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Researchers from MIT have found that, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, people are less likely to explore economically different parts of their home cities, reports Immanual John Milton for Bloomberg. “Fewer people are visiting attractions like museums, restaurants or parks that are outside their immediate mobility radius, and they’re spending less time among residents at different socioeconomic levels,” writes Milton.

Scientific American

MIT scientists have found that the earlier stages of sleep are key to sparking creativity and that people could be guided to dream about specific topics, further boosting creativity, reports Ingrid Wickelgren for Scientific American. “There is an objective and experimental link between incubation of some specific dream and postsleep creativity around that topic,” explains postdoc Adam Haar Horowitz. “This validates centuries of anecdotal reports from people who are in the creative space.”

The Daily Beast

Researchers from MIT and Harvard have found that short naps “can help the brain come up with creative solutions to tough problems,” reports Tony Ho Tran for The Daily Beast. “The phenomenon occurs during the very early stages of the sleep cycle known as hypnagogia, or the liminal space right between dozing off and being awake,” writes Tran.

HealthDay News

A study by MIT and Harvard researchers has found that sleep onset, the transitional period from a woozy but still awake state into sleep, has a strong effect on creativity, reports Alan Mozes for HealthDay.


Science reporter Sofia Moutinho spotlights how MIT researchers used a glove that tracks sleep stages to guide people’s dreams while they snoozed. Many participants who considered themselves “stuck and uncreative” were surprised at how inventive they could be in their dreams, explains postdoc Adam Haar Horowitz. “Most people don’t know that there’s a piece of themselves that is biologically designed to be totally unstuck, but they’re forgetting it every night.”

Education Week

Prof. Cynthia Breazeal, the MIT dean of digital learning, speaks with Education Week reporter Alyson Klein about the importance of ensuring K-12 students are AI literate. “The AI genie is out of the bottle,” says Breazeal. “It’s not just in the realm of computer science and coding. It is affecting all aspects of society. It’s the machine under everything. It’s critical for all students to have AI literacy if they are going to be using computers, or really, almost any type of technology.”

The Boston Globe

MIT researchers have found that interactions between people from different economic backgrounds have dropped significantly since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, reports David Scharfenberg for The Boston Globe. Scharfenberg notes the “the phenomenon could hurt low-income people in direct ways – they’ll lose connections to better-off people – and indirect ways.”


Augmental, an MIT spinoff, has developed MouthPad, an assistive device that provides wearers the ability to control Bluetooth-connected devices using their tongue, reports Haje Jan Kamps for TechCrunch. “The wide variety of control options embedded into the MouthPad means that it can be used in conjunction with many different devices,” writes Kamps.


Augmental, a startup co-founded by MIT graduates, has developed a Bluetooth mouthpiece that makes it easier for individuals with mobility issues to use computers, reports WHDH. “People with severe hand impairment are isolated in this world and it’s just not fair,” says co-founder Tomás Vega SM ‘19. “So, our interface seeks to help those people and enable them to access and to share with the world.” 


Prof. Danielle Wood speaks with NPR Shortwave co-host Aaron Scott about the future of space sustainability. “I hope that humans pause and note that the actions we're taking now and in the next 10 years really are going to be decisive in the relationship between humans and our planet, and humans and other locations, like the Moon,” says Wood.


Researchers at MIT have co-authored a paper in which they used honeybees to study the microbiome of cities. Since bees “tend to forage within a mile radius of their hives in urban areas, there’s valuable information about a city or even a neighborhood in the honey they produce, on their bodies and in the debris that lies at the bottom of hives,” writes Linda Poon for Bloomberg.


Researchers from the MIT Media Lab and elsewhere “have created a database of certain media that has the potential to give you chills,” reports Hannah Docter-Loeb for Motherboard. “Although we know that chills stimulate brain regions associated with reward and emotion, there is still much we do not understand about the connection between the body and this powerful sensation and how the experience impacts our brain,” says graduate student Abhinandan Jain. 

The New York Times

New York Times reporter Thomas May spotlights Prof. Tod Machover’s chamber opera “Overstory Overture,” based on Richard Powers’s novel “The Overstory.” May notes that Machover “has developed novel approaches to electronics and is a trailblazer in the applications of artificial intelligence to music.” Of his desire to create an operatic adaptation of Powers’s book, Machover explains, “I’ve always wanted to write a theatrical work with many strands that come together in an unusual way.”

Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Joy Buolamwini PhD ’22 has been named one of Diverse: Issues in Higher Education’s Top Women for 2023 for her work in developing “more equitable and accountable technology.” Buolamwini “uncovered racial and gender bias in AI services from high profile companies such as Microsoft, IBM and Amazon. Now a sought-after international speaker, Buolamwini continues to advocate for algorithmic justice,” writes Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.


MIT researchers have created a new headset, called X-AR, that can help users find hidden or lost items by sending a wireless signal to any item that has a designated tag on it, reports WHDH. The augmented reality headset “allows them to see things that are otherwise not visible to the human eye,” explains Prof. Fadel Adib. “It visualizes items for people and then it guides them towards items.”