to establish a transportation research endowment fund. The TRC has continued to operate as a independent testing and research facility that has used it surpluses to fund other research at the College of Engineering. To date the TRC has generated more than $54 million.

OSU Researchers Look At the Benefits of Family Structure

New study at OSU is suggesting that familial structure like regular bed and meal times and limited time on electronic devices may be linked to better emotional health in preschoolers and this may lower chances of obesity.

Researchers evaluated three household routines when children were 3 years old: regular bedtime, regular mealtime and whether or not parents limited television and video watching to an hour or less daily. Then they compared those to parents’ reports of two aspects of children’s self-regulation at that same age. Lastly, they investigated how the routines and self-regulation worked together to impact obesity at age 11, defined based on international criteria.

All three household routines were associated with better emotional self-regulation – a measure based on parents’ responses to questions such as how easily the child becomes frustrated or over-excited. Those children with greater emotional dysregulation were more likely to be obese later.

Jody Victor: New Study at OSU Finds Kids Notice What Adult’s Miss

Although adults can beat children at most cognitive tasks, new research shows that children’s limitations can sometimes be their strength.

In two studies, researchers found that adults were very good at remembering information they were told to focus on, and ignoring the rest. In contrast, 4- to 5-year-olds tended to pay attention to all the information that was presented to them – even when they were told to focus on one particular item. That helped children to notice things that adults didn’t catch because of the grownups’ selective attention.

The results have important implications for understanding how education environments affect children’s learning.

The research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute for Educational Science.

Jody Victor: How Streaming Music Has Changed Our Listening Habits

Music Theory doctoral student, Hubert Léveillé Gauvin, has found a possible link between changing trends in music, streaming services and listener attention spans. His study found that in the mid-1980’s song intros tended to be about 20 seconds long and have dropped to only about 5 seconds long.

Spending a few months analyzing modern songs he noted not only the shift to shorter introductions, but a marked increase in tempo. Vocals also mentioned the words in the title much sooner along with song titles being shortened dramatically, often to single words.

This evolution is likely driven by what Léveillé Gauvin calls the “attention economy” of modern-day pop. And that means that artists get to the musical point more quickly in the interest of grabbing a fickle listening audience, many of whom tune in on Spotify, Pandora and other skippable services.

Léveillé Gauvin measured the tempo of 303 top-10 singles and found a clear trend toward faster-paced pop music in the last three decades. The average tempo increased roughly 8 percent. He compared the number of words in song titles and found more and more “one-word wonders” as the years passed.

When he analyzed how long it took for the lyrics to start, Léveillé Gauvin found that intros lasting an average of more than 20 seconds in the mid-80s have given way to intros that average 5 seconds today. And once the lyrics started, it took less time (by about 18 percent) for the first “hook,” which he defined as the song’s title.

There was a 78 percent drop in the length of instrumental introductions. While that drop is dramatic, it makes sense, the researcher notes. The voice is one of the most attention-grabbing things there is in music.

The doctoral student noted that musical trends have often been shaped by technology. The “skipability” of songs has changed dramatically has the medium has allowed: from vinyl to cassette, from cassette to CD, from CD to streaming.