Listening to music may not help you enhance creative performance

music-headphones2_ThinkstockPhotosLONDON: Listening to background music “significantly impairs” people’s ability to complete tasks testing verbal creativity, say scientists who challenge the myth that music makes us more creative.

Psychologists from University of Gavle in Sweden, University of Central Lancashire and Lancaster Universityin the UK investigated the impact of background music on performance by presenting people with verbal insight problems that are believed to tap creativity.

They found that background music “significantly impaired” people’s ability to complete tasks testing verbal creativity – but there was no effect for background library noise.

For example, a participant was shown three words (eg dress, dial, flower), with the requirement being to find a single associated word (in this case “Sun”) that can be combined to make a common word or phrase (ie sundress, sundial and sunflower).

Listening to music may not help you enhance creative performance

The researchers used three experiments involving verbal tasks in either a quiet environment or while exposed to background music with unfamiliar lyrics, instrumental music without lyrics, or music with familiar lyrics.

“We found strong evidence of impaired performance when playing background music in comparison to quiet background conditions,” said Neil McLatchie of Lancaster University.

Researchers suggest this may be because music disrupts verbal working memory.

The third experiment – exposure to music with familiar lyrics – impaired creativity regardless of whether the music also boosted mood, induced a positive mood, was liked by the participants, or whether participants typically studied in the presence of music.

Listening to music may not help you enhance creative performance

However, there was no significant difference in performance of the verbal tasks between the quiet and library noise conditions.

Researchers said this is because library noise is a “steady state” environment which is not as disruptive.

The findings challenge the popular view that music enhances creativity, and instead demonstrate that music, regardless of the presence of semantic content, consistently disrupts creative performance in insight problem solving, researchers said.


on Bradman Cricket 17 First Impressions: Day One Patch, Performance, Controls, and More

Don Bradman Cricket 17 First Impressions: Day One Patch, Performance, Controls, and More

Don Bradman Cricket 17 sports subtle yet important changes
It looks a bit better versus the last game
It has a day one patch
Following Don Bradman Cricket 17’s early release in India, we managed to spend some time with the game. With each console generation, cricket games have been tougher to come by, which is no surprise considering the audience for them resides mainly in markets like the UK, Australia, and India. Amongst the few games that remain, the Don Bradman series is one that stands out in particular. Our initial impressions suggest a promising game on the PS4 and PS4 Pro, albeit with striking similarities to previous entries in the series.

It’s a sharper, cleaner version of Don Bradman Cricket
2015’s Don Bradman Cricket was a minor iteration over Don Bradman Cricket 14. Don Bradman Cricket 17 shows its next-gen chops by being a lot sharper and cleaner. Player models sport a greater degree of detail and the animations look a lot more realistic. It’s not that much of a looker compared to other new games, but there is an evident step up from its PS4 and Xbox One debut. Unlike some recent releases, it’s also a stable game. We haven’t faced a single crash during our playthrough. There doesn’t seem to be any obvious performance benefits on playing it on the PS4 Pro over the PS4 at the moment in terms of frame rate, but it does look a bit sharper and cleaner on the PS4 Pro. Though we have reached out to Big Ant Studios to ask if this could change.

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Don Bradman Cricket 17 day one patch
Much like nearly every game this year, Don Bradman Cricket 17 has a day one patch. It’s around 1.292GB and according to sparse patch notes, will bring “Stability improvements”. We played the game before and after patching and noticed very little to be different.

(Also see:Don Bradman Cricket Review: If Cricket Is a Religion, This Is Prayer)

Don Bradman Cricket 17 controls improve on Don Bradman Cricket 14
Considering how well older Don Bradman games handled controls, we were pleasantly surprised to see that Big Ant Studios has managed to improve the game’s controls further. Bowling in particular has seen subtle yet crucial improvements. It’s easier to control flight, spin, bounce, and swing of a delivery thanks to canny use of triggers and dual analogue sticks. The sense of precision is welcome, making bowling a lot more fun than it was earlier.

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Batting controls make use of the dual analogue sticks — with the left stick controlling footwork while the right is for shot selection. There is a wider shot repertoire, and you have the ability to hit unconventional shots by using the triggers. Fielding is similar the last game. You’ll run towards the ball with the tap of a button and on getting to it, decide where to throw it. Catching works by moving the right analogue stick to the desired location on-screen.

Don Bradman Cricket 17 difficulty settings
In-game difficulty operates on several levels. Changing the battling and bowling difficulty will not impact the game’s AI. Instead it will allow you more or less of a window to time your shots or deliveries. If it’s increasing or reducing the difficulty of your AI-controller opposition, you’ll need to look tweaking match difficulty to suit your needs.

