News, events, and commentary on bridging neuroscience and education

Closing the Language Skills Gap Among Children

by Nicky Penttila

The Dana Foundation | October 11, 2016

Many children are at a disadvantage even before they walk into an early Head Start or pre-K program.What do we know and what can be done to mitigate the long-term effects of this deficit? A researcher, an outreach specialist, and a federal official discussed data, programs, and policy during a recent forum in Washington, DC.

Brain Game Claims Fail A Big Scientific Test

by Jon Hamilton

NPR | October 3, 2016

A newly published evaluation of scientific literature on brain training games concludes that brain games do not deliver on promises of improved memory and focus.

See also

Targeting Dyslexia

by Carl Sherman

The Dana Foundation | September 27, 2016

Researchers turn to infants and “pre-readers” to see if difficulty in reading changes the brain or if the differences were there to begin with.

From the Archives: Encouraging Brain Literacy

by Nicky Penttila

Dana Foundation Blog | September 14, 2016

We look back at some of our past features on ways to promote brain-science literacy in schools.

Enter the 2017 Design a Brain Experiment Competition

by Ann Whitman

Dana Foundation Blog | September 12, 2016

We’re challenging U.S. high school students to use their knowledge of the brain to design an original brain experiment for a chance to win prizes and be featured on our website.

Can You Boost Your Brain Power By Making Yourself Ambidextrous?

by Mo Costandi

The Guardian | September 3, 2016

Lots of companies offer ambidexterity training that promises to improve cognitive power. But research shows there could be risks.

Music Training Speeds up Brain Development in Children

by Assal Habibi

SciTech Connect ELSEVIER | August 15, 2016

Two years into a five-year study, a research group at the University of Southern California reports that children who received music training appear to have accelerated brain development and sound processing. They say this may benefit language acquisition as similar parts of the brain are engaged.

Can Running Make You Smarter?

by Gretchen Reynolds

New York Times Well blog | July 13, 2016

To strengthen your mind, you may first want to exert your leg muscles, according to a sophisticated new experiment involving people, mice and monkeys. The study’s results suggest that long-term endurance exercise such as running can alter muscles in ways that then jump-start changes in the brain, helping to fortify learning and memory.

Brain Memory Training Does Not Improve Academic Outcomes in Kids

by Anita Slomski, MA

Journal of the American Medical Association | June 28, 2016

A clinical trials update: Training programs designed to enhance working memory are popular methods to boost academic performance in young children with learning disabilities, despite a lack of evidence of long-term benefits. Researchers evaluated the computerized Cogmed Working Memory Training program, the most widely used working memory intervention, and found there was no improvement in academic outcomes after the intervention was given to children with low working memory.

Why have so many people accepted the idea that kids need to fail more?

by Valerie Strauss

Washington Post | June 26, 2016

Is it important to allow students to fail in class — or not to fail? How much should teachers allow kids to struggle before helping them solve a problem or understand a concept? These may seem like simple questions, but the answers are complex.

Music Training May Help Kids’ Brains Develop Faster

by Emily Gersema

University of Southern California | June 20, 2016

Initial data from a 5-year study suggests that learning music can accelerate brain development in young children in areas associated with language development and sound processing.

The Mindful Brain

by Brenda Patoine | May 31, 2016

Mindfulness-based meditation is now established as a valid stress-reduction tool in schools, backed by a growing body of solid science illuminating its effects on the brain and health.

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