Researchers at Cambridge have conducted a study of children and parents in Hong Kong and the UK that indicate cultural differences play a key role in important cognitive functions in adolescents but not in their parents. The results showed significant differences in academic success among adolescents in Hong Kong and the UK. But, the researchers also noted that these differences do not play a significant role in their parents and this appears to indicate that cultural differences that influence cognitive skills disappear over time or, at least, play a lesser role.
The study focused primarily on what are called “executive differences” which are higher order cognitive skills humans employ to reason, plan, and adapt. What they found was these cognitive skills are shaped by various factors including parental and cultural influences. This study involved 1,428 participants who were material to complete which measures inhibitions, memory, task switching, and planning.
On the average this study found children in Hong Kong have higher executive skills than those in the UK. In fact, the average executive function scores for 10 year olds in Hong Kong was nearly the same as the average score for UK 12 years olds. However, when it came to UK and Hong Kong parents there was no significant differences. Continue Reading
Move over Dracula research conducted by the University of Portsmouth has discovered that a giant pterosaur may have been the dominant predator in the skies over Romania. This toothless flying reptile had a wingspan of 10 meters (32.8 feet). Its neck was shorter and stronger and it had larger muscles than other members of its species.
Researchers examined neck vertebrae from the extinct creature that lived during the Cretaceous age in Transylvania. The remains found are the first evidence of large prehistoric predatory animals in the region during that time. Several fossilized remains of this flying terror have been found in the area of Transylvania. The flying reptile is called “Hatzegopteryx” and it belongs to a flying reptile group known as “Azhdarchidae.”
Typically, pterosaurs have long necks over 2.5 meters (8.2 ft) long. A jaw joint of this creature has also been found indicating it had a wide skull and other finds indicate it had reinforced limbs. The findings of this research indicate this pterosaur was a “giant” and may have been radically different in terms of behavior and in appearance from others of its kind.
The researchers speculate that this giant pterosaur attacked other animals that other flying reptiles may have avoided. According to researchers ancient Transylvania was an odd place as they have yet to find evidence for other large predators during prehistoric times such as large dinosaurs. After centuries of exploration large dinosaurs seem to be absent from the region.
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