Don Bradman Cricket 17 spin bowling don_bradman_cricket_17

(Also see:Don Bradman Cricket 17 Has an Early Release Date in India)

It’s still inconsistent
While the gameplay of Don Bradman Cricket 17 is well implemented, we wish we could say the same for its production values. Stadiums feel sparsely filled, and commentators — while accurate for most part – lapse into oddities such as remarking on the fall of the first wicket of the match when in actuality it is the eighth or ninth dismissal. Old-timers will note the familiarity of its menu music too. Also, wicket keeper tends to be a ghosty apparition, being only faintly visible in more than a few scenarios even with choosing a camera angle for batting in front of the wickets. These moments take away from what should be a resounding improvement over its predecessor.

As per our initial impressions, Don Bradman Cricket 17 appears to make subtle yet crucial changes to a formula that’s served it well for the last two games. Whether this holds true with extended sessions remains to be seen, as does online play or new modes such as Match Designer. Stay tuned for our full review soon.

Tags: DBC 17, DBC17, Don Bradman Cricket 17, Don Bradman Cricket day one patch, Big Ant Studios, Don Bradman Cricket 17 release date, Don Bradman Cricket 17 PS4, Don Bradman Cricket 17 PS4 Pro, Tru Blu


Pokemon Go Bug Reportedly Affecting GPS Performance on Android Phones

Pokemon Go Bug Reportedly Affecting GPS Performance on Android Phones

Pokemon Go Bug Reportedly Affecting GPS Performance on Android Phones
Game supposedly disrupts GPS even when running in background
Issue was spotted on the dated Nexus 5 smartphone
Reddit user says couldn’t find similar issue on newer devices
Pokemon Go created tremendous amount of interest and excitement at its launch and the game is one of the most talked about things of the year already. However, that popularity has begun waning. Now a Redditor has suggested that a bug associated with the game reportedly distorts the accuracy of your smartphone’s GPS.

A Reddit user who goes by the name ‘Cameocoder’ has said that a bug associated with Pokemon Go distorts the accuracy of your Android smartphone’s GPS and even prevents other apps from accurately gathering the location when the game in running in background.

(Also see: Pokemon Go Fever Is Fading in the US: Report)

Cameocoder was able to find out the issue with the game while using fitness tracking app Map My Run. “On the first walk without Pokémon Go my device was able to lock on to GPS satellites and track my location fairly accurately. The second walk, which was immediately after the first, I had Pokémon Go in the foreground and my device almost never acquired a GPS lock,” the user said in the Reddit post.

However, it should be noted that the user was using a Nexus 5 smartphone when he discovered the bug, and did not find the same issue on newer devices. It is not yet know if a similar bug is affecting the iOS version of the game.
(Also see: Pokemon Go Eggs Hurting Religious Sentiments’, PIL Filed)

Considering the issues regarding the game, it will be interesting to see how the development of the game moves forward as it is yet to be officially released in many countries including India.

Are you facing a similar GPS bug on your Android smartphone once Pokemon Go is running? What about your iPhone? Let us know in the comments section below.

Tags: Pokemon GO GPS Bug, Pokemon Go, Gaming, Android


Google Nexus 5X Update Brings Performance Fixes, Connectivity Improvements, More

Google Nexus 5X Update Brings Performance Fixes, Connectivity Improvements, More

Google is addressing the performance issues on the LG Nexus 5X smartphone. The Mountain View-based company has rolled out an update alongside the Security Patch Level of March 01, 2016 to take away some glitches that were crippling an otherwise decent high-end smartphone.

The Mountain View-based company took to Reddit to assure users that it has been listening to their feedback. A verified Google employee, who goes by alias GoogleNexusCM on the message board,added that Google has released an OTA update (build MHC19J) on Tuesday for the Nexus 5X to make it more performance efficient, apart from featuring the March Android security update.

“I know there has been some discussion here about the 5X-specific factory images that were posted yesterday on the developers site. I wanted to give some clarification around this, and specifically let you all know that an OTA update will begin rolling out today for the Nexus 5X,” he wrote.

As for the improvements, Google is apparently fixing a number of bugs to bring stability, connectivity and performance improvements. The user, who identifies himself as Nexus community manager, offers the following changelog.

  • General slow/sluggish performance
  • DND next alarm disappearing issue
  • Bluetooth/ Wi-Fi improvements
  • Carrier-specific bug fixes

To make it clear, Google has clubbed together the March Android security update for the Nexus 5X with performance improvements.

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LG Google Nexus 5X

LG Google Nexus 5X

R 31900

  • Design

  • Display

  • Software

  • Performance

  • Battery life

  • Camera

  • Value for money

  • Good
  • Pure Android 6.0
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Good camera
  • Good overall performance
  • Bad
  • Limited storage
  • Expensive
  • USB Type-C adapters required
  • Ditches wireless charging
Read detailed LG Google Nexus 5X review
Tags: Android, Google, Google Nexus 5X, LG, LG Nexus 5X, Mobiles, Nexus 5X, Security