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New grants show range of university research
by Jim Karpen

The Review, Vol. 21, #1    Translate This Article
Fairfield, Iowa, United States
23 September 2004

Two recent grants to faculty researchers will help fund a project to breed a variety of potato resistant to the Colorado potato beetle, as well as fund the study of world-class performers to determine whether their level of development correlates with their extraordinary success.

A three-year, $21,000 grant to David Fisher from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University will assist his ongoing potato breeding project. The Colorado potato beetle is the worst defoliator of potato plants in the world, Dr. Fisher says, and is usually dealt with via pesticide sprays or genetically engineered potatoes. Dr. Fisher has successfully shown in a pilot study that a technique called horizontal resistance can be used to breed a variety that is resistant to the beetles.

Professor Fred Travis and adjunct professor Harald Harung will use their grant to study peak performance. The grant is funded by Bergen University in Oslo, Norway, where Dr. Harung is an associate professor of management.

The study will focus on at least 30 individuals, about half world-class athletes and the rest from other fields, including management. They will be matched with a control group of at least 30 average performers.

The researchers hypothesize that the world-class performers may have experiences of higher states of consciousness and will be measuring their brain wave patterns as well as administering standard psychological assessments and conducting in-depth interviews.

'We help the world-class performers by clarifying experiences they frequently have, but often are puzzled by, such as witnessing sleep or daily activity,' Dr. Harung said. The research may also show that the characteristics that develop with the Transcendental Meditation® and TM-Sidhi® programs are the same as those found in peak performers.

Copyright 2004, Maharishi University of Management

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