Profs, Research Featured in National News

October 21, 2010 - In the News

A column by Prof. Mark Fenske about how allowing the mind to wander can lead to insightful ideas appears in today's Globe and Mail.

The psychology professor and author of The Winner's Brain: 8 Strategies Great Minds Use to Achieve Success writes a biweekly column on brain-related topics for the "Life" section of the national newspaper.

In this column, Fenske discusses how people often come up with their best ideas while completing daily tasks such as taking a shower, washing the dishes, riding the bus to work or going for a run because these activities require very little concentration.

He explains that in a state of defocused attention, one idea can trigger the next across a relatively unconstrained range of concepts and associations that might otherwise be viewed as completely unrelated. The resulting novel connections may explain how a broad focus can significantly facilitate creative thought and inventive problem-solving.

Fenske says understanding how to tap into the brain's ability to develop innovative, creative and insightful ideas and solutions is important in today's knowledge-driven economy. He suggests having background music or another type of small distraction can help prevent one from focusing too narrowly on irrelevant details of a problem and instead allow the brain to wander.

The University of Guelph's Enviropig, the first transgenic animal created to solve an environmental problem, is featured online today in Macleans.

The story includes an interview with Prof. Rich Moccia, associate vice-president (research) and a professor of animal and poultry science, about the technology and its environmental benefits.

Prof. Cecil Forsberg, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, is one of the scientists who created the technology.The U of G research has been attracting increased media and public interest lately because of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s action on genetically modified Atlantic salmon. Enviropigs are genetically modified so that they can use a normally indigestible form of phosphorus in feed grains.

Prof. Vinay Kanetkar, Department of Marketing and Consumer Studies, was featured in a column about pricing in Wednesday's National Post.

A lead expert on pricing, Kanetkar explains in the colmun how research shows prices ending in nine make a positive difference in sales in many situations.

He also talks about how the greatest impact resides in the first digit of the price or the number on the left because consumers read prices from left to right and the first digit represents a higher proportion of the purchase such as dollars versus cents.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1