Charting Brain Growth in Humans and Chimps (New York Times):
– “Although baby humans and baby chimpanzees both start out with undeveloped forebrains, a new study reports that the human brain increases in volume much more rapidly early on.“
– “The growth is in a region of the brain known as the prefrontal cortex and is part of what makes humans cognitively advanced compared with other animals, including the chimpanzee, our closest relative. The prefrontal cortex plays a major role in decision-making, self-awareness and creative thinking.”
–> To learn more about study Differential Prefrontal White Matter Development in Chimpanzees and Humans: click Here (requires subscription).
–> To explore what may have happened otherwise, you may want to watch the new movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
By: Greater Good Magazine
We sometimes neglect to mention a very basic yet powerful method of cognitive and emotional development, for children and adults alike: Play.
Dr. David Elkind, author of The Power of Play: Learning That Comes Naturally, discusses the need to build a more “playful culture” in this great article brought to you thanks to our collaboration with Greater Good Magazine.
Can We Play?
– By Dr. David Elkind
Play is rapidly disappearing from our homes, our schools, and our neighborhoods. Over the last two decades alone, children have lost eight hours of free, unstructured, and spontaneous play a week. More than 30,000 schools in the United States have eliminated recess to make more time for academics. From 1997 to 2003, children’s time spent outdoors fell 50 percent, according to a study by Sandra Hofferth at the University of Maryland. Hofferth has also found that the amount of time children spend in organized sports has doubled, and the number of minutes children devote each week to passive leisure, not including watching television, has increased from 30 minutes to more than three hours. It is no surprise, then, that childhood obesity is now considered an epidemic.
But the problem goes well beyond obesity. Decades of research has shown that play is crucial to physical, intellectual, and social-emotional development at all ages. This is especially true of the purest form of play: the unstructured, self-motivated, imaginative, independent kind, where children initiate their own games and even invent their own rules.
Read the rest of this entry »
By: Alvaro Fernandez
…that understandingÃ‚Â how our brains and minds workÃ‚Â may contribute to all of them.
Here you have some of the best blog carnivals (collections of blog posts on specific topics) we have contributed to this week:
- Grand Rounds: “brain exercise” is as important as nutrition, physical exercise and stress management.
- Green Living: let’s start the conversation about “sustainable brains”.
- Human Resources: isn’tÃ‚Â it obvious, yet often neglected,Ã‚Â that “human capital” rests on brain development and learning how to learn?.
- Brain Fitness Carnival: fully devoted to our topic.
- Video Game Bloggers: “games” can be good vehicles for cognitive and emotional training, if properly developed and used.
- Gene Genie: our genes are not destiny.
You can also check the Medicine 2.0Ã‚Â carnival that we hosted.