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Study: Neonatal MRI scans of preterm children can help predict cognitive and academic problems, and guide early interventions

Localized brain regions associated with early mathematics

Pre­dict­ing future cog­ni­tion in preterm chil­dren with MRI (Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty Press blog):

In the wake of the devel­op­ment of advanced neona­tal inten­sive med­ical care, more and more chil­dren born preterm man­age to beat the pre­vi­ous­ly tough odds…While this is one of the suc­cess sto­ries of mod­ern med­i­cine, long-term fol­low-up of pre­ma­ture-born pedi­atric cohorts show that…Many chil­dren will expe­ri­ence cog­ni­tive prob­lems that will Read the rest of this entry »

In the Age of Google, Should Schools Teach Memorization Skills?

As school is about to resume, peo­ple are remind­ed of their strong opin­ions about how to fix schools: more fund­ing, bet­ter teach­ers, less gov­ern­ment inter­fer­ence, more gov­ern­ment inter­fer­ence, etc. But the one obvi­ous, and nev­er-stat­ed prob­lem, is that stu­dents don’t remem­ber what they are taught. In spite of all the “teach­ing to the test” that par­ents and teach­ers com­plain about, stu­dents still don’t remem­ber the very things they were taught as answers to test ques­tions.

The rea­son they don’t remem­ber is that they are not taught how to mem­o­rize. Why is that? Read the rest of this entry »

The 2012 SharpBrains Virtual Summit Continues…

Third time’s the charm”…this is being our best Sum­mit, con­tent and tech­nol­o­gy-wise, so THANK YOU to all par­tic­i­pants for excel­lent talks, ques­tions and dis­cus­sions last week. We hope you enjoyed the ses­sions as much as we did!

Please remem­ber that the Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit con­tin­ues this week: Read the rest of this entry »

Stress and the Brain: To Fight, Flee or Freeze -That is the Question

(Editor’s note: below you have the final part of the 6-part Stress and the Brain series. If you are join­ing the series now, you can read the pre­vi­ous parts via the links below.)

Stayin’ Alive

Under­stand­ing the Human Brain and How It Responds to Stress

TO FIGHT, FLEE, OR FREEZE — THAT IS THE QUESTION

With a bet­ter under­stand­ing of the neu­ro­bi­ol­o­gy of stress, the LD — ADHD — stress con­nec­tion becomes clear.  Stu­dents with learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties or ADHD, con­front­ed with the stress cre­at­ed by expo­sure to tasks that are in real­i­ty or in their per­cep­tion too dif­fi­cult (and thus threat­en­ing), exhib­it the pro­tec­tive behav­ior of any organ­ism under extreme stress:  They fight, they flee, or they freeze. When these kids don’t under­stand why they can’t do what oth­er kids can do (mas­ter the stres­sor), and they can’t see any way to get out of a sit­u­a­tion that won’t go away, they begin to shut down. Read the rest of this entry »

The Neurobiology of Stress: The Human Brain Likes to Be in Balance

(Editor’s note: below you have part 5 of the 6-part The Neu­ro­bi­ol­o­gy of Stress series. If you are join­ing the series now, you can read the pre­vi­ous part Here.)

Stayin’ Alive

Under­stand­ing the Human Brain and How It Responds to Stress

The Human Brain Likes to Be in Bal­ance

For­tu­nate­ly, the brain has some built — in safe­ty sys­tems. Too much cor­ti­sol in the blood sig­nals the brain and adren­al glands to decrease cor­ti­sol pro­duc­tion. And under nor­mal con­di­tions, when the stress is over­come or brought under con­trol (by fight­ing, flee­ing, or turn­ing into an immo­bile stat­ue, or by mas­ter­ing the threat), the hypo­thal­a­mus starts send­ing out the orders to stand down. Stop pro­duc­ing cor­ti­sol!  Event over!  Under con­tin­u­ous stress, how­ev­er, this feed­back sys­tem breaks down. The hypo­thal­a­mus keeps read­ing the stress as a threat, furtive­ly send­ing mes­sages to the pitu­itary gland, which screams out to the adren­al glands to keep pump­ing out cor­ti­sol, which at this point begins to be neu­ro­tox­ic — poi­son to the brain. Read the rest of this entry »

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