Bill Rancic Defends His Wife Giuliana After Fashion Police Controversy: 'I Tried to Get Them to Release the Footage' 42 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Alicia Vikander Hits London with Michael Fassbender Ahead of BAFTAs Appearance
- Read the Cover Story: Ryan Reynolds: Sexiest Dad Alive
- Twitter Reacts to Sports Illustrated's Ground-breaking Cover Stars
- Alicia Vikander Dazzles at BAFTAs, Says She Was 'Blown Away' Working on The Danish Girl
- 5 Things to Know About Ashley Graham, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue's First Size-16 Cover Girl
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- June 17, 1985
- Vol. 23
- No. 24
When Professor Peter Hancock Puts on His Thinking Cap, He Creates a Brainstorm Under His Bonnet
An assistant professor of safety science and human factors at the University of Southern California, Hancock says that scientists have known that heating a person's body one degree centigrade causes him to perform faster. But at the same time this temperature rise causes him to make more errors. Hancock's challenge, therefore, was to design a cap that would turn a person into a "hothead" without causing heat stress in the body.
Apparently Hancock's head-dress works. When he tested subjects for reaction time, visual-search ability, time estimation and simple mathematics, people with the hat on did 5 to 15 percent better than a control group not wearing the hat. (Heating the head only½ degree centigrade seemed to make people react faster, but their error rate also went up.)
The son of a school principal, Hancock was born in Berkeley, near Shakespeare's birthplace of Stratford-upon-Avon. He moved to the U.S. seven years ago and received a Ph.D. in motor performance, an applied psychology degree, from the University of Illinois at Champaign in 1983. He and wife Frances, a community college lecturer, have a daughter, Susan, 5. His USC office is laden with motorcycle helmets, including numbered ones from fatal bike accidents. Hancock takes pride that research at USC's Safety Science and Human Factors Department has vastly improved helmet safety and thereby saved lives.
Hancock, who doesn't plan to market his clever invention, entreats other scientists to test the thinking cap. "There's a lot of benefit to having similar results coming out of different laboratories," he says. But, he emphasizes, this is an experimental procedure. "It won't do you any good to just heat your head and expect to get smarter," he warns. "And if you increase the temperature too fast, it could cause a severe headache. So don't try this technology yourself. Don't even think about it."
February 15, 2016
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!