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Training Young Brains to Behave

Great article in the New York Times titled Training Young Brains to Behave. A couple of quotes:

– “But just as biology shapes behavior, so behavior can accelerate biology. And a small group of educational and cognitive scientists now say that mental exercises of a certain kind can teach children to become more self-possessed at earlier ages, reducing stress levels at home and improving their experience in school. Researchers can test this ability, which they call executive function, and they say it is more strongly associated with school success than I.Q.”

– “We know that the prefrontal cortex is not fully developed until the 20s, and some people will ask, ‘Why are you trying to improve prefrontal abilities when the biological substrate is not there yet?’ ” said Adele Diamond, a professor of developmental cognitive science at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. “I tell them that 2-year-olds have legs, too, which will not reach full length for 10 years or more — but they can still walk and run and benefit from exercise.”

Full article: Training Young Brains to Behave.

Related interviews with scientists:

Learning & The Brain: Interview with Robert Sylwester
Memory training and attention deficits: interview with Notre Dame’s Bradley Gibson

The Art of Changing the Brain: Interview with Dr. James Zull

Brain Connection: Eric Jensen on Learning and the Brain

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2 Responses

  1. Catherine says:

    I developed a ‘note to self’ function at about age 20 months while learning words and reading (Thanks, Richard Scarry!), which ignited some ‘experience awareness’ program in me and enabled sticking memories long, long before pediatric neuroscientists say is possible. I’m not sure this is entirely relevant, but I thought I’d point that out 🙂

  2. Catherine, indeed, that is a great example of self-monitoring and organization (executive functions). How did it exactly work?
    I will be paying attention to my 6-month-old daughter 🙂

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