The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun

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Campus Now

New Year Issue (Jan.)


Contributing to society through research

Giving hope to the future pinned on continuing publication of results

Japanese are sensitive to voice tone
made clear in comparative culture experiment

Assistant Professor Akihiro Tanaka's Japanese-Dutch international joint research group at the Waseda Institute for Advanced Study, through experiments with Japanese and Dutch university students, have found that Japanese are sensitive to voice tone and can not ignore the voice when judging facial expression. These are the first results in the world proving that the mechanisms linking what is seen and what is heard differ depending on cultural background, and can be expected to be connected to finding the causes of misunderstandings in communication between contrasting cultures.

The group used a comparative culture investigation to see how Japanese and Dutch university students linked feelings taken from facial expressions with feelings taken from voice tone , and how they "interpreted" those feelings. Results showed that when the Japanese paid attention to facial expressions, they were strongly influenced by the voice tone which they should be ignoring, but when paying attention to voice tone, had no influence from facial expressions.

Expectations for contributions in effective utilization of raw metals
Discovery of a new gold nanostructure synthesis

Scanning Electron Microscope image of a gold nanostructure

Professor Kazuyuki Kuroda and doctorate student Yoshiyuki Kuroda of the Faculty of Engineering have discovered an uneven structured gold nanoplate synthesis which used an aggregate of nanoparticles from silicon dioxide (silica) as a mold. This is the first time an aggregate of nanoparticles has been used as a flexible mold to achieve regulation of nano structure and form deemed impossible in the concept of conventional molds, leading to expectations for the invention of various nanostructures. Starting with gold, the development of nanostructures of inorganic structures is indispensable to the growth of nanotechnology. But nanostructures acquired using conventional methods are limited to negative structures in the negative-positive relationship of the mold structures, giving a problem of diversity. By using the concept of this research, numerous nanostructures can be separated from a single mold. By developing the technology in this research, we can expect to find a way to effectively utilize natural resources in small amounts.