Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Edutainment meets brain development…for good and for bad

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In 1954, Walt Dis­ney was the first to envi­sion a new form of enter­tain­ment that meld­ed tra­di­tion­al fun and education—a form that he dubbed “edu­tain­ment.” By the lat­ter part of the 20th cen­tu­ry, this form had mor­phed into edu­ca­tion­al toys and games, a mul­ti-bil­lion-dol­lar indus­try that is pro­ject­ed to cap­ture a full 36 per­cent of the glob­al toy mar­ket share by 2022.

Nowhere is this trend more appar­ent than in the explo­sion of dig­i­tal apps: of the 2.2 mil­lion apps avail­able in the Apple Store, rough­ly 176,000—8.5 percent—are loose­ly des­ig­nat­ed as “ edu­ca­tion­al. ” Their growth con­tin­ues, with annu­al increas­es of 10 per­cent expect­ed through 2021. Whether called edu­tain­ment, edu­ca­tion­al toys, or the dig­i­tal learn­ing rev­o­lu­tion, this trend shares the implic­it phi­los­o­phy that mix­ing fun and learn­ing will offer a kind of “brain train­ing” that will enhance children’s think­ing and ampli­fy their learn­ing poten­tial.

But there are many ques­tions before us. What do man­u­fac­tur­ers and mar­keters mean when they des­ig­nate a prod­uct “edu­ca­tion­al?” Keep read­ing Brain Train­ing for Kids: Adding a Human Touch over at the Dana Foun­da­tion.

Related reading:

Update: Only 5% of US children ages 8–11 follow guidelines recommended for brain development

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Dear read­er,

Time for Sharp­Brains month­ly e‑newsletter, dis­cussing the lat­est inno­va­tions for brain health and men­tal health, and open­ing in this occa­sion with an impor­tant wake-up call.

New research:

New tools:

 

Hap­py Hal­loween and have a great month of Novem­ber,

 

The Sharp­Brains Team

Study: Only 5% of US children ages 8–11 follow screen time, sleep and exercise guidelines recommended for brain development

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Lim­it­ing chil­dren’s screen time linked to bet­ter cog­ni­tion, study says (CNN):

Lim­it­ing kids’ recre­ation­al screen time to less than two hours a day, along with suf­fi­cient sleep and phys­i­cal activ­i­ty, is asso­ci­at­ed with improved cog­ni­tion, accord­ing to a study pub­lished in The Lancet Child & Ado­les­cent Health.

The study includ­ed about 4,500 US chil­dren ages 8 to 11 and mea­sured their habits against the Cana­di­an 24-Hour Move­ment Guide­lines for Chil­dren and Youth. It found that Read the rest of this entry »

Large study to study impact on early brain development of financial assistance to low-income mothers

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Does grow­ing up poor harm brain devel­op­ment? (The Econ­o­mist):

Plen­ty of evi­dence sug­gests that grow­ing up poor, liv­ing through these kinds of scrapes, has a detri­men­tal impact on child devel­op­ment. Chil­dren from rich fam­i­lies tend to have bet­ter lan­guage and mem­o­ry skills than those from poor fam­i­lies. More afflu­ent chil­dren usu­al­ly per­form bet­ter in school, and are less like­ly to end up in jail. Grow­ing up poor risks the devel­op­ment of a small­er cere­bral cor­tex. But these are asso­ci­a­tions Read the rest of this entry »

Reminder (and Discount code): BrainFutures 2017 to take place September 6–7th in Washington, DC

Brain­Fu­tures 2017 is a one-and-a-half-day con­fer­ence fea­tur­ing renowned lead­ers shar­ing research-to-prac­tice inno­va­tion to opti­mize brain health and trans­form men­tal health care. Keynote speak­ers include Dr. Nor­man Doidge, Dr. Alvaro Pas­cual-Leone, Dr. John Ratey, Dr. Adam Gaz­za­ley, Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, and more. The con­fer­ence is cer­ti­fied to offer CEU and CME cred­its.

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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