The operation of gamma ray lasers (gasers) are studied. It is assumed that the nuclear isomers mentioned in previously published papers have inherent limitations. It is further assumed that the judicious use of Bormann effect or the application of the total external reflection of low energy gamma radiation at grazing angle of incidence may permit the use of a gaser crystal sufficiently long to achieve observable stimulated emission. It is suggested that a long lived 0(+) isomer decaying by low energy gamma ray emission to a short lived 2(+) excited nuclear state would be an attractive gaser candidate. It is also suggested that the nuclear isomer be incorporated in a matrix of refractory material having an electrostatic field gradient whose principal axis lies along the length of the medium. This results in the preferential transmission of electric quadrupole radiation along the length of the medium.
Ocklenburg, Sebastian; Friedrich, Patrick; Güntürkün, Onur; Genç, Erhan
Handedness is thought to originate in the brain, but identifying its structural correlates in the cortex has yielded surprisingly incoherent results. One idea proclaimed by several authors is that structural grey matter asymmetries might underlie handedness. While some authors have found significant associations with handedness in different brain areas (e.g. in the central sulcus and precentral sulcus), others have failed to identify such associations. One method used by many researchers to determine structural grey matter asymmetries is voxel based morphometry (VBM). However, it has recently been suggested that the standard VBM protocol might not be ideal to assess structural grey matter asymmetries, as it establishes accurate voxel-wise correspondence across individuals but not across both hemispheres. This could potentially lead to biased and incoherent results. Recently, a new toolbox specifically geared at assessing structural asymmetries and involving accurate voxel-wise correspondence across hemispheres has been published [F. Kurth, C. Gaser, E. Luders. A 12-step user guide for analyzing voxel-wise gray matter asymmetries in statistical parametric mapping (SPM), Nat Protoc 10 (2015), 293-304]. Here, we used this new toolbox to re-assess grey matter asymmetry differences in left- vs. right-handers and linked them to quantitative measures of hand preference and hand skill. While we identified several significant left-right asymmetries in the overall sample, no difference between left- and right-handers reached significance after correction for multiple comparisons. These findings indicate that the structural brain correlates of handedness are unlikely to be rooted in macroscopic grey matter area differences that can be assessed with VBM. Future studies should focus on other potential structural correlates of handedness, e.g. structural white matter asymmetries.
Schlegel, Alexander A; Rudelson, Justin J; Tse, Peter U
Traditional models hold that the plastic reorganization of brain structures occurs mainly during childhood and adolescence, leaving adults with limited means to learn new knowledge and skills. Research within the last decade has begun to overturn this belief, documenting changes in the brain's gray and white matter as healthy adults learn simple motor and cognitive skills [Lövdén, M., Bodammer, N. C., Kühn, S., Kaufmann, J., Schütze, H., Tempelmann, C., et al. Experience-dependent plasticity of white-matter microstructure extends into old age. Neuropsychologia, 48, 3878-3883, 2010; Taubert, M., Draganski, B., Anwander, A., Müller, K., Horstmann, A., Villringer, A., et al. Dynamic properties of human brain structure: Learning-related changes in cortical areas and associated fiber connections. The Journal of Neuroscience, 30, 11670-11677, 2010; Scholz, J., Klein, M. C., Behrens, T. E. J., & Johansen-Berg, H. Training induces changes in white-matter architecture. Nature Neuroscience, 12, 1370-1371, 2009; Draganski, B., Gaser, C., Busch, V., Schuirer, G., Bogdahn, U., & May, A. Changes in grey matter induced by training. Nature, 427, 311-312, 2004]. Although the significance of these changes is not fully understood, they reveal a brain that remains plastic well beyond early developmental periods. Here we investigate the role of adult structural plasticity in the complex, long-term learning process of foreign language acquisition. We collected monthly diffusion tensor imaging scans of 11 English speakers who took a 9-month intensive course in written and spoken Modern Standard Chinese as well as from 16 control participants who did not study a language. We show that white matter reorganizes progressively across multiple sites as adults study a new language. Language learners exhibited progressive changes in white matter tracts associated with traditional left hemisphere language areas and their right hemisphere analogs. Surprisingly, the most significant changes