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Visual technology enables brain to learn in new ways
Date:3/21/2008

asselblatt to detect anomalies impossible to perceive with conventional displays: subtle traces of curving lines that he said indicated irregularities in variations in the population. The lines extended over different areas of the model and then converged at one distinct point.

Hasselblatt has looked at smaller images of this classic model many times during the last 20 years but had never recognized this convergence. He has not yet determined the implications of this discovery, but he said the pattern reflects order in what mathematicians have always thought to be a progression of chaotic cycles. "The pattern is so subtle that it's imperceptible but in this rendition the resolution is fine enough that I can easily see it," he said.

Bruce Boghosian, chairman of the mathematics department at Tufts and principal investigator on the NSF grant, said that the VisWall will benefit his study of fluid dynamics. Visualization capabilities can help him and his fellow researchers better understand fluid flow.

"You can go right up to streamlines in a fluid or dig into a reservoir and see which way it's flowing," said Boghosian. "That's the direction we would like to move in. You can imagine all kinds of other uses for something like that."

Virtual Surgery

The VisWall will also aid Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Caroline Cao. Her goal is to develop more robust laparoscopic surgical training systems in which 3-D computer simulations enable surgeons in training to feel as well as see.

She and her team, including senior Kyle Maxwell, have already developed software that enables users to remove a "tumor" during a simulated procedure. With the haptic device, these virtual surgeons receive force feedback when touching a hard surface, such as a tumor or bone, and a soft, deformable surface, such as tissue. The reaction is determined by the parameters provided by the model, which is based on real material prope
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Contact: Alex Reid
alexander.reid@tufts.edu
617-627-4173
Tufts University
Source:Eurekalert

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