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Articles on Cognitive development

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From left to right. Mandarin employs a different part of the brain. Chinese man via XiXinXing/Shutterstock

If you speak Mandarin, your brain is different

Language is traditionally associated with the left side of the brain. But Mandarin speakers are using the right side.
Watch your head. Soccer players via Wallenrock/Shutterstock.

What every parent should know about concussions

This fall, the deaths of three high school football players were linked to direct head injuries on the field of play and one collegiate football player’s death has been potentially attributed to unresolved…
Just you wait… César Rincón

Why do human children stay so small for so long?

Why does it take so long for human children to grow up? A male chimp and male human, for example, both end up with the same body weight but they grow very differently: at year one the human weighs twice…
High intake of take-away foods, red and processed meat, soft drinks, and fried and refined food is a risk factor for poor academic performance. Jay Peg/Flickr

Brain food: diet’s impacts on students are too big to ignore

As their children submit themselves to the ordeal of all-important end-of-year exams, parents of high school and university students may be wondering what they can do to help. One thing they ought to consider…
What will you remember? Test via Syda Productions/Shutterstock

How tests and wrong answers help us remember what we learn

Teachers give tests to find out what their students know. But tests do a lot more than that and can have a powerful effect on what a student remembers. In a typical research study looking at the links…
You can do better. Answer sheet via Wichy/Shutterstock

Ignore the IQ test: your level of intelligence is not fixed for life

We’re getting more stupid. That’s one point made in a recent article in the New Scientist, reporting on a gradual decline in IQs in developed countries such as the UK, Australia and the Netherlands. Such…
A quick game on the way to school won’t help ace the maths test. Boy on tablet by Twin Design/Shutterstock

Brain training games won’t help children do better at school

There has been a big increase recently in the number of computerised “brain training” programs marketed at young children. These programs make impressive claims – that they can help children learn better…
Why do you always forget to buy milk? Sunfox

Are women and men forever destined to think differently?

The headlines The Australian: Male and female brains still unequal The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis: Gender disparities in cognition will not diminish The Economist: A variation…
Sticklers beware. marymuses

What the grammar gurus don’t get about how we learn

Sticklers beware. The British Library is hosting it’s English Grammar Day, a day to finely split hairs over split infinitives, apostrophe’s (sic, sic, sic), and Oxford commas (sick!). Yes, in the case…
Not more RAM, working memory is what you need. Mother and Daughter, Kyle Lee/Shutterstock

Children’s cognitive abilities linked to parental education

Cognitive difficulties are very common in children from impoverished backgrounds, putting them at risk of educational failure. However, it is not clear what influences the development of cognitive abilities…
Dinosaurs are real, believe me. Mother with baby/Shutterstock

Babies can learn about the real world from pictures

Mass media such as books, TV, and the internet are key sources of information, allowing us to increase our knowledge by learning indirectly about things we’ve never directly experienced. Is this true for…
Younger people are worse at adjusting their perception of risk after warnings than older people, the study showed. amandasause

Youngsters learn more from good news than dire warnings

It’s no secret that many children and teenagers see themselves as immune to the risk of accidents and injury. Now, new research…
Stressful times for mum increase the risk of later problems for her baby. Flickr/Roberto Carlos Pecino

Effects of prenatal stress can affect children into adulthood

If we want to understand child development, we need to start before birth. We have known for decades that health depends on an interaction between our genes and our environment. But we’ve also come to…

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