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.
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By: Alvaro Fernandez
To all new readers-Welcome!. The Digg Tsunami has brought over 40,000 visitors so far…and it continues. We need to thank Andrey for his excellent technical work in helping us ride such a beautiful wave.
Let me give you an overview of what you can find in our blog, bridging neuroscience research and brain health/ “brain exercise” practice. First, here you have a few of my favorite quotes from the 10 interviews we have done with neuroscience and psychology experts in cognitive and emotional training in our Neuroscience Interview Series. You can read the in-depth interview notes for each if you want to stimulate those neurons…
- “Learning is physical. Learning means the modification, growth, and pruning of our neurons, connections called synapses and neuronal networks, through experience…we are cultivating our own neuronal networks.- Dr. James Zull, Professor of Biology and Biochemistry at Case Western University: Read Interview Notes
- “Exercising our brains systematically ways is as important as exercising our bodies. In my experience, “Use it or lose it should really be “Use it and get more of it.- Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg, neuropsychologist, clinical professor of neurology at New York University School of Medicine, and disciple of the great neuropsychologist Alexander Luria: Read Interview Notes
- “Individuals who lead mentally stimulating lives, through education, occupation and leisure activities, have reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s symptoms. Studies suggest that they have 35–40% less risk of manifesting the disease - Dr. Yaakov Stern, Division Leader of the Cognitive Neuroscience Division of the Sergievsky Center at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York: Read Interview Notes
“What research has shown is that Read the rest of this entry »